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Mexican Carnitas Recipe

Mexican Carnitas Recipe

Ever hear of "carnitas"? They're easy-to-make pork crisps that are very popular in Mexico. The secret to this recipe is the citrus and quick frying. Be sure the meat is well drained before it's place in oil, though, or it will splatter and pop. My husband works at a timber mill. Logging is an important industry here in the mountainous northeast part of our state, and there are also numerous wheat and grass seed farms. In addition to cooking and canning, I enjoy fishing, gardening and crafting. —Patricia Collins, Imbler, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 2 hours YIELD:12-16 servings


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3 large oranges, divided
  • 1 large lemon
  • Oil for frying
  • 12 to 16 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • Optional toppings: chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, sour cream and avocado slices


  • 1. Place meat in a medium-size roasting pan. Sprinkle with garlic and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice from one orange and the lemon over the meat. Slice the remaining oranges and place over the meat.
  • 2. Cover and bake at 350° for about 2 hours or until meat is tender. With a slotted spoon, remove meat and drain well on paper towels. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and fry meat in batches until browned and crispy.
  • 3. Serve warm in tortillas with toppings of your choice. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving equals 341 calories, 19 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 50 mg cholesterol, 387 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 18 g protein.

Wine Pairings

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.