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    Big pot of carnitas goes a long way on Cinco de Mayo
    • May 5, 2024

    By Carla Vigos

    Laguna Woods Globe cooking columnist

    Hola, amigas and amigos. Are you looking for a dish for Cinco de Mayo? This easy carnitas recipe will fit the bill.

    I love carnitas any way they’re served, be it in tacos with coleslaw and pineapple salsa or pickled onions. Or perhaps in burritos with refried beans, cheese and any other favorite ingredients. Carnitas nachos are delicious with guacamole, sour cream, olives, green onions, pico de gallo, cheese, jalapenos and cilantro.

    Carla Vigos Laguna Woods Globe cooking columnist
    (Courtesy photo)

    Carnitas, or Mexican pulled pork, can be used to fill tacos or burritos or baked with tortilla chips for tasty nachos.
    (Courtesy of Jeff Sinclair)



    I prefer carnitas finished under the broiler, but if you want a softer meat, you can skip this step. Remember in cooking, doing it your way is what makes your style unique.

    Always taste before serving and add salt, pepper or hot sauce if needed.

    This recipe makes a lot of meat, but it can be frozen to enjoy another time.

    Any questions or comments? Email me at [email protected]

    Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)


    3 to 5 pounds of pork butt

    1 teaspoon cumin

    2 teaspoons dried oregano

    1 teaspoon smoked paprika

    1 tablespoon salt

    1 teaspoon pepper

    1 large onion, chopped

    3 to 5 garlic cloves

    2 bay leaves

    1 cup of chicken broth

    4 tablespoons lime juice

    1/2 cup orange juice

    Add-ons: limes, cilantro and red pickled onions


    Dry the pork butt with a paper towel.

    In a small bowl, combine the cumin, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.

    In a crockpot, place the onions, garlic, bay leaves, chicken broth and lime and orange juices.

    Coat the pork butt with the dry spice rub on all sides and place on top of the onion mixture in the crockpot. Cook on high for six hours or on low for eight to 10 hours. You need to make sure it is tender when done.

    On a rimmed cookie sheet, shred the meat with two forks into big chunks. Adjust seasonings.

    Pour 3/4 cup of juice over the meat. Broil on high for 4 minutes, then stir and broil 1 to 2 minutes more. You want the meat golden brown with crisp edges.

    Save the juice and add some to the carnitas if you like. It’s also good to add when you reheat the meat. If you want to eat just the meat alone, when serving add a squeeze of lime along with cilantro and pickled onions.

    ​ Orange County Register