Ok, for real. My friend made me a version of these up in Tahoe a few years back, and I kid you not, I was literally scraping every single bit of these off of the pan at the end of the night. I *might* have thought about putting my face in the pot to get even more. Yup. These are like candy and meat and awesome all wrapped into one. We had them last night, and my kids just kept saying, “these are sooooooooo good!” Well, except for the 5 year old that was shoveling said carnitas into his mouth so fast that he couldn’t speak.

I’m needing to do a test run in the Instant Pot for these, but I’m pretty sure I can make it work. I’ll be back to update when I’ve figured that out! We eat these on top of big jicama slices or on beds of lettuce with sauteed peppers and onions, Siete “Tortilla” Chips, and LOADS of guacamole!


  • 1.5 – 2 pounds pork butt or pork shoulder (I prefer shoulder with a good amount of fat)
  • 1 yellow onion cut into strips
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-3 cups homemade chicken broth


  1. Slice onion and put it into your dutch oven
  2. Cut pork into 2 inch cubes, including fat, and place it on top of the onions in the pot
  3. Mix together the rest of the ingredients except the chicken broth in a bowl
  4. Pour everything over the meat and onions
  5. Barely cover the onions, meat, and other ingredients with homemade chicken broth
  6. Bring the chicken broth to a boil and then reduce to a simmer with the pot covered for 3 hours
  7. Once the three hours is over, crank the heat up to medium high
  8. Let the broth evaporate while you brown the carnitas
  9. You’ll need to babysit these while it browns or stay close while preparing other things in the kitchen
  10. Continue to scrape the bottom while the meat crisps up a bit and everything has a nice dark color
  11. Serve immediately


**Quality of pork matters, particularly when using a cut with a lot of fat! Use organic and well sourced pork whenever possible!

**You can double this recipe, but you’ll need larger than a 6 qt dutch oven (which is what I use!) for them to be able to brown well