- Prep time
- 10 minutes, plus 8–12 hours marinating PT0.16666666666667M
- Cook time
- 90 minutes PT90M
- 4–6 servings
Making mouthwatering carnitas at home is easier than you think—the hardest part is waiting for it to finish!
- 1 whole pork shoulder (approximately 4 pounds), deboned and trimmed
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 5 limes, juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 jalapeño peppers, julienned
- 2 onions, julienned
Cut deboned pork shoulder into 2-inch chunks, then set aside.
In a mixing bowl, toss together the cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder, lime zest, salt and pepper. Coat the pork pieces with lime juice, then sprinkle liberally with spice rub. Allow to marinate overnight.
Place the pork pieces in an unheated large skillet or Dutch oven. Pour in enough water to cover the meat completely. Heat on medium-high heat until the liquid comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Flip the pork over onto its other side after 45 minutes, add the peppers and onions, and continue to cook until all the water is boiled off, about 1½ hours or more.
When the water is gone, use the remaining fat in the pan to brown pork on all sides until it has a crispy, golden brown exterior. After browning, shred the pork and serve with tortillas or chips and pico de gallo to make tacos, nachos or burritos.
Techniques used in this recipe:
- julienne: vegetables, potatoes, or other items cut into strips; 1/8-inch square x 1 to 2 inches is standard. Fine julienne is 1/16-inch square.
- coat: to sprinkle food with, or dip it into, egg, flour, chocolate, sauce, etc.
- <strong>zest:</strong> colored part of the peel of citrus fruit which contains flavorful oils.
- coriander seed
- <p><strong>coriander seed:</strong> an annual, native to the Mediterranean region. Due to extensive cultivation over the centuries, it now grows wild in most parts of Europe. Morocco supplies most of the Coriander imported into the United States.</p><p>It is not a terribly popular spice in American kitchens which is unfortunate because it possesses a lovely aromatic quality that compliments a wide range of meats and seafood, desserts and breads, and curry sauces.</p><p>The leaves and stems of the coriander plant are pungent and have a flavor which would be perceived as pecular if one was tasting it for the first time. The plant is widely popular and is known as <strong>cilantro;</strong> an extremely important herb in Mexican, Central and South American and Asia foods.</p>