Utah Bites

Easy Pork Carnitas

In this recipe for easy pork carnitas pork is cooked in orange juice and other ingredients, usually served in tacos or burritos.


I really love carnitas, which are especially popular in the Mexican state of Michoacan. It’s pork cooked in orange juice and other ingredients, usually served in tacos or burritos. You can make the carnitas in advance and then freeze or refrigerate them to use at your leisure. I like leftover carnitas with scrambled eggs, for example. 


  • 2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, roast or loin, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly mashed
  • 1-quarter onion
  • Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup lard
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Put the pork chunks into a cooking pot with the onion, garlic and a large pinch of salt. Cover the meat with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for one hour, until the meat is tender. Drain the pork chunks in a colander and discard the garlic and onion. 
  2. In a large skillet, melt the lard over medium heat. When the lard is hot, add the pork pieces along with the orange juice and milk. You don’t need to brown the pork in advance. Cook the meat for around 30 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the pan is mostly dry and the meat is nicely browned.
  3. Drain the meat again. 
  4. On a cutting board, chop/shred the pork carnitas and serve with tortillas, in tacos, etc.



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Food writer Ted Scheffler

Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.

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