One good thing about working from home due to COVID-19 is that I suddenly have time to try out recipes that have a long cook-time– now that I’m home all day it’s no problem to babysit something on the stove for a few hours before dinner! I flipped through my bookmarked recipes for something to try on a drizzly day, and came up with pork carnitas!

Carnitas are chunks of pork butt or shoulder, simmered for hours and then crisped up a bit over high heat. These couldn’t have been easier and were amazingly delicious, particularly when spooned onto warmed corn tortillas and heaped with a bunch of taco fixings. Once again, I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, so I knew it would be good!

I can’t wait until this whole social distancing thing is over and I can make a huge batch of these for a party.

Carnitas (from Smitten Kitchen)

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 to 3 limes)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste

  1. Add all ingredients to a Dutch oven (or large heavy-bottomed pot) and add enough water to barely cover the meat.
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmering and simmer for 2 hours, uncovered.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and cook for 45 more minutes, until water has evaporated and the meat is browning in its own fat. Turn occasionally– don’t worry if it starts to fall apart.


4. Serve with corn tortillas, avocado, pickled onions, cabbage, cotija cheese, cilantro… the works!

To make pickled red onions: Thinly slice 1 red onion into half-moons. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup water with 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tbs. sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Stir until dissolved and pour over onion in a bowl or jar. Let sit at room temperature for at least an hour. Refrigerate leftovers.


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