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Carnitas

This style of slow-cooked pork is tender and has a crispy outside from browning in its own fat. Make this a couple of hours in advance, or prepare and refrigerate the day before you plan to serve it. Martha Stewart Living, May 2008. Recipe by Lucinda Scala Quinn.

  • yield: Makes 6 to 7 cups; serves 8

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Ingredients

  • 6 pounds pork shoulder (butt or picnic roast), bone removed, meat cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Place cubed pork, salt, and water in a deep, straight-sided 14-inch skillet. (Water should barely cover pork.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer gently, stirring and skimming foam from the surface occasionally, until water has evaporated completely, 55 to 60 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Once water has evaporated, pork will begin to brown in its own fat. Cook on all sides, using a spatula to turn cubes and scrape up crisp bits from the skillet, until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Pork can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Reheat in a skillet over low heat.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, May 2008

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Reviews (19)

  • 9 Jun, 2013

    This is wonderful and you just can't mess it up. I think the reviewer who said it was awful didn't cook it long enough. It's always tender and easy. Tonite I'm going to put it on a kaiser roll with bbq sauce or salsa.

  • 4 May, 2011

    I cut the recipe in half and it turned out wonderful. Even my husband, who is Mexican and whose favorite dish is carnitas, gave it a thumbs up! I also tried a variation of replacing one cup of water with milk, and squeezing the juice of 1/2 an orange on the meat and that turned out great as well. It was a little more tender than the original version. It took closer to 1 1/2 hrs for all the liquid to evaporate.

    All in all a wonderful and easy dish! Definitely serve with some salsa cruda!

  • 1 Feb, 2011

    This is the Best recipe for Carnitas I did add 2 grated garlic cloves I added garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and s

  • 31 Jan, 2011

    I added a couple of teaspoons of cumin to the water/pork mixture which adds another wonderful layer of flavor.

  • 19 Jan, 2011

    This was fabulous

  • 19 Jan, 2011

    This was fabulous

  • 2 Nov, 2010

    This pork is great! I cannot believe how easy it is to prepare!

  • 14 Oct, 2010

    Hi! I'm making these today. I really want to compliemtn on your TV show. I don't watch the other shows in the MS sequence because they are often too unrealistic for me in terms of what I will actually make. Your show is spot on. Thank you!

  • 12 Oct, 2010

    Just made these-They are exactly like you get in the Mexican restaurants-super delicious! I have one happy family tonight! BTW I love Mad Hungry!

  • 12 Oct, 2010

    I always order Carnitas at our local Mexican Restaurant. Glad to have a recipe so that I can make them at home. Thanks!

  • 11 May, 2009

    Sabe muy rico y es muy facil de hacer!!! para las comidas grandes es una buena opcin n n n n!

  • 7 Mar, 2009

    I think if the lid was on while it simmered then the water couldn't evaporate. I am trying this recipe this weekend. I'll let you know.

  • 20 Dec, 2008

    Very easy and everyone loved it! -Even the picky Kids!

  • 18 Aug, 2008

    Do you cover the pan when it's simmering or leave it uncovered?

  • 26 Jun, 2008

    Worst recipe I've ever made. I thought it would be an easy way to make something similar to real carnitas, boy was I wrong. Turned out rubbery and tasted rather foul. You'd be better off going out or using a rotisserie chicken to make the tacos. Terrible.

  • 1 May, 2008

    I've always wondered how to make this. Excellent and Simple
    I used it for my best friends Fiesta Birthday Party Last weekend. Not a bite left over. I served warm flour tortillas, sliced avocado, shredded cheese and sour cream to go with it. Also Salsa.

  • 29 Apr, 2008

    I made the taco bar last night for dinner and it was very easy! I am a vegetarian but my family loved the carnitas! They practically cooked themselves. The roasted tomato salsa was a different change from our usual salsa.

  • 24 Apr, 2008

    I'm throwing a Fiesta Theme Party this weekend for my best friends 60th Birthday
    I'm adding this to the menu
    ConfettiGuru
    www.chicoparty.com

  • 16 Apr, 2008

    Thank you so much for this technique, I have always wanted to know the secret to one of my favorite dishes. Now that I know this technique I am going to play around with the flavors add cumin and chili's maybe some garlic. It came out exactly as the show. My family loved it I will be making this as a regular taco filling now.