Pork Carnitas are a classic Mexican dish made from braised and shredded pork. This recipe is simple to follow and results in succulent, delicious carnitas every time. Serve them as part of a taco platter or enjoy them on their own - either way, they're sure to be a hit!
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the oven rack in the middle postion.
Add all of the ingredients to a dutch oven. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat.
4 pounds pork butt, 1 tablespoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, ½ medium white onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 cups water, ½ cup orange juice, ½ cup milk
Braise: Place the cover on the dutch oven and place it into the oven. Cook for 2 hours. Or until the meat can be pulled apart with a fork. You can also cook the meat in a slow cooker on high for 6 to 7 hours. [note 1]
Remove the meat from the dutch oven and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet. Let it cool while you reduce the sauce.
Reduce the sauce. Strain the cooking liquid and then place it back into the dutch oven over high heat. Reduce the liquid until you have about 1 cup left. It will become thick and slightly syrupy. This should take about 20 to 30 minutes.
Shred the meat. While the sauce is reducing, shred the carnitas. You want a chunky shred. Pull each piece of meat apart into a few pieces. Once the sauce is reduced add it over the meat and toss to coat the meat in the juices.
Broil the meat. Set the oven to broil. Evenly spread the meat on the baking dish so that you have a single layer. Place the baking pan into the oven on the middle rack and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and crispy. About 5 to 8 minutes. Flip over the meat and the broil on the second side for another 5 to 8 minutes.
Serve with fresh tortillas and your favorite toppings.
Slow cooker instructions for carnitas. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on high for 6 to 7 hours. You follow the instruction for shredding the meat and braising the meat as they are listed above. The sauce will take longer to reduce in the slow cooker. If desired you can reduce the sauce in a saucepan.