Carnitas are basically just stewed pork that is shredded and then added to many sauces and dishes. This recipe explains how to make the basic meat mixture. If making traditional tamales then use the traditional red chili sauce recipe here and conserve all the cooking liquid and fat. The cooking liquid can also be strained and saved for many other stocks and sauces that may need a little pork flavor.
- 2 1/4 lb boneless pork butt or shoulder
- 5 cups water
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 onion diced medium
- 3 tbsp garlic diced roughly
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
In a large stock pot or dutch oven bring stock, water, salt and cinnamon stick to a boil. Turn heat down to a low simmer and add meat, onion and garlic. Cover partially and stew over very low heat for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally until meat is very tender and pulls apart into shreds very easily. Remove meat from pot and let cool. Meanwhile strain broth into a bowl discarding any solids. Let cool and skim off the fat if using for stock. Keep fat if making tamales. Shred pork with two forks. The carnitas can now be mixed into many different sauces for many different recipes. It will also keep packed in the cooking liquid for three days in the refrigerator.