Amazing how Mexican food and bbq start off so similiar

Amazing how Mexican food and bbq start off so similar

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.

All that broth is needed

All that broth is needed


About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Dinner, Food, Mexican, Pork, Recipes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Carnitas

  1. Gerlinde says:

    My husband loves carnitas, this looks an easy recipe .

  2. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on MrMilitantNegro™.

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    I order this dish all of the time but have never thought to make it at home. Great tip for saving and later using the cooking liquids. It would be a shame to waste all of that flavor.

  4. I love carnitas, but I would be happy to just eat this pork before it has a chance to make it into a finished dish. 🙂

  5. Angeline M says:

    Another version we use in our household is wrapping the pork butt/shoulder in foil and put into slow oven (250 degrees) for about five hours; this is a dry version of the stove top method, but also can be mixed with tomato and onion and any other sauce of choice for tacos, etc. Your recipe is easy too, but that cinnamon stick is throwing this Tex- Mexican for a loop.

  6. Pingback: Twelve Days of Christmas: How To Make Tamales | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

  7. Raymund says:

    My favourite taco filling, yum!

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