Delicious Pork Carnitas Recipe from my friends at SonRise Ranch

SonRise Ranch is where I get all of my grass-fed beef and lamb and pastured pork and poultry. They’re fabulous! You barely need to season the meat it’s so delicious on it’s own. Luckily, I can pick up my order every week at the State-Street Farmer’s Market in Carlsbad or the Vista Farmer’s Market at the courthouse. This pork carnitas recipe comes from my buddy Steve – hope you enjoy it!

Pork Carnitas, by Steven Moak

When most of us think of pork carnitas, the iconic pork shoulder butt comes to mind as the ideal cut, but what if I told you that carnitas is not limited to an individual cut? Hopefully the recipe below will broaden your pork horizons and remind you that anything is possible with a little extra pork fat on hand.

What you need:

  • One pastured bone-in pork picnic roast (2-3 lbs)
  • One cup bacon fat (rendered from thick-cut, fatty, pastured pork bacon), or lard
  • ½ cup of your very own spice blend ( ground cumin, cayenne, sea salt, black pepper, dried oregano, and chili powder works for me)
  • One medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced


What you do:

Begin by thawing, rinsing, and thoroughly drying the pork roast. Place the roast on a plate and massage your spices into the meat on all sides.


Pork carnitas preparation

Heat a dutch oven or cast iron over medium high heat and add one tablespoon of bacon fat. When the fat is warm, sear the meat on all sides until brown. If using a cast iron for searing, move roast to a high-walled glass baking dish. Add the onion, garlic, the rest of the bacon fat, and about 2 cups of warm/ room temp water (the water level should be half-way covering the meat.)

Place in a 225 degree Fahrenheit oven for 4-6 hours, occasionally checking for fork-tenderness. When the meat is tender, use two forks to break the roast into small pieces, and set the meat aside in a bowl.


Shred the pork carnitas with two forks

We don’t want watery carnitas – place the dutch oven with the juices over high heat and bring to a hard boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula to prevent burning. Evaporate the water until the liquid is half of its original volume, or until it takes on a syrupy consistency.


Turn off the heat and fold the shredded meat in with the juices. Cover and keep warm in the oven until ready to eat.


Don’t live where you can get SonRise Ranch meats? Check out US Wellness Meats online store or go to LocalHarvest to find a farm near you.

Hope you enjoy! Thanks for checking out mycuppajo and reading my post! As always, hit me up on facebook or twitter, leave a comment below, or shoot me an email at!


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