Crazy-easy carnitas

When my beloved Jodie found Smitten Kitchen’s homesick texan carnitas recipe, we knew exactly what to do with some top round pork sirloin. With a few adaptations.

Sorry, no mouth-watering photo of food. I have this awful tendency to get so caught up in a yummy meal, I’m too busy eating to take pictures instead.


  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 c. apple cider
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice (from about 2 to 3 limes)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more to taste

For serving

  • Burrito-style tortillas
  • Avocado slices
  • Limes for squeezing
  • Lots of grated cheese, such as Monterey Jack
  • Salsa

Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, along with the apple cider, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt and enough water to just barely cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Don’t touch the meat.

After 2 hours, increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 45 minutes, occasionally stirring, until all the liquid has evaporated, leaving only the rendered pork fat. Let the meat sizzle in this fat long enough to brown at the edges, turning pieces gently (they’ll be eager to fall apart), only as needed.

When pork has browned on both sides, it’s ready. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve on warmed tortillas with fixings.

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