Carnitas Citrus Salad

This recipe is simple, but takes some planning because it requires a slow simmer on the stove for a few hours. I usually make it during the winter, but made some recently at my kid’s request. My boys (husband included) like to make carnitas tacos with corn tortillas, salad or shredded cabbage, black beans, avocado, and salsa. I don’t tolerate corn very well so I eat the same meal, but make a bowl or salad.


4-pound pork shoulder cut into 3-4 inch chunks (your butcher can do this for you or you can do it yourself)

Juice of 3 limes

Juice of 2 oranges

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 bay leaf

1 pinch red chili pepper

1 pinch each of salt and pepper

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro



Place the pork into a pan with a few inches of height around the edges. I like to use my cast-iron skillet. Let the pork brown on one side and then flip to the other side. 

Once the pork is browned on both sides. Add the spices, salt, and pepper and stir well.
Add the citrus juice and then enough water to cover the pork.
Bring the water to a low boil until the water all cooks away. This should take between 2.5-3 hours depending on how hot your flame is. You want to let the pork get brown crispy. As soon as the pan dries out and one side of the pork is crispy, turn the pork pieces and add a little more water to cook the flavorful bits on the bottom of the pan. Repeat this process 2-3 times.
Garnish with some fresh chopped cilantro and enjoy your carnitas in a salad, taco, or burrito.