My mama’s carnitas are one of my all-time favorite recipes. Every time I cook them I’m transported to my childhood when the aroma of carnitas frying in a large copper pan in a large hole in our backyard would jam my brain cells. All I could think about for hours, was when will the carnitas be done, when do I get to take a bite and how much I can eat before I can’t move? After hours of frying the chunks of pork in Manteca (lard) my mama would remove the crunchy golden brown pieces chop them into bite sizes and make tacos with corn tortillas, cilantro, guacamole, and onions. I’d be in food heaven as I took each bite.
They are a family and friends favorite, and I’ve witnessed professed non-pork eaters devour them while they try to convince me that they can’t possibly be eating pork. I’ve had neighbors knock on my door because they had to know what I was cooking because the smell was driving them crazy.
Here’s my mama’s recipe but be warned, you might have complete strangers knocking at your door begging for a taste of this Mexican culinary favorite.
Molé Mama’s Carnitas Recipe
Large frying pan
Molcajete or blender
5 - 7 lbs of boneless pork shoulder
1 cup of Manteca
2 heads of garlic
1 cup of orange juice
Salt and pepper
Step 1 (Prep)
Cut pork into 2-inch cubes, remove excess fat (save)
Rinse all pork and fat after cutting - use a colander
In a molcajete or blender, puree garlic, with orange juice salt & pepper
Pour marinade over pork and cover, & refrigerate for at least 24 hrs
Step 2 (Fry)
Over medium heat melt Manteca in frying pan
Drain excess marinade from pork by using a colander
Pour pork into Manteca and fry for 2-3 hours over med to high heat. You will need to stir often. It will be done when it’s a crunchy golden brown. Cooking it longer will make the edges crunchier.
Best served as tacos with warm corn tortillas, cilantro, onions, and guacamole.
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