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89% would make again

Mexican Carnitas As Made By Claudette Zepeda

Tasty Team


for 12 servings


  • 5 lb pork shoulder (2.2 g), cut into 2-inch (5 cm) cubes
  • 2 large white onions, chopped
  • 10 avocado leaves
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup kosher salt (60 g)
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • cold water
  • ½ cup orange juice (120 mL)
  • ½ cup milk (120 mL)
  • 12 oz mexican style soda (355 mL), 1 bottle
  • 3 lb lard (1.3 g), cut into large cubes

For Serving

  • white corn tortilla
  • guacamole
  • pickled vegetable
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • lime wedge
  • rice, (made with cilantro)
  • pinto bean


  1. To a large pot, add the cubed pork shoulder, onions, avocado leaves, pepper, salt, garlic, and bay leaves. Add enough cold water to cover all the meat. Bring to a boil over high heat, then continue to boil for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the orange juice, milk, and cola, return to a boil, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 1 hour.
  3. Add the lard, let it melt, then boil off the rest of the liquid until the meat begins to fry, 1 hour more.
  4. Once the meat turns dark golden brown and is crispy, scoop it out of the pot and onto a paper bag or paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
  5. Serve with corn tortillas, guacamole, pickled vegetables, cilantro, lime wedges, cilantro rice, and pinto beans.
  6. Enjoy!

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