Carnitas Tia Maria’s Style

This is the best recipe that’s I ever made for carnitas. The recipe is easy and cooks for about 3 hours in the oven making the meat moist, succulent and very tender which falls apart with a fork. I recommend cooking it in a large cast iron dutch pan for best results. I also browned the top of the meat in the broiler for a few minutes creating crispy edges.


4 or 5 pound pork but (outer fat trimmed, cut into 2 inch cubes)

1 large onion (chopped)

1 large orange or tangerine (chopped)


1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon Portuguese red pepper paste or 2 red chili peppers (finely minced)

1 and 1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients to make tortillas: These are optional. You can use your favorite ingredients; small soft warmed tortillas, corn, black beans, chopped red onion, lime wedges, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. The pork takes 3 hours to cook in oven. You remove the lid from pan half way into cooking.

Season pork with my spice mix and chili powder. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or best overnight.

In a large cast iron pan, saute meat in olive oil on all sides. Add the onions, orange, red pepper paste and broth and stir.

Place pan in the oven and cook with lid on for 1 and 1/2 hours. After 1 and 1/2 hours remove lid and cook for remaining time.

Browning the meat in broiler:

Heat a cast iron pan or large tray in the oven. Strain meat from pan and place in cast iron skillet. Broil meat for about 5-8 minutes or until crispy on top to your desired taste.

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