These delicious crispy pork carnitas are a popular Mexican recipe that is served with warm corn tortillas. This is an easy recipe that is mostly hands off and it's perfect for parties or get-togethers!
What makes this Pork Carnitas a great Pork Recipe?
I've made pork carnitas so many times in the past but they were always just ok, nothing special, just ok. However this recipe will knock your socks off! The secret ingredient is Coca-Cola. That is the only liquid used in this delicious carnitas recipe.
The carnitas I made in the past were always so much more complicated and weren't even half as good as the recipe I'm sharing today. All you need are onions, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and Coca-Cola to turn pork butt into something out of this world delicious! Another great pork recipe would be my amazing pork sliders. Pork Sliders make a great bitesize appetizer perfect for game nights and house parties.
- Pork butt roast (cut into pieces)
- Garlic cloves peeled
- White onion
- Crushed oregano
- Olive oil
How to Make Crispy Pork Carnitas
The first step is to season and sear the meat on both sides. The pork butt should be cut up into pieces before searing that we way can create a a nice brown crust on most of the meat. Be careful not to crowd the skillet or the meat won't brown.
Transfer the seared meat to a casserole dish and add lots and I mean lots of peeled garlic cloves and sliced white onions on top. I also add a little bit of crushed dried oregano but that is optional. Now is when we add the coca-cola then cover it with foil and bake for a few hours.
As the hours go by your house will smell amazing and you may start to salivate. It smells that good! After about three hours it should be ready to shred. Now this next step is CRUCIAL if you want yummy crispy carnitas with a nice color! After shredding the meat return the dish to the oven and turn on the broiler.
The broiler will give it a crispy texture and the coca-cola will start to caramelize. I leave the dish under the broiler for a few minutes and then I take it out and stir and return to the broiler. I do this a few times so that most of the meat is able to caramelize and become crispy.
The crispy bits are my favorite I always eat a few pieces as soon as they come out of the oven and usually end up burning my mouth. I like to serve them with tortillas. We always use corn tortillas as those are our favorite. I usually keep it simple but you can add any of your favorite garnishes such as cilantro, salsa, chopped onion, etc. My husband always eats his with salsa macha. If you haven't had salsa macha before you're missing out. It's a very unique salsa from Veracruz, Mexico which is where my husband is from.
However you serve them, these carnitas are sure to be a hit! Thank you so much for reading I love sharing delicious recipes with you all!
Crispy Pork Carnitas Recipe
- 2.5 lbs pork butt roast (cut into pieces)
- 12 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 white onion sliced into rings
- ½ tsp crushed oregano
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 16 oz Coca-Cola
- Season the pork butt with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet.
- When oil is hot brown the pork for a few minutes on each side. Do this in batches so you don't crowd the skillet.
- Preheat oven to 275.
- Transfer browned pork to a casserole dish.
- Top with the peeled garlic, onion slices, oregano and finally the coca-cola.
- Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil and bake in oven for 3 hours.
- Take out the casserole dish and remove the foil. Shred the pork pieces with two forks. Removing any fat. Also remove the garlic and onions.
- Turn on the broiler and return casserole dish to oven.
- Let broil for a few minutes then take out and stir and return to broiler for another few minutes.
- Repeat this process until you get your desired level of crispiness. Most of the coca-cola should be evaporated by now.
- Season with more salt and pepper.
- Serve with warm corn tortillas.
More Pork Recipes:
What's the difference between pork carnitas and pulled pork?
Pork carnitas and pulled pork are both dishes made from slow-cooked pork, but there are some differences between the two.
By origin Pork carnitas is a Mexican dish, while pulled pork is a Southern US dish. Pork carnitas is typically cooked in lard or another type of fat until the meat is tender and crispy on the outside.
Pulled pork is usually slow-cooked with a dry rub or barbecue sauce until the meat is very tender and can be easily pulled apart with a fork.
What does pork for carnitas mean?
"Pork for carnitas" refers to the specific cut of pork that is typically used to make traditional Mexican carnitas. Carnitas is a dish made by slow-cooking seasoned pork until it becomes tender and crispy on the outside.
The traditional cut of pork used for carnitas is pork shoulder, also known as pork butt or Boston butt. Pork shoulder is a relatively fatty cut of pork with lots of connective tissue, which makes it ideal for slow-cooking methods like carnitas.
How to make Costco carnitas crispy?
Costco carnitas can be made crispy with a few simple steps:
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the carnitas from their packaging and place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the carnitas are heated through and the edges are crispy.
- If desired, you can broil the carnitas for an additional 2-3 minutes to get them even crispier.
- Once the carnitas are crispy, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
Note: It's important to make sure the carnitas are in a single layer on the baking sheet so they can cook evenly and get crispy all around. If they're piled on top of each other, they may not get as crispy. Additionally, you may want to check on the carnitas periodically as they cook to make sure they don't burn.