Adapted from: Lisa Fain’s The Homesick Texan Cookbook

Image credit: Smitten Kitchen

Carnitas, meaning “little meats,” are traditionally braised, roasted, and sauteed or fried to get a crispy outer layer off flavor, which is usually due to copious amounts of pork lard. While we love lard here at Walden, this recipe for carnitas is a bit more manageable, requiring no added fat at all.


2-3 pounds boneless pork shoulder OR Boston butt OR country sty|e pork ribs (fat untrimmed), cut into 2-inch cubes

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste

Corn tortillas plus your favorite fixings. We like avocado, cilantro, pickled red onion, and salsa verde.


Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and enough water to just barely cover the meat. Bring the pot to a boil’ and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for two hours. Don’t touch the meat.

After two hours, increase the heat to medium-high and stir occasionally to turn the pieces. Continue to cook for about 45 minutes, or until all of the liquid has evaporated, leaving only the rendered pork fat. Let it sizzle in this fat long enough to brown at the edges, turning pieces gently to brown both sides (they’ll easily fall apart if you are not careful).

When the pork has browned, it’s ready. Adjust seasonings to taste. If you like, shred with a fork and serve on warmed tortillas with fixings.