The only thing that makes this American Carnitas is that I served the carnitas on a bun one day instead of flour tortillas. Just a little easier to navigate, but the recipe for the carnitas is 100% Mexican.

American Carnitas

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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Degree of Difficulty : Easy
Servings: 4 people
Tip : You can buy peach salsa in a jar in most grocery stores. I used pickled pepper slices.


  • 2 tbpn vegetable oil
  • 2-3 lb pork shoulder cut into 1 1/2" cubes
  • 1 large Spanish onion halved and sliced
  • 2 whole pablano peppers seeded and ribs removed, sliced
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tspn ground cumin
  • 2 tspn chili powder
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 large orange zested and juiced
  • Queso - Optional
  • 1 lb Monteray jack cheese cut into cubes
  • 1 10 oz can hot diced tomatoes and chilis
  • Garnish
  • peach salsa or pickled pepper slices
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • sliced pickled peppers


  • Gather all ingredients before starting recipe.
  • Pre heat oven to 325°F.
  • Peel and slice onion.
  • Remove seeds and ribs from Pablano peppers and slice peppers into 1" rings.
  • Zest and juice 1 large orange.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add cubed pork, season well with kosher salt and black pepper, and sear in batches.
  • Remove pork and set aside. Add onion and pepper to skillet and stir to combine. Sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add oregano, cumin, chili powder and garlic and continue to stir until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add orange zest, juice and chicken stock then return the pork and any juices from the plate to the pan. Stir to combine. Bring to a fast simmer, then reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid or cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Place covered pan in a 325 °F pre heated oven and braise for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the meat can be shredded with a fork.
  • Move the meat to a baking sheet, reserving juices, and shred the meat with a fork.
  • For Qeuso sauce, cube Monteray Jack cheese and add cheese and canned tomato and chili to a small sauce pan and heat on medium low heat. Stir occasionally to combine cheese with the tomatoes.
  • Pre heat the broiler and place the shredded pork under the broiler for a few minutes, make sure that you keep and eye on the meat so that it does not burn.


  • Serve in a flour tortilla, or place a generous amount in a burger bun. Top with Queso sauce, peach salsa and cilantro, or sliced pickled peppers.

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