8 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: marjoram, onion, orange juice, pati's mexican table, pork, Sweetened Condensed Milk
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Carnitas recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 3, Episode 5 “Family Fiesta”


  • 1/2 a white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cumin
  • 4 whole cloves, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lard, vegetable shortening or oil
  • 4 to 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt, cut into 4-inch chunks, fat on!
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

To Prepare

  • In the jar of a blender, place the water, onion, garlic cloves, marjoram, thyme, black pepper, cumin, stemmed whole cloves and 1 tablespoon salt. Puree until smooth.
  • Set a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Add the lard (or vegetable shortening or oil), and once it has heated up, add the pork chunks and sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Brown the meat on all sides, stirring and flipping as each side browns, about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the onion mixture over the meat, let it come to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Pour in the orange juice and sweetened condensed milk, add the 2 bay leaves, and give it a good stir. Let it come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low to low and cover.
  • Cook covered, stirring and scrapping the bottom of the casserole 2 to 3 times along the way, until the meat is completely cooked and coming easily apart if you pull one piece, about one hour and a half. Remove the lid, cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Scoop out the carnitas with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat behind, and serve in a bowl or platter. Shred with a fork, if desired, before tucking into tacos. Or do like we do, serve straight from the pot.
  • Serve with warm corn tortillas and pickled jalapeños or salsa verde cruda on the side.

379 comments on “Carnitas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Hi Pati
    We enjoyed eating these carnitas this weekend. We are kind of carnitas junkies 😁 but then I took one of your empanada recipes and my leftover carnitas and made a whole other dinner. 👍 love your food💗

  2. Wow, just wow – these Carnitas are sublime. THE Carnitas recipe – finally! Everyone was so blissfully happy eating these in tacos. We all agreed your recipe replaces the one I have used for years!! Thank you sooooo much! I love your show and the joy you bring to cooking. Your recipes are wonderful!

  3. Thank you Pati for this recipe. Super easy to make, only ingredient I did not have on hand was marjoram so I added a bit of oregano instead(not sure if that was ok though). It turned out great and my family loved it. I served it with guacamole, corn salsa.

  4. In honor of some friends, I made these for tonight’s dinner. The family LOVED the carnitas. Even my pickiest eater went for thirds! Thirds, people! It’s completely unheard of. So, thank you Pati for helping make our dinners yummier and brighter.

  5. Hi Pati!
    I’ve made this recipe several times and everyone loves it! I’m curious what the condensed milk does.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. I made this recipe last night, but lacking a dutch oven I added the ingredients to my 8 qt instant pot for 1 hour. It came out AMAZING!

    1. Wow Ricardo, thanks for the feedback, a lot of people ask how to make some of my recipes using and Instant Pot, so now we know for the Carnitas!

  7. I was hesitant in making because I buy carnitas… I don’t know how to make these. Well I made them. And I want to say much much better than bought ones. So delicious. I love this recipe. And I froze some.👍🏼

  8. This was the second time I made these and they were absolutely devoured by THREE of us! I am an instant hit with my adult children and their spouses when I cook ANYTHING from your shows. And my mom just came back from her Time-Share in Puerto Vallarta and brought me a new molcajete and Olla de Barro. I am so excited to be able to prepare authentic Mexican dishes. Thank you for making everything so easy to follow.

  9. Today I made this for the second time, and my family raves about it. I love that it’s so versatile. Some of us make tacos, others put it on salad, or sandwiches, or just plain. Thank you for the great recipes from one of my favorite cooking shows.

  10. I made these tonight and they are delicious!! My first recipe from your cookbook, and I am sold. We had them with the tomatillo-avocado salsa and the pickled jalapenos and the toppings took it over the top. Thank you Pati! If you ever make it to the Baja peninsula, there is a restaurant in Rosarito named La Flor de Michoacan with carnitas tacos that are absolute perfection – I would love to hear your take on their style.

    1. So glad you loved the Carnitas Emily! I was in Baja couple of years ago to film Season 7 of the Show, hopefully we’ll all be able to travel again soon 😉

  11. Pati, I just made this today. BEST carnitas I’ve ever had!!!! Thank you! I watch you all the time, and look up your recipes. I love how some are authentic and some are a mix. Can’t wait until your new season starts.

  12. Hi Pati! If I was to make 4-5 servings what would the measurements be? I need a smaller thing of pork than 4 lbs. I’m just not very good at changing the measurements.

  13. Pati, thank you, these Carnitas come out delicious.
    Now I am wondering about serving suggestions.
    For example you have some video segments showing some very beautiful delicious tacos (with various names) being built up with very specific combinations of toppings and sauce.
    These Carnitas are very delicious with the corn tortillas, and to venture farther when I keep making them I wonder if you also already know about some other ways to serve that are proven to be great ways of serving them?

      1. Oh, I see the linked recipe calls for Brown Sugar Carnitas but yes I could try this version of carnitas in the Tortas also!
        I bet I really will love them!
        Thank you, Pati!

  14. Hola Pati, I love your programs, have owned both of your cookbooks for a long time, and cook from them regularly. You continue to inspire me to try more and more Mexican techniques, ingredients, recipes and delicious meals! I am so grateful, especially during these difficult times! My dilemma, carnitas or posole. A combo? Why not!💞

  15. This recipe was estupendo!! So easy to make . I love your show and it always reminds me of growing up with my mom the way you interact with your family. Your show with Viviana Howard was great as well!

  16. I used this recipe today and I am sold!! Best pork I have ever made. So juicy, flavorful and tender. And really easy. Pati – my husband and I love your show and appreciate the love you clearly put into your cooking. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Thank you for getting us through quarantine! We all watch a couple episodes of your show everyday. I made this recipe last night and everyone was blown away! The best carnitas EVER! I immediately decided that I’m cooking this for the whole family once we can all be together again. I am truly grateful that your recipes give us the pleasure to celebrate the Latinx culture in our kitchen. Thank you!

    1. Aw Beth! Thanks for the sweet words 😉 These are really difficult and trying times and we all have to be there for each other right? Stay strong and healthy!

  18. Hello Pati,
    I thought I had a pretty good recipe until I gave yours a try today. Holy Moly, what a difference, the pork was so moist and the flavor, out of bounds!! I did use some Cuban pork stock I had saved and used it instead of water and I was glad I had it!!
    Thank you so much for sharing, it was unreal!!

  19. Hi pati. Don’t know how far this will reach but. I think you are awesome. I love your cooking style,vibrance and personality. I enjoy cooking it is my pation. Just wanted to let you know you inspire me. If my word could express my story and struggle I would but all I can do Is say thank you for being you. The struggle is real. Culinary manager after covid?? I think ??? For now?? Until we close then what? My whole life. Your great keep doing you

  20. I’ve made this recipe several times and love it. Did some experimenting (mad scientist) and recommend trying this:
    Separate meat (shread) from cooking liquid and refrigerate both.
    Defat cooking liquid, easily done out of fridge, comes right off the top.
    Hard simmer cooking liquid to reduce and thicken.
    Reintroduce meat and combine.
    Spread meat on sheet pan and broil, tossing occasionally, until crispy ends develop.
    I enjoy your show and recipes.

  21. Patti! Girl, this was amazing! I had it cooking all afternoon and my husband and I had to run an errand, when we got home the house smelled just amazing! My husband said I bet this is what Patti’s house smells like, lol. We cranked up the Latino tunes, cracked a cold beer, and even made our own corn tortillas. So GOOD! Thanks Patti!!

  22. My mother in law and I use this recipe and it is one of those not to be missed meals that is an event in our house. I love carnitas and order them a lot when we got out, and I’ve had some pretty good ones but yours are by far the best I’ve ever had.

    1. Not in this recipe Gloria, with the browning at the beginning and the cooking with condensed milk, the pork gets beautifully crisp and caramelized. Enjoy!

  23. I always thought I’d had the very best carnitas in the Paracho mercado publico, but this recipe is better! Thanks so much, Pati!

  24. Pati, I love carnitas but i have never made any, i’m going to try your recipe i will let you know how they turn out

  25. I follow you on Instagram and love your style. How do I print the recipes or save them to a location for future reference?

    1. Hi Thomas, on the bottom of each pic in the recipes, on the right hand side, you will see the printer icon. Thanks for following!

    1. Yep! I know it sounds funny, but it makes all the difference and caramelizes the meat in such a delicious way. Enjoy!

  26. Hi patti, tu crees que puedo poner las carnitas en la hollita de lento cocimiento despues que las brown? O es mejor en la estufa?

    Haber como me quedan, mi receta favorita es la sipa de tortilla me queda deliciosa jajajaja

  27. Oh my!!! This recipe for carnitas is the very best I’ve ever had!! The braising liquid with the unique ingredients and the addition on sweet condensed milk are fantastic!!!

    1. Well Donna, Carnitas have to be definitely pork, if not, they are just not Carnitas 😉 But you can try the same recipe with beef and call it something else 😀

  28. I Love Carnitas, I am hoping these are as good as I get in Mexico, They look great, I look forward to trying them and other of your recipes….thanks for highlighting Mexico’s great foods.

  29. I have been watching your show now for as long as you have been on. At the moment I am making the Carnitas. Every dish I make I make it for my husband a man straight from Culiacan, Sinaloa. When he takes his first bite I watch his face and he closes his eyes in delight. Gracias. And your cookbooks are wonderful. We also loved your series on Sinaloa.

  30. Omg i made this today. They are delish can’t wait to sherred and make taco’s. We love watching your show..

  31. Pati has one of the best cooking shows on t.v. She always has great recipes and I love the people and places she introduces the audience to. Gusta.

  32. I just started watching your show last week. I’ve seen some incredible dishes.
    My son and I decided to try to make the carnitas. They were amazing. Tan deliciosos. Never have I ever tasted anything so flavorful and so delicious. It was a big hit with my whole family. I also made your salsa verde with tomatillos crudos and avocado. I love it. Truly amazing. This was our first attempt at carnitas. So we were extremely happy. My son has been my side kick, since the lockdown. I’m glad we’re making memories and making delicious meals together. Thanks for inspiring us. Gracias Pati

  33. Can’t wait to make these for Mother’s Day! It will be so wonderful to share a super flavorful dish like this with my family. I have never added anything sweet to my carnitas before and I am so excited to try this version!

    1. Absolutely Tiffani, freeze the Carnitas and when you are ready to eat, thaw in the fridge, warm up and they will be perfect!

  34. Watching your carnitas episode and the husband wants me to try your recipe… Naturally, at the moment pork is hard to come by where we’re at due to the pandemic, but I’ve saved your recipe and will be making it as soon as I get a chance. I have always used onion, garlic, citrus, bay leaf, cumin and Mexican oregano. I’ll admit, the sweetened condensed milk and cloves give me pause for thought, but I have Mexican friends who include a cinnamon stick, so I know everyone has their own favorite recipe. I’ll be following up and letting you know how it turned out! We love your show, hope you and your family are (and stay) well!

    1. Thanks John, you will not regret using the condensed milk, trust me on this one 😉 Hope you and your family are also staying safe and healthy!

  35. These are to die for… no joke, just make them, don’t give it a second thought. However, we did make some adjustments given the ingredients we had on hand. We subbed oregano for marjoram, ground clove for whole clove and brown sugar for sweetened condensed milk (our son has a dairy allergy). These turned out amazing, we love Patti and watching your shows; so many good recipes and such fun to watch.

    1. Hi Alison, great subs for this recipe! We just have to make do with what we have on hand, especially in these weird times 😉

  36. I am making tacos tomorrow- taco Tuesday! I asked what kind of tacos my husband would like and he replied Carnitas! This sounds so delicious! I don’t have a dutch oven or a heavy pot, can i just use a regular stainless steel soup pot with a lid or an instant pot? i don’t want to wreck the taste or texture, we would be missing out if it was anything less than how it is suppose to be. I would’t know the difference but, my husband sure would haha. Thank you for your awesome recipes! I am thankful that we are able to share with our kiddos the traditional authentic Mexican food of my husband’s childhood, a part of who he is, a part of who my kids are.

    1. Thanks so much Samantha for your message, how sweet that you are making the Carnitas for your husband 😉 Of course you can use any regular pot with a lid, it will work perfectly. Good luck!

  37. We’ve been hankering for carnitas! I made myself follow the recipe to the letter and it was fantastic! Thanks so much for making taco night truly special!

  38. Pati, you have done it again! These are AMAZING! I think the sweet condensed milk gives it a really great flavor! I have already done this recipe twice! The first time I did it just as directed, the second time I tweaked it a bit by cooking it in a crockpot for 4 hours on high. Both ways are good, but the second made the meat super tender. Thanks for the recipe! I love your show!

    1. Thanks so much Joey for your message and for tuning in! Glad to hear you have tried the Carnitas more than once 😀 and thanks for the suggestion on the crockpot. Stay tuned because the new Season of the show will be all about Sonora!

  39. Hola Pati is there any difference in flavor or authenticity with this carnitas recipe and the brown sugar one? Quiero hacer las carnitas en casa por primera vez y no se cual escoger ? Auxilio!

    1. Hello Vanessa, both recipes are pretty authentic, one is citrus-y, the other milder, but both are really delicious 😉 Go first with the plain carnitas and see how you like this recipe. Enjoy!

  40. Hi Patti,
    I absolutely love your content! I have your latest cook book and I watch your program on Youtube all the time. Just a quick question. I’ve made your carnitas recipe twice now and mine never looks like your picture. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Tamara, maybe your Carnitas look better? 😀 What about the flavor, were you pleased? At the end is all that matters!

  41. Hola Paty, la admiro por toda su trayectoria y amor a nuestra cocina. Vivo en Alemania y me gustaría hacer las carnitas para amigos pero no sé cual de las dos recetas queda más jugosa y doradita, si es la leche o el jugo de naranja el que suaviza la carne. Hay alguna manera de ver sus shows fuera de los EEUU? Muchas gracias,que sigan sus éxitos.

    1. Hola Maria, mil gracias por tu mensaje. Yo creo que tanto el jugo de naranja como la leches son indispensables en esta receta. Hay varios paises en donde se ve el show a traves de Amazon Prime, ya probaste?

  42. Pati!!! This recipe is AMAZING! My Grandmother is from Mexico, and Mexican food is always instant comfort for me! I love making Mexican food for my friends, and know this is definitely going to comfort their hearts, souls, and stomachs! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  43. I wish I knew of a word that meant thank you x 1000. You are amazing in the kitchen and inspire me to take my cooking to the next level.

  44. I just made these carnitas. Absolutely delicious! And not as cumbersome as I thought it would be to make even after watching this episode. I’m so glad I did it! Thank you.

  45. Hi so for the Carnitas recipe what’s up to so can I use for the milk and the orange juice I am allergic to milk and allergic to orange juice but I would still like to make this recipe thank you,ISTRHA PS I LOVE YOUR SHOW

  46. Pati, is this the same recipe as those wonderful sandwiches from Tijuana? Back at home, you and your son spooned the two sauces over, and you said it made the bread happy! I couldn’t find in the recipes, and it made us so hungry last night. When you took a bite, we did along with you! Thanks. Love your show.

  47. Hi , I don’t have a pan that I can put in the oven , can I cook in pressure cooker or slowcooker ? How long do you recommend ?

  48. This recipe is so easy to follow and the results are nothing short of spectacular. The sweet twist on carnitas makes a meal that will be easy to repeat and always remembered by your family or guests. Great results all three times it was made.

  49. Thank you so much for this flavor filled dish. I am not a seasoned cook so I was grateful your directions were so easy to follow. The ingredients are not something I would ever think to put together – one of the reasons I love your TV show – my mouth could not have been more pleased. I started this dish and shortly after called family over for dinner because the fragrance was so enticing. I also made your Salsa Verge to go along with it for scrumptious tacos. You are a blessing <3

  50. Ipati l love your show and all of your meal .you love Mexico . your mom looking so pretty and smart also your dad to. Mind family want to no make pozloRed …we don’t miss a show your boys look just like your husband. Take care see you soon.

  51. Hi Pati, I just wanted to let you know I made this last weekend for my family and they all LOVED it! Albeit, my mom and dad were both VERY skeptical when I said I was making carnitas (both born and raised in Mexico until their 40s when we immigrated to the US), but both were SUPER surprised with how delicious these came out. I will def be making them again. Thanks so much Pati!

  52. Not sure if this posted the first time i would love to try this was just wondering what the 4 whole cloves was of

    1. Oh I mean the spice, clove. You can find cloves at your local supermarket. They come either ground or whole.

  53. of course they came out excellent. however i used to much meat and i noticed after shredding, i would have liked MORE juice. what can i use to add more juice to the meat??

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Valerie! Next time, you can increase all of the other ingredients in the same proportion. So if you use double the meat, you can double all the other ingredients.

  54. Wow! This was fantastic even though I substituted some things. I didn’t have any sweetened condensed milk, so I put a little whole milk and some apricot preserves. I also put some celery in with the garlic and onion because I like celery and wanted to clean out the fridge. Also, I just used vegetable oil since I never buy lard.

  55. These were yummy! But they never got browned like in your picture. I used a large steel dutch oven over the stove and they were pretty much swimming in the liquid ingredients. Maybe it wasn’t wide enough? What did I do wrong? Please help!

    1. So glad you enjoyed the carnitas! If you want to get some more brown on the meat you can put the meat under the broiler to get them more brown or you can also let them brown a bit more in the pot…raise the heat in the end for a few minutes and let them sear for a bit longer.

  56. Holy guacamole! Made this for Easter and if I closed my eyes, I swear I was at a little roadside stand in Guadalajara. Have to make two pots next time. We ran out. Happy Cinco De Mayo.

  57. I must be the only one on this thread who’s carnitas didn’t turn out! So embarrassing😕. I mean the flavor was delicious even though I admittedly forgot the bay leaves but by the time an hour and a half went by all of the braising liquid had evaporated and the meat was on the rough dry side. My stove does run a little hot. I even made it with less meat, 1 1/2 kilos. Whay do you think happened?

    1. Oh yes, you’ll want to turn down the heat. The heat should be at the lowest setting. I hope you give them another go, Jasmine!

  58. Another great recipe from Pati! This is one of our favorites for a party….everyone loves it. Excellent for a buffet. Thank for all of your great food inspiration Pati!

  59. This is delicious!! I used pork tenderloin and it still was delish! What can I substitute for the sweetened condensed milk? I think when I made it I used half & half? I am making it again today with boneless pork butt. I know it will ALL get devoured again? are a delight!

  60. I have been making what I thought was a really fabulous carnitas recipe, I was a little hesitant because of the thyme and marjoram…….. but holy moly, this is the most delicious absolutely amazing recipe ever!! Once again you have stole the show! Muchísimas gracias xoxoxox

  61. AMAZING! I was hesitant to make carnitas because I usually don’t like them since they are often very dry. Holy moly, these were the best carnitas I ever had! And everyone else agreed. Please, please, Pati, add another date for your Mexican Table in DC, this year’s sold out so fast =(

  62. Hi Pati,

    I’m always in search of the best carnitas recipe that’s practical to prepare at home (something other than deep-frying in lard). After reading through this and your Brown Sugar Carnitas recipe, I have 2 questions:

    How can 1 Tbs of lard be enough to brown 5 lbs. of pork (the other recipe uses 1 cup)?

    The Brown Sugar recipe calls for 1 cup of lard and there’s no mention of draining/removing it. Given that pork shoulder renders a tremendous amount of fat when cooked, in addition to the cup of lard, how does this not result in an incredibly greasy/lard-laden sauce when finished?

    Thank you so much in advance for all the wonderful recipes and advice you are kind enough to share with the world!

    1. Hi Mark, after the carnitas are ready you can remove the remaining lard/fat. The amount is enough because the pork tenders fat as it cooks..

  63. Made this for dinner tonight.
    Followed the recipe precisely, served it from the pot.
    Cilantro rice with it.
    Everybody was crazy about it.
    This is absolutely delicious.
    Had some corn and flour tortillas for folks who wanted them.
    The sauce would make an old pair of flip flops taste delicious. 😉

  64. I made the carnitas today and they turned out delicious. I followed the recipe faithfully and the results surpassed my expectations. I removed the pork after was cooked, reduced the braising liquid, shredded the pork and added it back to the reduced liquid. I was able to get the pork with the fat cap at a Mexican store so that added to the flavour.

    Thanks for sharing.


  65. I super love your show! Am a Filipina and just moved here in Texas 10 months ago from PH. Am an avid fan of Mexican cooking! I tried this carnitas and the aroma coming out from the Dutch oven while am simmering it, is to die for! Thanks for sharing this recipe and I will try recreating more of your recipes in my own little kitchen! My husband really liked this carnitas as well! A perfect taco Tuesday night for us!

  66. Pati,

    Love the show, love you. Wish I lived closer to take a class.

    I am gearing up to try this recipe but I wanted to double check the cook time. Certainly it must be correct based on all these rave comments BUT as long time BBQ guy and sous vide guy, I do have to wonder how you are getting tender rendered shoulder in just 1.5 hours. Am I reading this right? I rarely cook shoulder in the oven for less than 4-6 hours and on the BBQ it’s about 12 hours. Just want to be sure as I’m making this for a potluck gathering.

    Cheers and thanks.

  67. I’m trying this tonight. I dont have that nice pan so I’m using a Crock-Pot for 8hrs. I plan on taking out the meat and ladling the juices out into a pan on the stove and reducing it on he stove then adding the meat back to the juices once it’s a little reduced and thickened and caramelized .

  68. Hola Pato, en este episodio de carnitas usted hiso margaritas de cilantro. Podría compartir la receta para yo compartir con mi familia?
    Caramelo’s carnitas está en mi lista de vacaciones pero igual y no recuerdo en que PARTE de México fue.


  69. Hola Pati, i finally made Carnitas today, and it was one of the best pork dishes I’ve had! (Y soy Cubana, ya sabes que sin lechon no puedo vivir). My family (including my Chilean husband and Jewish son in law) loved it!! I served it with arroz con cilantro and a cabbage, jicama and cucumber salad. Tomorrow, we’re looking forward to nachos. Thank you Pati!

    1. What a feast, Clara…and what a honor that it is one the best pork dishes you’ve tried! PS They’ll be great over nachos…getting hungry just thinking of it.

  70. I made this tonight with your salsa verde crudo and gaspacho. Delicious! But what to do with the leftover carnitas?

  71. I am SO EXCITED that I found your show and recipes! After living in San Diego for 7 years, I moved to the middle of Virginia where I really can’t find even the ingredients I need to cook good, authentic Mexican. I made this recipe with the salsa verde on Sunday and it was so wonderful. I can’t wait to cook more of your recipes and share them with all of my new friends! Thank you, Pati!

  72. ¡Hola Pati!
    First off I love your show and I will be buying your cookbooks. I just made this recipe and it smelled and tasted sooooo good! I was wondering if you ever broil the shredded meat for 6 mins? Also do you go by time or temp? 200 degrees F about right?

    Gracias para todo y your voice makes us men cooks weak in the knees jajaja 🙂

    1. So glad you liked the recipe, Ian! If you want to put them under the broiler to get them more brown, you can also let them brown a bit more in the pot…raise the heat in the end for a few minutes and let them sear for a bit longer. I usually go for time…

  73. Made the carnitas last week and they were fantastic! My picky eaters even ate them. Two tacos each! This recipe is easy to make and so flavorful. My favorite part is adding the onion mix to the pot. The aroma is heavenly. I love it!! It freezes well too. Next time I’m making a double batch and add it to my standby freezer dinners.

  74. Hi Pati, I am in Australia and regularly watch your cooking segment. I’ve tried many of your recipes and always they are perfect and enjoyed by all. Yesterday I watched you prepare carnitas and so today I made it, it turned out fabulous. How lucky you are to live in such a wonderful place, I would go crazy lol spending my dollars there and love every moment. I wish you and your family the very best , and I will keep watching.

      1. Pati-eres lo máximo en el arte de la ‘Gastronomía for dummies en casa!’ Good title, as well! Spanglish works as well, right!
        Felicidades por todos tus logros y aun hay mas, querida!

  75. Hi! We made a very close version of this dish last spring with my family and the results were pretty amazing. We made carnitas tacos which we paired with toppings such as chopped red onion, cilantro, jalapenos, sour cream, queso AND Yucatan brand Habanero Hot Sauce. Lastly, we also topped our tacos with Pati’s tomatillo salsa. SO DELICIOUS.

  76. Hi Pati.
    I decided to make this dish for my granddaughter’s 3rd birthday party. I fried 2 batches separately then simmered both together in a bigger pot. I didn’t taste test before the the party so I was really nervous about serving the carnitas as my only main dish. I was so grateful that everyone absolutely loved the carnitas and the salsa verde with avocado. I even packed plates to go!
    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    P.s. I forwarded your cookbook offer to my kids and suggested this would make the best mom Christmas gift ever.

  77. Carnitas are my husband’s favorite it’s all he orders at restaurants. this looks so easy by I’m a little scared to try it. Was wondering if you could help me figure it out my favorite meal in Mexican restaurants. It is a thin chicken breast cooked with a thin slice of ham with a white cheesy sauce on it I think. I have tried to imitate it but just can’t quite get it. Absolutely love your show you are so fun to watch and you make everything look so easy

  78. Hi Pati I am trying to find this episode to make the whole menu I think u made homemade tortillas as well. Can u help me find this Thank you ! Love your show

  79. I made your carnitas recipe last night, and this is now probably the tenth time I’ve used it. My wife and I were turning out tortas for friends and carnitas is one of our favorite fillings. Everyone raved about how good the carnitas were and they would often sneak little bits from the prep area.

    This is by far the most favorable, most consistent, and easiest to clean-up after carnitas recipe I’ve found in my search for the best carnitas recipe. They turn out beautifully EVERY time. People light up when I tell them to come over and this is what we are having.

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s taken the top spot in my personal recipe book for best carnitas!

  80. Hello! My 13 tear old son Sean and I watch your show and LOVE IT!!! He requsted carnitas for his bithday, can the be made with steak? Thanks

  81. Pati, I made this in my crock pot. Browned the meat in the pan, cooked with the onion water then transfered to the crock, added the oj and brown sugar, we don’t use milk. Cooked on low 7 hours. Since liquid doesn’t reduce much in a crock, I strained the liquid and reduced it in a shallow fry pan till it was thick (simmer, stirring, about 10-15 minutes) added it back to the meat to cook for 1 more hour with the lid slightly open. Definitely a winner and totally doable in the Crock pot!

  82. Hi Pati,
    My husband and I so enjoy watching your mouth-watering adventures through Mexico!
    This recipe looks delish! Think I could make this in a slow cooker? If so, any idea how long?

  83. Hi Pati,
    I´ve cooked your carnitas recipe last night and my husband ate 8 tacos ha ha ha..
    We´re from Mexico living in Australia and carnitas are close to our hearts.
    I just would like to know if carnitas could be cooked in presassure cooker, will that change the end result?
    Ita ?

  84. Patti, you are a carnitas goddess. This recipe is Fantastic! Be sure to make the salsa verde cruda everyone, it goes beautifully with the carnitas.

  85. Made this dish for my polish family. Everyone wants the recipe. Fantastic just as is. My family now calls me Carlos. Lol

  86. This is, hands-down, THE BEST carnitas I have ever had! The recipe is 100% fool-proof, takes very little effort to make, yet tastes like a top chef slaved over a hot stove all day! Since I do not have Pati’s amazing blender, I used my inexpensive food processor, and it did a relatively good job of creating the braising liquid. I also used 1/4 tsp. of ground cloves, in place of whole cloves. I will be making this recipe, again and again! YUM!

  87. I saw this episode and told my wife we had to try these. We made these for the first time tonight for a small Cinco de Mayo get together and they were a big hit. May be the best Carnitas I have ever had. This will become regular menu item in our house.

  88. I have made these a few times now and I am pretty sure the hubs would live on just these. I made them in the oven today and they turned out great! I skipped searing the meat and just put everything in my cazuela at 275* for 3 hours. Gracias!

    1. I may try it this way, since I have 8 pounds of meat! Did you cover it? but I may sear mine first. Any tips welcome.

      1. Hi Bethany! Yes, I covered the Carnitas while cooking and I seared the pork first as well. I am sure you will love this recipe, let me know how it comes out 😉

  89. This sounds so interesting. I just got a beautiful huge piece of pork butt. I usually make pulled pork (mine is killer) but I want to explore carnitas. Looked at recipes everywhere. The cloves never have appeared. But I think you have such a handle on real Mexican food. Other recipes say do not use any cumin…and noticed you just had a very small amount. I have seen milk…not condensed. Can I just use whole milk? (and see your reply to use brown sugar)Do you think real lard is really important? I truly love your show and your beautiful accent.

    1. I recommend that you try my recipe just as I have it, it’s so good! Yes, for sure lard gives it a really nice depth, but if you don’t have it, it will be tasty with vegetable oil too.

  90. I made this recipe for a dinner party last night and it was a HIT! I served half of the pork just as the recipe says. For the other half, I made the red sauce from your “Fast Track Chicken Pibil Sandwich” recipe and added a couple of jalapenos to the mix for some extra heat. I simmered the carnitas in the sauce and it was over-the-top delicious! Everyone was raving about the food and I was sure to tell them Pati Jinch is to thank.

  91. Pati Your carnitas recipe is the bomb!, I hve a friend who is lactose intolerant. How can I make the carnitas without the sweetened condensed milk ! I love your shows and all your recipes. Keep up the good work

    1. Hi George, You can replace it with a tablespoon of brown sugar. Or leave it out completely – the final product will only be slightly less sweet without the sweetened condensed milk because the orange juice also gives it a sweet flavor.

  92. This was AMAZING! I just found your show and this was the episode…tried the Carnitas….I can not wait to make it again! Sooooo excited to try other recipes!

  93. This recipe was awesome! I had it with some grilled onions, peppers, cilantro, and pinto beans and rice. And of course homemade guacamole. I also made some tlalpeno soup to go with it! Thank you for the great recipe.

  94. Pati, I really enjoy your show. Watching the tamales making episode right now. My Grandma would drink apricot brandy when she would make tamales. I was wondering if you know of the address of the Carmelo’s in Houston? Cannot find it or know which one is the correct one. Thank you for any info.

  95. Pati is there anything I can do with the leftover braising liquid for the carnitas? It smells so wonderful and I don’t want to waste it!

    1. Hola Corbu, You can replace it with a tablespoon of brown sugar. Or leave it out completely – the final product will only be slightly less sweet without the sweetened condensed milk because the orange juice also gives it a sweet flavor.

  96. I made this yesterday and it was delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Followed all the ingredients as listed. I removed the pork from the liquid and put it on a foil lined pan and broiled it for 5 minutes per side. I’m drooling as I type this with the anticipation of left overs.

  97. I belong to one of the largest cooking groups in Facebook. It is called the Instant Pot group and has over 30000 members. It is also one of the fastest growing groups. Many people ask for pork recipes. They’re always get advice on pulled pork. I always post a link to your Carnitas page. There are many people who have tried it and like it as Mich as I do.

  98. I made the Carnitas yesterday and it was great. I prepared everything exactly as the recipe said except for adding a half a jalapeno to the onion mixture. The meat was excellent and the sauce was so delicious — we kind of wanted to drink it but realized it was pretty salty to do that. I served with some “refried beans” I made and the usual toppings for tacos: avocado, onion, tomato, cilantro, lime and salsa verde. We are looking forward to leftovers for dinner tonight! I must say I thought the sweetened condensed milk was odd but I did it anyway and all was well. Try this recipe and then find something to do with the delicious sauce afterward. Thanks Pati!

  99. I love how delicious and simple this recipe is! I’ve made this for friends numerous times… this is now a requested dish! Thanks!

  100. Would I be able to make these with pork loin ends or not enough fat? Picked these up by mistake. Also could u replace the sweetened condensed milk for full fat coconut milk? We don’t eat dairy.

    1. Hi Drea! Yes, you can use pork loin ends, but you need to add a bit more oil to the pot and they will take about 1/2 the time! And yes, you can sub for the coconut milk, or just a teaspoon brown sugar, what it will give it is an agent to caramelize the meat as it finsihes off cooking… will turn out delicious!

  101. Hi Pati,
    I made these with the Salsa Verde and they are so delicious! I visited my son the next day and brought some to share with him for lunch and he loved them too. I have frozen a few packages for later since I cook for one person. Do you know if it will freeze well, and for how long?

    1. So glad you and your son liked the recipe! Yes, they will freeze very well up to 6 months! Just thaw and reheat over low heat.

  102. Hi Pati!

    This will be my second time I try your recipes, I loved the first one, it was the Mole!
    I’m cooking this for a friend’s birthday dinner, she can not have cow’s dairy so I can not use La Lechera, can I sub with say sugar water? I’m guessing the sugar of the milk might caramelize in the dish, any suggestions?

  103. I adapted your recipe to use in an Instant Pot. I cut the time to 40 minutes and it worked great. I am going to brown it under the broiler (we used to deep fry our carnitas). I’m going to strain the leftover liquid and make beans with the stock. Because pressure cookers don’t have evaporation I think that I will leave the water out of the braising liquid the next time. Love your show!

  104. Pati, could I put the condensed milk and orange juice into the blender with the liquid or no? Can’t wait to try this in my dutch oven!

    1. Hi Chris! I think it works nice as it is, because then you give the cooking liquid time to cook and heat up… But you may wish to try it the other way, if you do, let me know!

  105. Would the carnitas freeze well for a short period of time? Live alone, love good food, and it is hard to cook for only one. Thanks

    1. Hola Jean, Yes! You can freeze them in a tightly sealed container or zip-lock bag for up to a month. Allow time to thaw before re-heating.

  106. Pati

    Thank you for such an amazing recipe. I made it last night, and every one loved it. I even had to pack some up for a to-go meal after my friend had seconds. I love the recipes you share. They make me feel close to my culture.

    Thank you again.

  107. This is a gorgeous and easy recipe. Somehow (probably because I added too much liquid) I have about 3 cups of divine broth. I think I’ll just make more carnitas with it– any other ideas?
    I suppose it could be nice for a chicken tortilla soup, but not for beans, since it is perhaps a bit acidic. I really would love to use it for black beans, what do you think/

    your huge fan at our house,

    1. Hola Elizabeth, Thank you for making the carnitas! Interesting idea to add the carnitas broth to beans! 🙂 If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

  108. Terrific, and the easiest carnitas recipe I’ve found. Will repeat often! We did just serve it from the pot, heavenly. I could not find my marjoram so used Mexican oregano. The only problem is that I have more than a pint of cooking liquid I can not bear to discard. Besides making more carnitas, do you have any ideas about what to do with it? I know I’m not supposed to have a lot of leftover liquid…. I would use it for beans if it were not salty. Thanks for any suggestions, if none, I will add it to vegetable soup. We are SUPER big fans of yours!

  109. My 16 year old daughter and I cooked this on a raining Saturday afternoon and she loved it. It was so easy to make. Thank you for sharing!

  110. Hi Pati! I wanted to thank you for this amazing recipe. I made it for the second time, tonight, and my husband says that it is his favorite meal. Period! My son loves it, too, and was happy to not be eating college food tonight (he came home for the weekend). It is nice to be able to make something that I, in the past, thought was terribly complicated–and to have it turn out so well! Thank you for making it possible for me to make excellent Mexican food!

  111. Hi Pati,
    This recipe is amazing considering how simple it is to make. I love your show! Every time I watch it, It brings back these beautiful, warm and cozy childhood memories. Growing up in a latin home of scarce resources was not easy, but mom & dad always managed to stretch out every penny to give us a healthy and or traditional meal. I was born in Guanajuato and raised in the States so I got the best of both worlds.

    I can totally relate to the stories and history while you cook on the show. I still remember the stories shared during those times while my mom cooked in the kitchen: everything from embarrassing, funny, happy, to sad and uplifting, my parents stories of living the Cristero War in their childhood, ghost stories, illness, trips and Guanajuato’s old history, and of course current life events. There’s an incredible connection between food and family that even the most frugal meals came with great enrichment to the soul , be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, somehow you feel more connected and appreciative when you learn the story behind the ingredient or a particular dish.

    As grownups my siblings and I would take our kids on most sundays to “La Casa Grande” to visit mom and dad, just enjoying the moment with mom’s authentic cooking , sharing life as it happened, that is until we lost her a year ago. I miss her greatly but in my heart I will always cherish those warm memories. Thanks for the show which stirs all those good feelings.

    Hope you can visit Guanajuato sometime, its an old beautiful city, very colorful, full of life and history, a city standing still in time. Perhaps someday you can present some recipes from the region.

    Es un orgullo tener a alguien como tu que con tanta pasión representa nuestra comida, historia y cultura y nos hace revivir nuestra niñez una y otra vez y a su entorno muestra la riqueza y sencillez de la comida mexicana. Gracias !

    By the way, JuJu was very right. When you cook you make people happy, my son says the same thing. Thanks again!


    1. Hola Mercedes, Thank you so much for your lovely message! I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother, and it means a lot to hear that the show brings back happy memories. I love Guanajuato! We visit it in the next season — coming in 2015.

  112. Hola, pati! Mi familia siempre pendiente de tu show nos encanta, muncho. Mi hija selen
    a tiene 10 años te manda munchos saludos y a tu familia tambien,, andva buscando la receta del arroz verde, me encantaria aserlo ahora para la cena.gracias!!

  113. I’m a fan! I will share your show and website with my sisters! You make cooking real authentic Mexican food so easy.

  114. Made the carnitas for dinner tonight, omg they are sooo delicious! I used my pressure cooker but otherwise followed your recipe exactly. We made tacos in corn tortillas and I also made “My Favorite Green Rice”; my husband and son ate too much, everything was so good. Did not get to make the salsa, will do that next time. Thank you for sharing your recipes!

    1. Hola Sharon, So happy your family enjoyed the carnitas and green rice! You will have to try with the salsa next time!!

  115. Hi Pati, i was wodering what brand is the blender you use on your show? Love the show and watch it as much as possible.

  116. Hi Pati –

    Just made the carnitas + salsa verde. Soooo good! Many thanks. I just found you on tv, and look forward to more of your shows.

    One question: can the salsa verde be frozen?

    Many thanks and continued success in following your passion!

    1. Thank you, Ann! Yes, you can freeze the salsa verde in a tightly sealed container or zip lock bag…just give it a few hours to thaw in the refrigerator before serving. (I also like to let it warm up to room temp before eating.)

  117. Me encanta su show, vivimos en un pu
    eblito que se llama Polo en estado de m.o
    Me gustaria saver si puede aser las carnitas solamente en el horno??
    Tambien como aser tamales de puerco, receta?? Gracias i saludos

  118. Hi Pati, I’m Canadian and I love cooking food from different cultures. I admit that although I have not had a lot of Mexican food, since I watch your show on Create, I want to try everything! The food you cook looks so fresh and delicious. I can relate to your passion for cooking for your family and feeding them well. I have now discovered new dishes and flavors that I can hardly wait to try. The first thing I will cook are the carnitas. Thank you for introducing me to Mexican cuisine and I hope to see you for a long time on Create.

  119. Hi, Pati!

    I caught your show this morning and saw you were making carnitas, which is my all time favorite taco filling. However, every recipe I have ever found seems incredibly complicated and more than a little intimidating. Then I watched you making the carnitas and decided that yours is the recipe for me! I cannot wait to make this for my family as a treat, so I have the recipe in my purse and am heading to the store to get everything I need to make them, and also the grilled pineapple margaritas you served with them on your show. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

    1. You couldn’t make me happier, Stephanie! If you need anything along the way or have any questions, let me know!

      1. Hi, Pati!

        Now that you mention it, do you have any hints on how I can get the store bought corn tortillas to remain supple and not cracking when filled? I buy the soft corn tortillas, but they must be too thick because even though I warm them on both sides in a pan before filling them with goodies, they seem to crack right down the middle and allow all the fillings to fall out so that my family has to eat them with a fork. Any thoughts on how I might remedy this?

        Thank you!

  120. Hello Pati! I absolutely love your show! I just finished watching “Family Fiesta”. All I can say is YUM!

  121. Hi Pati I saw your carnitas episode last night it looks delicious I will try soon. My question is what kind of pan or pot did you use the orange one? My girlfriend loved it and I want to buy it for her birthday.


  122. Hello Pati, i love love love your cooking show. I lived in Dallas, tx for years and love mexican food. I can’t wait to make your carnitas for my kids. Keep up the good work. You are the best!.

  123. Hola pati!!!
    I just finished watching your show on create and I have to say me and my husband watch your show everytime it comes on even if it’s a rerun. We can’t wait to create this delicious plate of carnitas!!! I wish I could meet you in person !

    Saludos De Houston, TX !!

  124. Thank you so much for your carnitas recipe! I’ve been waning to make this for years but always thought it would be hard but you make it look so easy.
    I was wondering if using flour tortilla instead of the corn ones would taste just as good? 🙂

    1. I like to eat carnitas with corn tortillas, and it is also more usual. But I am sure they would taste wonderful with flour tortillas too, it is a matter of preference, go for it!

    2. Flour tortillas are pretty much authentic only to the Sonora area in Northern Mexico. White corn, preferably homemade, is the way to go here.

  125. Patti

    I love your show! I made this entire menu today for Easter. We were tired of ham. 🙂 Everyone loved it! My husband, who bakes, also made your Tres Leches cake for dessert which was awesome.

    The only thing I added was shrimp quesidillas for an appetizer.

    Thanks for putting out such a great show!


  126. Hi Pati!

    I made your carnitas yesterday and my husband fell in love with them when he opened the front door and smelled them cooking- and even more so on the plate. Absolutely delicious!!! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes with us- we both love watching your show on Create!

    Have a Blessed Easter!!

  127. Hi Patt I love your recipes , I tried your carnitas and they came out wonderful my family really loved them, I will be making them for Cinco DE Mayo on my daughters 18th birthday, keep the recipes coming thank you

  128. Hi Pati! Should my Carnitas be so soupy? I don’t remember yours looking so soupy, We can’t wait to eat tonight! We love the joy you bring to cooking!

    1. Hola Suzy, Thank you for your message! Much of the liquid should cook out — and you’ll want to scoop the meat out with a slotted spoon when it’s finished cooking. I hope you enjoy.

  129. Hello Pati,

    I love watching your cooking show. The passion you have for food comes through in each episode and is inspiring to me to try your mouth watering recipes.

    Kindest regards,

  130. Hi Pati,I saw your carnitas show, and everything looked great! I also got to see your boys-how handsom they are! Pati-I grew up watching my grandfather and uncles cooking carnitas, and even my mother too,and carnitas were always cooked in lard as you well know,and never adding anything else, but when I saw you putting sweetened condensed milk, I cringed, wondering what does it do to the meat, and will the carnitas have that sweet taste of the milk? can you please explain what it does to the meat, I’m willing to try it.

    1. Sweetened condensed milk is a well kept secret in many homes in central Mexico for making carnitas. It is used very sparingly along with orange juice and it adds a very light layer that caramelizes and tenderizes the meat as it cooks: you won’t believe how good it is until you try it!

  131. Loved the carnitas episode. I am trying to find the carnitas carmelo’s restaurant in Houston with no luck. Their website is under construction. Any chance that you have the address? Would greatly appreciate the help.

      1. Looks like they are not located in Houston at all!!! :(. They have gotten some inquiries on their Facebook page, to which they reply that they are in Arlington, which is in the Dallas area!

  132. Saw your show on PBS. Normally the recipes look so complicated on cooking shows that I don’t even bother, but this one looks like a keeper and uses regular ingredients. I could practically smell the carnitas through the TV! Can’t wait to try the recipe, especially with the sweetened condensed milk!

    Gracias y mucha suerte!

  133. Pati, I’ve had carnitas before, but this is the first time I’ve made it myself. I had to leave out the condensed milk, but this was still MUCH better than any carnitas I’ve had in a restaurant. Thank, thank you!!

  134. Simply delicious!!!
    Made this tonight for supper along with the tortilla soup
    Thanks so much for sharing your recipes.

  135. The only Carmelo brothers I can find is in Katy but this does not seem correct either! I would love to find them if anyone can help! Thank you!

  136. Howdy,
    I just saw this episode. Can you tell me the name of the Carmelo Brothers restaurant that is in Houston please?

      1. Hi, I went to Carmelo’s Mexican Grill southwest of Houston yesterday but it is not of these Carmelo’s. Like the others I cannot find anything from the brothers in Houston or anywhere else. Bummer!

  137. Hi pati I am a long time fan. My question is how do you make your chile Pequot powder? Do you just grind the dry chilies? And do they store we’ll for a long time. Can I add salt to the grind?

    1. Hi Mariya,
      Thanks for writing! Yes, they last a long time if you store them in a place that is not too humid or sunny. I like to lightly toast them first, before grinding. You ca use a comal or skillet set over medium heat and need to toast them for a few minutes, stirring, making sure they don’t burn. And yes! You can of course add salt and even sugar to the mix!

  138. Hi, Pati

    I saw your show on PBS this morning. I’ve made carnitas several times before and in several ways. I plan on trying your method tomorrow. I have heard about using condensed milk but haven’t tried it.

    I’m curious though why you bother to puree the onion and spices rather than simply putting them in the pot with the pork.

    1. Hi Dan,
      It makes for a very nice and tasty simmering liquid that condenses as the meat cooks and let’s off its juices, making a form of natural gravy.

      1. I made your version of carnitas last night, and I must say, Pati… they excel! I think they could have been better if I had put them under the broiler for a few minutes at the end to crisp them up a bit more, but the flavor was the best of any I have made.

        1. So glad to hear! You know, you can also let them brown a bit more in the pot, raise the heat in the end for a few minutes and let them sear for a bit if they haven’t browned enough to your liking. Much depends on pot you are using and heat under it.

  139. Hola Pati, YOU are my favorite mexican food chef. This particular eamily fiesta is my favorite combination of recipes for a get together. Am moving from Idaho to Seguin, TX March 1st and this is the first meal I plan to cook for my daughters family and friends for my housewarming opportunity to invite my neighbors! Thank you for all your dedication and thanks to Danny for encouraging you to dive into your passion for cooking 🙂

    1. Hola Consuelo, gracias! I CANNOT believe you are moving to Seguin, I was just reading all about Juan Seguin, as research for an article I wrote on Tex MEx Foods for the Washington Post… Hope you have an easy move and I hope you all enjoy the carnitas!

  140. Patti,

    On your show about Carnitas you visited some brothers in Mexico. I think their name was Carmela. One of then said they had a restaurant in Houston TX. My son lives there and I wanted to give him the name but I couldn’t read what was on their apron. Do you know the name of their place in Houston?


      1. Hola Pati-
        I just saw your show it was great. I grew up in Tucson Arizona near Nogales Mexico border and had never heard of the real gaspacho. I only knew of the cold soup. I live in Houston now. I cant wait until summer to make the real gaspacho. It looks heavenly. Where can I find the red Chile hotsauce you put on top beside the sprinkles?
        Thanks keep writing these great authentic recipes!
        Love them!

  141. Hi Pati-

    This is Donna your former neighbor on Warren St. So happy to have discovered your show (actually Kip did) on WETA. I watched today and cannot WAIT to make the Carnitas and Salsa Verde. I remember well your love of cooking. I am thrilled to see you doing this! You are a star!

    1. Donna!!!! So happy to chat with you here and so happy you found me!!! I hope you enjoy the carnitas, our boys LOVE them. Many hugs to the kids and to Kip!