Brown Sugar Carnitas

Brown Sugar Carnitas
Print Recipe
Serves 8 Carnitas Caramelizadas
Ingredients
  • 1 cup lard, vegetable shortening or oil
  • 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt fat on, cut into 3” chunks
  • 4 teaspoons kosher or sea salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups milk divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 white onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
To Prepare
  • Heat the lard in a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Season the meat with 2 teaspoons of the salt and the black pepper. Once the lard has melted, add the meat, brown on all sides, stirring and flipping as it does, for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • In the jar of a blender, pour 1 ½ cups of the milk and add the garlic, onion and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Puree until smooth. Pour over the meat and let it come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, drop in the bay leaves, and cover. Cook covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes, flipping the chunks of meat a couple times in between.
  • In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup milk with the sugar. Pour over the carnitas, stir, and let them continue to cook, uncovered, for another 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove the meat and place in a bowl. Shred with a couple forks, add a couple tablespoons of the seasoned fat remaining in the casserole and toss.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup lard, vegetable shortening or oil
  • 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt fat on, cut into 3” chunks
  • 4 teaspoons kosher or sea salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups milk divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 white onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
To Prepare
  • Heat the lard in a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Season the meat with 2 teaspoons of the salt and the black pepper. Once the lard has melted, add the meat, brown on all sides, stirring and flipping as it does, for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • In the jar of a blender, pour 1 ½ cups of the milk and add the garlic, onion and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Puree until smooth. Pour over the meat and let it come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, drop in the bay leaves, and cover. Cook covered for 1 hour and 15 minutes, flipping the chunks of meat a couple times in between.
  • In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup milk with the sugar. Pour over the carnitas, stir, and let them continue to cook, uncovered, for another 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove the meat and place in a bowl. Shred with a couple forks, add a couple tablespoons of the seasoned fat remaining in the casserole and toss.

22 comments on “Brown Sugar Carnitas

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  1. I made these but I had a lot of liquid in mine it looked nothing like the picture i measured followed recipe to the exact any sugestions what i did wrong

  2. I am making these right now. Had a bit of a problem getting the meat to brown. It never did. Then the milk broke and it looks more like ricotta cheese. What did I do wrong? I loved that show and was so stoked to make this dish. Fee foolish.

    1. Oh I’m sorry to hear you had some problems, Constance. When the milk heats the hot lard, it appears as curdled, but it really is not. I hope you give the carnitas another go.

  3. This is delicious, Reminded me of my tio’s Juan’s cooking and the only thing I added was an orange to the milk and brown sugar and blended it and then cooked it in the last step, just as my tio Juan would have. Buen provecho !