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8 servings


  • 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 jalapeƱos or salsa verde cruda on the side.