We love seeing what you made! Tag us on Instagram at @afamilyfeast or hashtag #afamilyfeast so we can see your creations!

Carnitas - A Family Feast


Carnitas are bite-sized pieces of pork cooked low & slow in the oven until tender, then caramelized until crispy on the outside.

Yield: 6 servings 1x
Prep: 15 minsCook: 5 hoursTotal: 5 hours 15 minutes


  • 2 1/23 pound pork butt, cut into large pieces at least 2×2 inches in size
  • 1 pound lard (if you cannot find lard at your local market, use suet)*See Note
  • 1/2 orange, skin on, quartered
  • 1 lime, skin on, quartered
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, skinned and left whole, slightly smashed
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and sliced into 1/2 inch rings, seeds left in
  • 1 medium yellow onion, skinned and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. In a 9x11x2 casserole dish, or similar volume oven-proof vessel, place cut up pork, lard, orange, lime, garlic, jalapeno, onion, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, and bacon fat. Cover with parchment and foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, and push pork pieces into melted fat, re-cover and bake for 3 1/2 hours. Test a piece for tenderness and place back into the oven for up to one additional hour.
  4. Remove from oven and pick out meat with a pair of tongs. Dispose of remaining solids but save the liquid. Separate the fat from the liquid with a fat separator or just skim from the top. Some of the fat will be used to brush on the meat during browning and the liquid will be mixed with the meat if shredding for tacos.
  5. Place cooked pork pieces on a foil-lined sheet pan that has been brushed with the olive oil. Brush the tops with some of the reserved fat and place under broiler for five minutes. Flip the pork and broil the other side for another minute or two. This step needs to be watched – you want the meat to caramelize without burning it or drying it out.
  6. Serve in small chunks or shred and serve as tacos in a toasted flour tortilla, or corn tortilla warmed and slightly browned in skillet with a little oil. If shredding, mix with some of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Save the remaining liquid to reheat leftovers.

Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.


*Lard is pork fat and suet is beef fat. Lard is sold in one pound blocks near other oils and fats in a typical market. Suet will be sold as solid pieces in the meat counter. If you only have access to suet, you will need to cook it down first in a heavy pan on the stove top to get liquid fat to use in this recipe.

© Author: A Family Feast
Cuisine: Mexican Method: Roasted