Making Pork Loin Carnitas is a great way to use up a pork loin. The leaner cut of meat gets fall-apart tender in a spicy and savory braising liquid.
- 3 lb. pork loin
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 orange, juiced*
- 1 lime, juiced**
- 7 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Season the pork all over with the salt.
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over a burner turned to medium-high heat.
- Sear the pork loin on each side, about 4 minutes per side, until a crust has formed.
- Turn the burner off and add the stock, orange juice, lime juice, and the can of chipotles to the Dutch oven, or transfer the seared loin to a casserole dish and top with the ingredients listed above. Roll the pork around in the mixture.
- Place the lid on the Dutch oven, or cover the casserole dish with foil, and place in the preheated. Cook until pork is tender enough to be pulled apart with a fork, about 1.5 to 2 hours.
- Remove the pork from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Add as much liquid from the pot as you’d like.
- Taste and add salt and pepper if desired, but I often find that the canned chipotles add enough seasoning.
- If crispy carnitas are desired, spread the pork out on to a sheet pan and turn the oven to high broil. Broil about 6 inches from the heat elements, until edges of the meat start to crisp and brown, about 2-3 minutes but watch carefully so the pork doesn’t burn. Stir the pork and then broil for another couple of minutes.
- Serve in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or on taco salad.
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*That’s about 1/3 of a cup of orange juice.
**That’s about 2 tablespoons of lime juice.