A fantastic way to make carnitas. Recipe originally from La Taqueria in San Francisco.


3-4 lbs


  • 1 boned and tied pork shoulder or butt (4-5 lbs)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 stalks celery (including leaves), chopped coarsely
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. thyme, dried
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk


Rinse pork and place in 8 qt. pan. Add onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and enough water to cover (approx. 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 quarts).

Bring to boil over high heat, cover and then simmer until meat is very tender, approx. 2 1/2 hours. Transfer pork (reserving juices) to 9- by 13-inch pan. Discard string and use forks to pull meat into large chunks. Pour milk over meat.

Bake pork in 325 degree oven until drippings are browned, approx. 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, pour reserved juices through strainer into bowl. Discard fat, Return juices to pan and boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups (approx 45 mins).

When pork drippings are browned, add 1 cup of the reserved juices, striing meat and breaking into smaller pieces. Bake another 15 mins (until juices have evaporated), and repeat, using remaining liquid. Cook until meat edges are crisp and browned, 15-20 mins. Season with salt.


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