Carnitas al Leche

Carnitas al Leche

Difficulty: Intermediate | Servings: 8


  • 5.5 lbs pork butt or pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 lb lard
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 5 cloves (spice)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 green onions
  • 9 oz evaporated milk
  • 6 oz Mexican Coca-Cola


  • Prepare Pork:
        • Cut the pork butt into large chunks. Dry-brine with kosher salt for 1 hour, or preferably overnight in the fridge for enhanced flavor.
  • Preheat Oven and Melt Lard:
        • Preheat the oven and melt the lard in a large pot over medium heat. Ensure it covers 80% of the pork, no need for full submersion.
  • Brown Pork:
        • Add pork chunks to the pot, cover, and bake for 20 minutes. Occasionally lift each piece to prevent sticking. Adjust heat if browning too quickly.
  • Flip and Repeat:
        • After 20 minutes, flip the meat, cover, and cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Time to Season with Aromatics:
        • Add onion, garlic, black pepper, cumin, Mexican oregano, cloves, bay leaf, orange juice, peels, water, and evaporated milk. Slow cook for 1 1/2 hours between 200-220°F.
  • Introduce Coca-Cola:
        • Pour in Mexican Coca-Cola and slow cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Cool and Shred:
        • Remove from the pot and let it cool. Shred the carnitas with your hands; they should be incredibly tender.
  • Enjoy the Versatility:
      • Carnitas can be enjoyed moist and delicious or lightly cooked in a heated skillet until crispy.

    Serving Suggestions:

    Versatile Dishes:

    • Carnitas can elevate dishes like Tacos, Tortas, Burritos, Flautas/Taquitos, Rice bowls, Empanadas, Gorditas, Enchiladas, Quesadillas.

    Storage Tips:

    Freezing Convenience:

    • Freeze leftovers for quick and convenient lunches or dinners. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat, covered for 5-10 minutes.

    Explore the rich flavors of Carnitas al Leche, offering a multitude of culinary possibilities. The tender and juicy texture makes it a versatile and satisfying choice for various dishes. Freeze any extra portions for future quick and delicious meals.

    Enjoy and BUON APPETITO