Achiote-Orange Carnitas

I missed Cinco de Mayo last year. All because of a cat, a snake and a visit to the emergency room. You can read all about it here.

This year, I decided to repost my recipe for Achiote-Orange Carnitas on Cinco de Mayo. I just feel that this recipe needs to be published the day it was meant to be published! Of course it is delicious any day of the year, so make it often!

Achiote-Orange Carnitas Tacos

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Achiote-Orange Carnitas
Using pork ribs instead of a larger pork shoulder makes carnitas an easy, every day recipe.
  • 3 pounds country style pork ribs
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon achiote paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon aleppo pepper
  • 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat or vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
Place the pork into a large glass dish or bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, achiote paste, cumin, oregano, salt, ancho chile powder and aleppo pepper. Pour the marinade over the pork, refrigerate and marinate 3 hours to overnight. Turn the pork once or twice to insure even marination.In a large deep pot heat the bacon fat over medium high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade and reserve the marinade. Brown the pork well on both sides, then remove from the pan.Add the garlic cloves, and cook for one minute. Add the reserved marinade and stirring occasionally, cook for 2-3 minutes, until reduced slightly. Add the chicken broth and pork, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer.Braise the pork about 1 1/2 hours, turning the pork once about an hour into the cooking. When the pork is tender, remove it to a baking sheet and let it cool until you are able to handle it. Pull the pork apart into large chunks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Pour approximately a cup of the cooking liquid over the pork to insure it does not dry out. Roast the pork in a 400 degree F oven for about 20 minutes, until nicely caramelized.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 pounds carnitas

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

6 thoughts on “Achiote-Orange Carnitas”

  1. Oh, how I wish I had found this post earlier. My current batch of fajitas, while tasty enough, seem a bit boring compared to your recipe. Next time it will be the BGCW version for a comparison.

    Carnitas may forever be linked mentally to your cat story!

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