The Best Ever Carnitas

The Best Ever Carnitas

Time: 2 hrs 30 mins


  • 3 lbs pork butt or 3 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup Pepsi, plus
  • more Pepsi, as needed
  • 3/4 cup oil or 3/4 cup shortening


  • 1 Fuego spice mix (Fuego Spice Mix): Combine all ingredients, mixing well.
  • 2 Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
  • 3 Agua Negra Marinade (Fuego Spice Mix): combine all ingredients with a whisk.
  • 4 Stores in the refrigerator for 2 days.
  • 5 Carnitas: Trim away excess fat from pork and cut into 3 inch cubes.
  • 6 Dust meat with Fuego spice mix and press to adhere well.
  • 7 Squeeze juice from oranges into an airtight nonreactive container, add peels, garlic,pepper, pepsi and Aqua Negra marinade- mix to combine well.
  • 8 Add seasoned meat and refrigerate overnight.
  • 9 Remove meat from the marinade (reserve marinade) the next day when you are ready to cook.
  • 10 Heat oil/shortening in a large heavy skillet over high heat until fat is smoking; add pork and brown completely on all sides- about 15 minutes.
  • 11 Add reserved marinade and simmer for about 2 hours or until pork is tender and dark brown- add additional Pepsi as needed while cooking to keep meat covered.
  • 12 Remove meat and chop into 3/4 inch pieces.
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