Carnitas | Nicole Franzen

Carnitas | Nicole Franzen

Carnitas | Nicole Franzen

Carnitas | Nicole Franzen

Carnitas, translation? Little pieces of meat, typically pork, sometimes beef cooked slowly in a series of juices and spices. It's really good, try it if you havent.

I once was told that I was Mexican in my past life, if this it true it sure would explain a whole heck of a lot. My family has zero ties to Latin cultures yet I have always felt a strong bond to it. I crave Spanish speaking environments and love surrounding myself in their beautiful rich culture.

Alright, I did grow up in both Southern California and New Mexico, that probably has something to do with it. Mexican food runs deep in our blood and was very much a part of my upbringing. The other day I was having a serious craving and wanted to tackle this unknown juicy braised meat territory, so I reached out to my good friend Kari who is an awesome cook and I knew would be onboard. We made plans for a taco night and our usual viewing of Girls. It turned out delicious, the combination of juicy braised pork topped with salty cojita cheese, finely diced onion and cilantro, a generous squeeze of lime juice and hot sauce is well, my happy place.

Pulled Pork (Carnitas)


5 pound pork butt wrapped in twine
4 cups of orange juice
1 lime (juice)
1 cup of olive oil
1 tbl corriander
1 tbl coffee grinds
2 tbl cumin
3 tbl New Mexico red chili
4 tbl kosher salt

1 pilsner beer
3 cloves garlic
1 onion


thinly sliced radish
chopped white onion
cojita cheese
lime juice
hot sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pull meat from fridge, prick with a pairing knife, salt and let rest for 15 minutes.
In a cast iron skillet sear the meat on all sides with some of the olive oil and set aside.
In a blender or with a whisk combine chopped garlic, orange juice, lime juice and all the spices, slowly pour in olive oil
Slice the onion and arrange on the base of a dutch oven with a fitted lid. Place pork on top of the onions and pour the marinade and beer on top until the pork is almost fully submerged.
Put the lid on and place in the middle rack of our preheated oven. Cook for 4 hours, slow and low. You can check it midway and top off with another splash of beer if needed.
When complete, use tongs and a fork to pull the meat.
Warm tortillas, serve pulled pork with thinly sliced radishes, chopped onion, cilantro and cojita cheese. Hot sauce is essential.


  1. This looks amazing. I don't have a dutch oven though. May be time to buy one!

  2. Carnitas are the best. So comforting and fulfilling. I've never made them myself, so maybe that will be my next weekend dinner project! Thanks for the inspiration. Looks delicious!

  3. These look absolutely incredible - I love that first photo.

  4. What a great idea! I love it. Simple and lovely article.

  5. Its soo beautiful that I get hungry rigth now! This is really nice piece of meat... :)

  6. That recipe looks very enticing! I want to try it! :D

  7. my mouth is watering =) just for myself it is too much meat, but I will try it for the next friends/family gathering!
    thank you for sharing =)
    have a nice weekend!

  8. Where is your apron from? I really like it!

  9. wow, you are making me drool! I'm going to have to run off to Tacos Sinaloa in Oakland to eat Carnitas now. Hopefully one day I'll make this, but I have no idea how I'd get through a whole pork butt.

  10. This is an astoundingly good recipe for the pork. We've made it a few times now and never fail to be impressed. Thank you!

  11. I made this last night for 12 guests, there wasn't a bite left! AMAZING recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!



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