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[Recipe] Crispy Pulled Pork Carnitas

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Another successful cooking result of a random Mexican craving I had one day... pulled pork tacos! Luckily, the Pacific Gourmet down the street happened to stock the high quality pork shoulder I needed. You'll need a good oven-safe Dutch Oven with its lid (I use Le Creuset, although I hear Staub is better).

For those of you who don't own a slow-cooker, the recipe for slow-cooking pulled pork in an oven is just as easy. I piled some of the finished pulled pork on flour tacos (sub with corn taco if you have it), a bit of chopped red onion, fresh flat leaf parsley, and some sour cream with chives.

Total cooking time: 4 hours, 30 minutes (don't worry the bulk of it is done by the oven!). 10 minutes prep, 4 hours for oven-roasting, 20 minutes for oven-broiling.

Ingredients (for 2)

For the rub:

-2 tsp chilli powder

-3 tsp dried oregano

-4 tsp cumin

-2 tsp salt (to taste)

-1 tsp cracked black pepper

-1 tsp garlic powder

For the pork:

-1 kg of free-range, high quality pork shoulder

-1 large orange, sliced into quarters

-1 brown onion, sliced into strips

-3 garlic cloves, minced

-1 lime, sliced into quarters

-1/2 lemon

-1/2 cup chicken broth

-1/2 cup water

For garnish (optional):

-1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, minced

-2 tomatoes, chopped

-1 red onion, minced

-10 Soft shell tacos

Directions (for 2)

  1. Preheat oven to 300 deg F or 155 deg C.

  2. Combine spices in a small bowl for the rub. Mix chilli power, oregano, cumin, black pepper, garlic powder and 2 tsp of salt to start, and add more according to taste.

  3. Prepare the pork shoulder. I sliced it into three large chunks and rubbed the spices from (1) on every visible surface of the pork.


  1. Place the spice-rubbed pork pieces directly into the Dutch Oven.

  2. Add onion slices and minced garlic all around the pork.

  3. Squeeze the lime, lemon & orange over the pork, and place rinds around it with the garlic and onion.

  4. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup of water around the sides.

  5. Close the lid, and place in oven for 4 hours.

  6. Use two forks and loosen the pieces - they should come away easily in shreds. Preserve the broth.


  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C in broil mode (it's the setting called "Top Heat" on my oven).

  2. Spread out pulled pork pieces on a baking tray, and pour the broth over evenly.

  3. Place tray on top level, and let the pork crisp up for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, mix it up again, and broil for another 10 minutes if you're a perfectionist. Alternatively, use a frying pan to crisp, but this is a little more manual.

  4. Assemble on a toasted taco with chopped raw red onion and minced flat leaf parsley - and serve!

How it looks right before going into the oven.

After coming out of the Dutch Oven and getting "forked".

After broiling.

Follow along for more food content on my Instagram at @FURELLIE.


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