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Carnitas (Braised Pork Shoulder)

Makes 10-12 servings


1 pork shoulder, about 5 pounds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 carrot
2 celery stalks
1 large yellow or Spanish onion
2 oranges
3 limes
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup adobo, chile paste reserved from canned chipotles
1-2 cups water


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Trim pork shoulder of excessive fat and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Cut carrot, celery and onion into a small dice and cut oranges and limes into halves.
  3. Heat a large rondo, or braising pan, on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Pour in oil and sauté diced vegetables. After 3-4 minutes add cubed pork shoulder. Cook for 5-7 minutes until pork begins to brown. Season the mixture: Add salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. Next, add orange and lime halves. Add vinegars and adobo paste, followed by 1 to 2 cups water, or enough to almost cover cubed pork. Bake the pork: Cover with lid or foil and place in oven. Cook about 2 hours or until pork is fork tender.
  4. Remove from oven and serve with tortillas, guacamole, salsa verde and chipotle mojo. Traditional garnishes include grated sharp dry cheeses, radishes, sour cream, shredded cabbage and limes.