Pork Carnitas are cooked slowly in s rich flavorful broth before putting it into the oven to become crispy and caramelized. The deeply flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth oven-roasted pork carnitas are perfect for filling tacos, burritos or placing on top of nachos with a crunchy, refreshing orange cabbage slaw. | TheMountainKitchen.com
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Oven-Roasted Pork Carnitas With Orange Cabbage Slaw

Pork Carnitas are cooked slowly in a rich flavorful broth before broiling it in the oven until they become crispy and caramelized. The deeply flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth oven-roasted pork carnitas are perfect for filling tacos, burritos or placing on top of nachos with a crunchy, refreshing orange cabbage slaw full of refreshing bright flavors. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Carnitas, pork
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 307kcal
Author David & Debbie Spivey


The Carnitas:

  • 3 pound boneless pork butt or shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil for searing the meat
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 roasted poblano cut into strips
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup brewed coffee can be leftover from morning brew
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno slices
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno juice
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh lime juice from one lime divided

Orange Cabbage Slaw:

  • ½ cup orange juice fresh squeezed + zest of one orange
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small head of cabbage thinly sliced into shreds
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

For Serving:

  • lime wedges
  • fresh cilantro
  • corn or flour tortillas or tortilla chips


The Carnitas:

  • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 300 degrees.
  • Preheat a large heavy skillet, over high heat (see notes). Sprinkle a drop or two of water onto the pan to test the heat. The water should sizzle and jump around. Next, add the oil to the pan and allow it to warm, but do not let it burn. When you start to see ripples in the oil, carefully add the meat to the pan. Be careful the hot oil may spatter!
  • Once the meat is in the pan, do not move it. Let the meat sear for a few minutes. When the meat releases from the pan and is browned, using tongs, flip it over and sear the other side. Then roll it over on each side to brown all the way around. When the meat is browned on all sides, the inside will still be raw. Place it in a large dutch oven and combine all the carnitas ingredients in a large Dutch oven, with the juice of only half of the lime. Cover the Dutch Oven, transfer to the oven and cook until the pork falls apart when prodded with a fork; about 3 to 4 hours.
  • Remove the pork from the oven and turn on the broiler. Prepare a large jelly roll pan, by lining it with aluminum foil; set aside.
  • Transfer the pork to a large cutting board to cool, reserving the liquid in the pot. Pour the reserved liquid and vegetable solids into a bowl through a strainer. Discard the vegetable solids. Allow the liquid to settle. Using a spoon, skim off excess fat and discard, if needed.
  • When pork is cool enough to handle, shred with two forks. Spread the pork out on the foil-lined jelly roll pan and broil for 5 minutes, or until the meat is crispy. Remove from the oven and pour about a ¼ cup of the reserved cooking liquid onto the crispy pork and toss. Place the pan back under the broiler for 5 more minutes or until the meat is crispy. Pour an additional ¼ cup liquid over the crispy pork. Serve immediately with lime wedges, fresh cilantro and corn or flour tortillas. Get some tortilla chips for the best nachos you've ever eaten!

The Orange Cabbage Slaw:

  • Chop the cabbage, onion, and cilantro and put them in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, zest, vinegar, and honey until combined.
  • Pour dressing over cabbage, onion, and cilantro, then season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Toss the cabbage, onion, and cilantro in the dressing; coat well.
  • Allow the slaw to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, tossing now and then, to keep the cabbage coated.


  1. The pork can be browned using the dutch oven you will be roasting the pork in. I realized this after I had already used a skillet to brown the pork. To get the brown bits off the bottom of the pan I poured the chicken broth into the hot pan to deglaze the pan. I scraped up the brown bits with a spatula and got all those brown bits of flavor into the dutch oven with the pork before roasting.
  2. The Orange Cabbage Slaw can be refrigerated for a couple of days, but after that, the veggies start to wilt too much.
  3. The pork can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Facts
Oven-Roasted Pork Carnitas With Orange Cabbage Slaw
Amount Per Serving
Calories 307 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 102mg34%
Sodium 330mg14%
Potassium 931mg27%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 265IU5%
Vitamin C 66.8mg81%
Calcium 92mg9%
Iron 3.2mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 931mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 66.8mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3.2mg
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