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  • 4 lbs pork shoulder (5 lbs if bone in)
  • 1 12 oz can of coke OR 12 oz water plus 2 T Caramelized Sugar syrup and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 2 limes
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3-4 assorted dried chiles (ancho/guajillo)
  • (1+ T seeds, toasted and ground?) cumin
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • kosher salt to taste (start with forefinger pinch)
  • water


  1. Quarter onion.
  2. Cut citrus across equator.
  3. In a large dutch oven, add pork, coke, juice and rind of citrus, all other ingredients.
  4. Add enough water to get halfway up meat.
  5. Bring to boil.
  6. Skim scum/foam.
  7. Reduce heat and partially cover (with lid).
  8. After 1 hour, remove orange and lime rinds, squeezing out any liquid.
  9. Mid-way through (about 2 hours) cooking, taste liquid and remove chiles if the braising liquid is particularly spicy hot. Finished carnitas will not be as spicy as liquid. Add more salt if needed.
  10. Simmer until a chopstick can easily pierce the meat.
  11. Remove meat and let rest for 10 minutes. Continue reducing cooking liquid (if any). Skim excess fat, leaving 2-3T in pan.
  12. Remove bones and cartilage from meat, returning in chunks (the size you want) to pan.
  13. Fry in remaining fat and sauce.
  14. NOTE: If cooking to store, add meat back to sauce and coat, then fry when desired to eat.