Cookbook Profile

Carnitas Norteñas


Pork chunks slowly simmered in fat develop a heightened pork flavor and silky, smooth texture. Carnitas are delicious in tacos or burritos, with spicy salsa and the Pickled Onions described earlier in this chapter to offset their essential richness.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


2 pounds pork shoulder or
   butt cut into 2-inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 pounds lard or pork fat or shortening
1 medium red onion, freshly diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (1/2 cup)
5 serrano chiles, chopped
Mashed avocado
Warm Corn Tortillas
Green Tomatillo Salsa


1. Generously season the pork all over with salt and pepper.

2. Melt the lard in a large, deep saucepan or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the well-seasoned meat and simmer, uncovered, over medium low heat for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until fork tender. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and transfer to a cutting board. The fat can be refrigerated for future use.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

4. When cool enough to handle, shred the pork by hand or with the tines of two forks. In a mixing bowl, toss the pork with the onion, cilantro, and chiles to combine. Transfer to a casserole, cover tightly, and bake, until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot with the mashed avocado, corn tortillas, and Green Tomatillo Salsa.

Buy the Book!


Mexican Cooking for Dummies
By Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken
IDG Books, 1999
Paperback, $19.99
Color photographs
ISBN: 0-7645-5169-8
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Mexican Cooking for Dummies



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This page created May 2000