How to make carnitas

Carnitas is delicious Mexican braised pork, traditionally served with rice or on top of homemade tortillas as bite-sized tacos. This tender pulled meat has a melt-in-the-mouth texture thanks to the braising process, which involves slowly cooking the pork leg or shoulder in fat overnight – similar to the French confit method. The quantity of fat may seem intimidating at first, but you remove the meat completely from the cooking liquid before serving, and you can reuse the fat again and again if you cool and store it in the fridge after each use. To make sure we had an authentic Mexican recipe we asked chef Elias Silva Resinas from London restaurant Ella Canta to show us exactly how he would make this home-style traditional dish. Elias’ recipe includes coca-cola which gives the meat a slightly sweet and sticky finish. This braised pork is perfect for parties, as it will portion out into as many as fifty small tacos!

Ingredients

  • 2kg pork leg or shoulder
  • 600ml coca-cola
  • 5kg pork fat
  • 200g oranges
  • 200g carrots
  • 200g onion
  • 10g bay leaves
  • 5 ancho chillies
  • 300g garlic