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Two Ingredient Carnitas (Mexican Slow Cooked Pulled Pork)

  • Author: Lisa Goldfinger
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This two-ingredient carnitas recipe is easy enough for a weeknight dinner, or serve these delicious carnitas as the centerpiece of a festive Mexican feast, with tortillas and your favorite toppings and side dishes.


Units Scale
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless pork shoulder (Boston Butt), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (to double this recipe, see the notes, below)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (store bought or homemade)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 300ºF/150ºC

  1. In a large heavy oven-ready pot or Dutch oven with a lid, add the pork, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then transfer the pot to the oven and cook for 2-1/2 hours, until the pork is fall-apart tender.
  2. Remove the pot from the oven and transfer the pork to a cutting board, a handful at a time, and shred it into bite-sized pieces using two forks. Add the shredded pork to a bowl.
  3. Pour the braising liquid from the pot into a gravy separator or glass measuring cup or small heat-proof glass bowl and wait for a minute or so, until the fat rises to the top. Spoon two tablespoons of the fat into a large heavy skillet over high heat. (or use vegetable oil, if you prefer) When the fat is hot, add half the pork in a single layer and leave it for a minute or so, undisturbed, until it gets crisp on the bottom. Flip it over with a spatula and crisp it up on the other side for a minute or so. Transfer the carnitas to a bowl and repeat with remaining pork. Ideally you want a combination of tender pork with crispy bits over about a quarter of it.
  4. If using a gravy separator, pour the pork juices over the carnitas, leaving the fat behind. If using a cup or bowl, spoon off as much fat as possible and pour the remaining juices over the carnitas.
  5. Serve carnitas as the centerpiece of a Mexican meal, with tortillas and any variety of toppings and side dishes.


How to double this recipe: To double this recipe, use 4 pounds of pork shoulder but keep the chicken broth to 1 cup. Add an additional half teaspoon of salt and an additional half teaspoon of pepper. 

How to make these ahead: These can be made up to two days ahead. Store them with their juices in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat them gently. They will be slightly less crisp than if they'd been served fresh, but still delicious.


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: slow cook, braise
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: easy pork carnitas recipe, how to make carnitas with two ingredients