I make these keto pork carnitas fairly often. First, they are easy to prepare, and second, I can make a big batch for leftovers throughout the week. Sprinkle a little cilantro, cheese and some white onions and you have a simple delicious meal. Oh, don’t forget the hot sauce… always hot sauce.⠀
The first thing I get asked anytime I make tacos, is how I make the tortillas. Turns out they are jicama, thinly sliced into tortillas. I do not slice them myself though. I buy them pre-sliced at my local grocer, HEB (an awesome Texas based grocery chain). However, I’ve also seen them pop up at Whole Foods Market as well. So check your store, they are usually found in the produce section. You could try to slice them your self on a large mandolin, but that seems like it’d be pretty difficult. Or, you know, skip the tortillas all together and just eat the meat.
Carnitas are a great meal prep option because you can buy a 4-5 pound pork shoulder (I prefer boneless) and have leftovers throughout the week, or you could freeze them for extended prep. Pork shoulder is relatively inexpensive but is delicious, since it’s slow cooked and extra tender.
What makes carnitas what they are, is frying the shredded meat in its own fat drippings. This makes the pieces nice and crispy which give them a great texture and flavor. They are a canvas for whatever toppings you want, but I always love a little cilantro, white onions, Cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime. My recipe is also not spicy so I’ll end up adding a dash of red pepper flakes or hot sauce on top to give it a kick.
Keto Pork Carnitas
- 4-5 lb boneless pork shoulder cut into large 5 inch chunks
- 2 tbsp mexican red chile powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3-4 cups of water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cut pork shoulder into large chunks and place into a mixing bowl
- Mix red chile powder, cumin and salt then rub on pork until well seasoned.
- In a large pan, or pot, place seasoned pork in a single layer.
- Add lime juice, garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cover with water until it covers ¾ of the pork
- Place in the oven uncovered for 3½ hours turning the meat at least once halfway through.
- Remove pork from oven and discard bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Reserve liquid and shred pork with forks.
- Line an oven safe pan with foil and transfer pork to pan. Pour some reserved liquid into pan.
- Place pork back in the oven until crispy. I put the oven on broil for a few minutes to get the tops extra crispy.