Paleo-Friendly Meals: Pork Carnitas

Sometimes the only thing to turn my day around is a big chunk of pig. Yes, you read that right. 15-PorkCutChart1440x985Now kiddies, you might not remember this but a wise man once said – “Pork fat rules!” – very animatedly to a large studio audience as he unreservedly tossed seasoning into dishes while exclaiming “BAM!”. True story.

This happened.

This happened.

So in the spirit of Emeril’s unabashed love for all things pork, especially the fat (mmmmm), I give you stove-top pork carnitas! Sure they might take a little while to cook – but they are delicious and versatile!
DSCF1157Gather your ingredients: pork shoulder, lemons, limes, cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper, coriander, s&p. (Fun fact: cilantro = coriander! See here.)
DSCF1158 De-bone the pork shoulder with a large sharp knife. Cut the remaining pieces into 3-4 inch chunks. You don’t want the pieces to be too small. This isn’t a delicate dish! DSCF1161 Observe: large pile o’ meat. Is there anything more lovely? Yes, if it were wrapped in bacon. But that’s a story for another day 🙂DSCF1163Slice your lemons and limes. Arrange them nicely for a picture. Or just squeeze the heck out of them. I usually use a fork to aid in my squeezing. Beats a hand juicer every time.
DSCF1165 Combine all the spices in a large ziplock bag and jostle to combine. Add the pork. DSCF1166 Shake, shake, shake. It’s like Paleo shake-and-bake! I always hated eating that as a kid, but the shaking proved satisfying every time. DSCF1167 Pour the lemon and lime juice in a large, deep pot.
DSCF1168 Add the pork…DSCF1169 And cover with water. Cook over high heat until the liquid is boiling VIOLENTLY. Violently.
DSCF1170 Once boiling VIOLENTLY, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 2-3 hours. Check the pot at the 2-2.5 hour mark to see how much liquid is left. DSCF1171 Once you get to this point, let the meat caramelize in its juices. Watch closely because there is a fine line between caramelization and burning. DSCF1175 Ta-da! Enjoy like this or add some guacamole and pico de gallo. Enjoy and aloha!

Guacamole and Pico de Gallo

Paleo-Friendly Meals: Pork Carnitas

Total Time: 3 hours

Per Serving 277 calories

Fat 21 g

Carbs 2 g

Protein 20 g



  • 3-4 lbs. pork shoulder, boneless or bone-in
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. De-bone and cut the pork shoulder into large, 3-4 inch chunks.
  2. Mix cumin, garlic powder, salt, coriander, black pepper, and cayenne together in a large ziplock bag. Place the chunks into the bag and shake, shake, shake.
  3. Pour lemon and lime juice in a large, deep pot. Add seasoned pork and cover with water.
  4. Using high heat, bring the pork to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 2.5 hours, or until liquid evaporates. Be sure to check on the meat constantly so it begins to caramelize, but not burn.
  6. Enjoy!

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  1. Pingback: Paleo-Friendly Meals: Avocado Sauce | Sun Sand Saltwater

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