Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce Recipe

Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce

Recipe by  

"Slow cooking blends the flavors."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 20 mins

    1 hr 40 mins


  1. Cut pork into 1 inch cubes; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven. Add pork, onions, garlic powder, chili powder and chipotle chile powder; saute 3 to 5 minutes to brown the meat.
  2. Add enough water to barely cover pork. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer an additional 45 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
  3. Combine chopped tomatillos, tomatoes and cilantro in a small bowl.
  4. Place an equal amount of pork on each tortilla. Top with tomatillo salsa.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 10, 2008

This recipe was EASY and the most delicious pork carnitas I've ever tasted! I started by browning the pork on the stove, as recommended, but then instead of simmering on the stove we popped it in the crock pot for 4 hours on high. I didn't have Chipotle chili powder, so I just used a little extra regular chili powder. I also couldn't find pork shoulder so we used pork tenderloin instead (it was on sale!). I used our small food processor to make the tomatillo sauce and it worked really well. We will definitely make this recipe again soon!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 10, 2014

Due to all the reviews I'd seen so far, I halved this recipe. One half was made exactly as written - I'd give it a 3. It was delicious but not enough flavor for our family (referring to both the salsa and the meat.) The other half I tweaked to our liking. I'd rate that a 5 as there were no complaints, however, my rating here will reflect 'as is' :) After browning the meat as written, my changes were: we added more of each seasoning it called for (to taste) and finished the meat in our slow cooker. Instead of covering it in water, I used Herdez Pasilla sauce for extra flavor. We topped it with tomatoes, green onions, tomatillos, shredded cheddar cheese and a small squeeze of ranch dressing for the kids. So tender and great flavor!

Jan 01, 2009

Made this for New Years Eve dinner it was a BIG hit!!!

Mar 02, 2014

My family loved the tender pork. I live at high altitude and the meat did take longer to cook then stated in the directions. I used 2 pounds of pork shoulder and removed the fat. I found some chipolte powder online and use it in a lot of Mexican dishes. My family loves carnitas with flour tortillas, so I prepared my own flour tortillas recipe and it was great. The tomatillo sauce was very mild, so my husband added onion, jalapeno peppers, garlic salt, and lime juice to give it a kick.

Mar 09, 2014

Delicious! The pork comes out moist, tender, and full of flavor - plus it was easy to make. I used pork tenderloin (on sale) and combined all the spices in a ziploc bag then tossed in the pork so it was evenly coated. After browning, I cooked it in the crock pot for 4 hours on high with a minimal amount of water. The last hour I tossed in the onion. The tomatillo salsa needed just a little more flavor so like others I added in some garlic, red onion, a pinch of salt and a little fresh lime juice. I served these over white corn tortillas that I warmed in the oven topped with salsa, avacado slices, sour cream and a splash of fresh lime. Great with a side of Spanish rice and a margarita on the rocks! Thanks for a great recipe Mazola!

Mar 30, 2014

SCRUMPTIOUS!!! I have to admit I was a little skeptical of this recipe, because this isn't really a traditional "carnitas" recipe where the meat is roasted/braised and then shredded. Nobody messes with my carnitas! But I thought i'd give this a chance and am I ever glad I did! This is a lot quicker than making traditional carnitas and the meat is packed with flavor. Whatever you do, PLEASE make sure you buy pork shoulder (or Country Style Ribs cut from pork shoulder). This is a well-marbled cut of meat and the fat renders down and gives the meat such a tender, buttery flavor that can't be matched by leaner cuts. Very few ingredients are needed in this recipe. I made it exactly as is and can see myself making it over and over. I almost ate the whole thing to myself! You don't need anything else but the meat and the tomatillo salsa (it's not really a sauce!).

Mar 17, 2014

Five stars for the taste and ease of the carnitas, done in the slow cooker for 5 hours on low. I did, however, heed the warnings of the earlier reviews regarding the salsa. I roasted the tomitillos, added fresh garlic and kosher salt. The taste was fine, just didn't make enough as written. I suggest doubling the amounts for the salsa. Thank you Mazola, for the opportunity to work with corn oil and your recipe for carnitas.

Mar 08, 2014

This was a little too hot for my tastes. However, it was quite easy to make and the overall flavor was pretty descent. I followed the meat recipe except I used pork tenderloin. That is what my grocery store had. I think cutting up the pork, was the most time consuming part. I thought I had the chipotle powder or something similar. When I realized that was not the case, I used 1 Tblsp. of minced chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. So, that may have contributed to the heat, not sure. I wanted so badly to tweak the topping by adding avocado, and avocado sauce, or some type of white spicy sauce, to give a creamy like topping to the tacos they needed In my opinion. I did like the flavor of the base salsa though. I don't typically make salsas or sauces with tomatillos. I suggest playing with the toppings, though, as almost anything can be added and would go nicely with the pork and tomatillo salsa.


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  • Calories
  • 262 kcal
  • 13%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 16 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol
  • 56 mg
  • 19%
  • Fat
  • 14.4 g
  • 22%
  • Fiber
  • 3.3 g
  • 13%
  • Protein
  • 18.3 g
  • 37%
  • Sodium
  • 87 mg
  • 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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