Rick Martínez’s Carnitas | Introduction to Mexican Cooking | Food Network

Rick Martínez shares his really favorite authentic taco meal with crispy pork belly and mouth-watering, fall-apart pork shoulder!
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Level: Intermediate
Total: 3 hr
Active: 1 hr
Yield: 8 servings


1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 chile de arbol
1 bay leaf
1 little stick canela or 1/2 cassia cinnamon stick (see Cook's Note).
1 head garlic, halved lengthwise.
1/2 large white onion.
1/4 big naval orange.
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder.
1 pound pork stomach, cut into 1-inch pieces.
1 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth.
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar.
Kosher salt.
Warm corn tortillas, chopped cilantro, chopped white onion, lime wedges and salsa verde, for serving.
Pico de Gallo, dish follows, for serving.

Pice do Gallo:.

2 large vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped.
2 serrano chiles, finely chopped (seeded if you prefer moderate heat).
1 clove garlic, carefully grated.
1/4 medium white onion, sliced.
1/3 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, carefully sliced.
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more if needed.
Kosher salt.


Unique equipment: 1-foot square piece of cheesecloth.

Place the oregano, peppercorns, chiles, bay leaf, canela, garlic, onion and orange in the center of a 1-foot square piece of cheesecloth. Gather the edges and connect with kitchen twine to secure the aromatics inside the sachet.

Place the sachet, pork shoulder, pork stomach, stock, brown sugar and 4 teaspoons salt in a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer up until the pork hurts and shreds quickly, about 2 hours.

Get rid of and dispose of the sachet. Transfer the pork shoulder to a rimmed baking sheet.

Increase the heat to high and continue preparing the pork tummy up until just the fat stays and the pan juices are totally vaporized, about 15 minutes. Carefully move the pork shoulder back to the pot (it's okay if it disintegrates) and fry it in the rendered fat, turning periodically and scraping the bottom of the pot, up until browned on all sides and simply starting to crisp, 10 to 15 minutes; the shoulder will start to shred which's ok. Most of the pieces must be bite-size with some smaller shredded and super-crisp bits in the mix. Transfer the carnitas with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.

Serve the carnitas with tortillas, cilantro, onions, limes, salsa verde and pico de gallo.

Pice do Gallo:.

Carefully stir the tomatoes, chiles, garlic, onions, cilantro and lime juice in a medium bowl until completely integrated. Taste and season with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and more lime juice if required. Let the pico sit exposed to let the flavors meld, about 10 minutes.

Cook's Note.

Canela (Ceylon cinnamon) is the variety of cinnamon most commonly utilized in Mexico. The sticks are thinner and softer than the cassia cinnamon sticks utilized in the US and have a more fragile, sweet and floral flavor with less of the "heat" of the cassia. For simpler clean-up, transfer prepared tummy and rendered fat to a large nonstick frying pan and fry shoulder until browned and starting to crisp.

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Rick Martínez's Carnitas|Introduction to Mexican |Food Network.

Rick Martínez's Carnitas | Introduction to Mexican Cooking | Food Network

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About the Author: Yvette Cook


  1. Not at all like carnitas estilo Michoacán that I love but this looks absolutely delicious!!

  2. Here’s my introduction to Mexican cooking. Stock up on chili powder, cumin, avocados, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro. limes, and every bean and chilie pepper you can get ur hands on.

  3. Rick has me 🤤-ing right now. I cook pork shoulder low & slow in a crockpot. I like to make pork barbecue. I’m going to remember the sachet.

  4. His explanations down to even how to clean the pot and how to eat a taco correctly are perfect, thanks!!

  5. The pork is very tender and looks very delicious! It’s the perfect recipe for tacos!

  6. YOOOOO Rick is with Food Network now!? Sweeeeeet! Carnitas tacos are one of my favorite things in the world. Would love to see Rick do some Adobada and show the world what they’re missing out on.

  7. For those watching, instead of brown sugar, use piloncillo. It gives a richer taste. If you live in a border state, most grocery stores carry it.

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