Carnitas – Round Two

Mexican CarnitasThe Mexicans got it right in a lot of ways. There is no doubt about their cooking style and ingredients. Some of my favorite food is Mexican food, and I realize that I have only skimmed the surface when it comes to eating their cuisine. I am a sucker for a great taco, in fact, I have actually been dreaming of opening a taco truck, and compete with the best of them in Milwaukee. Seriously.

As I have made carnitas in the past, I recently heard about cooking your pork shoulder in milk, and a can of coca cola. As many might hear that, they might cringe, but I actually got excited when I heard milk and coca cola. The sugar from the soda would add a sweetness, while the milk would break down the proteins. Genius. I had to give it a try.

While working with a big old pork should this past weekend, I thought I would break it down and do two dishes for the week; Char Siu, and Carnitas. After all, my wife loves my original carnitas, and I was not going to far from that recipe, only to add a couple of more touches.  While I thought I nailed it down when I made burritos some time ago, my wife was amazed with the first batch of carnitas, that my round two of carnitas rocked her world. Sweet, with a touch of heat, the texture and flavor is really out of this world, no doubt about it. Give it try. Perfect for a Sunday meal, and one that will carry you with leftovers throughout the week (If they make it that far!).


  • 2 lbs of pork shoulder, cut into large cubes
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp of Mexican oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, whole
  • 1 can of 7-up or coca cola
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • water to cover
  • corn tortillas
  • red onion, minced
  • cilantro, chopped

Begin by adding your salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, and paprika into a large bowl and mix well. Add in your pork shoulder, coating all of your pieces of pork. To a large pot, add the vegetable oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Let it heat up for a few minutes as we want a nice hot oil as we are going to brown all sides of the pork. Cook for a few minutes on each side until you have achieved a nice brown on the sides of the pork. Next, add the cola, sugar, milk, and garlic, and mix well. Add the bay leaves, and top with water, just to cover the pork. Give it another mix, cover, and let this cook for about 3 hours on the stove, on low heat.

When you are about done, remove the cover, remove the whole peppers and bay leaves. Use a fork and shred the pork. This is really simple as it pretty much just falls apart. Once shredded, turn up the heat, and cook down until all of the sauce has cooked into the meat. You are ready to roll now.

Get your tortillas warmed, top with the carnitas, adding red onion and fresh cilantro to the top. Watch out, these are addicting. I hope you enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

6 thoughts to “Carnitas – Round Two”

  1. My boyfriend and I have made these carnitas about 5 times now. Delicious recipe!! Thank you for sharing on the interwebs.

  2. This porky goodness is simmering on the stove right now. And what aromas! I substituted a can of beer for the Coke, but otherwise I’m sticking with your recipe all the way, Dax. Since we relocated from the land of tornadoes (AKA Oklahoma) to Santa Fe, we’ve been enjoying many Latino style recipes. I’m buzzing over to the tortillieria now! Thank you and keep those great recipes coming.

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