Carnitas are one of my favorite things to order when at a Mexican restaurant, so I just had to figure out how to make it at home using only Paleo ingredients. Here is what I came up with, a delicious meaty meal to keep you satisfied for hours.
Learning how to make the best carnitas ever is a serious step in the right direction if you’re trying to upgrade Taco night. It’s a traditional dish that fits right in with the Paleo way of eating, and it’s easy to make, with most of the hard work done by a Dutch oven or slow cooker.
Go with a boneless pork shoulder if you can find it. You can also use pork loin and get pretty good results, but it’s the fat found in the shoulder that makes these extra tender and delicious.
Instead of the traditional cilantro we’re using oregano which gets the job done and retains the authentic flavor. There’s also a combination of orange and lime zest and juice so there’s a citrus flavor, and also some citric acid which helps soften the meat even more.
You can’t really serve up Paleo carnitas without the right tortillas. For that we start from scratch and use a combination of egg whites and almond flour. It makes a batter that is easy to work with and produces yummy tortillas that go great with the meat. It’s an important step to take in order to keep this recipe 100% Paleo and get rid of any grains, wheat, or other unhealthy ingredients found in store bought tortillas.
My system involves getting this prepped during my lunch break which means it will be ready when I come home and can then make the tortillas really quick and everything is hot and ready. I don’t know if I could handle sitting around and smelling how good it smells so it works best if I’m not around while it’s cooking.
This meat is great to enjoy with friends and family so be sure to double the recipe if you’re entertaining. It’s just as easy to make two or three times as much and just save the leftovers if you don’t go through it. Running out before everyone has had their fill is definitely not recommended.
Feel free to top these with our Paleo salsa verde or one of our 3 guacamole options as perfect add-ons and in keeping with the traditional way of enjoying carnitas. It’s almost unfair to your taste buds to keep topping your carnitas with delicious layers, since they’ll be inundated with awesome flavor and will have tons of different ingredients to savor.
It’s great to have this as an option when you’re having tacos. When pitted against beef or chicken it’s a hands down winner because of its depth of flavor and amazing texture. You can also cook it up and serve it with any vegetable side if you don’t feel like making the tortillas. It’s a versatile meat that tastes great no matter how you eat it.
- 4 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin, crushed
- 1 ½ cup homemade vegetable stock or water
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- salt pepper to taste
- 4 egg whites
- 4 tbsp almond flour
- 4 tbsp almond milk
- 1/8 tsp salt
- pinch of black pepper
- Bring the pork shoulder to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 350 F. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pork and sear and brown on all sides. Remove the pork from the Dutch oven, add one tablespoon of olive oil and sliced onion and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes them remove from the heat and set aside.
- Return the pork in the Dutch oven, add the rest of ingredients, cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 2 ½ hours or until the pork is very tender. Transfer the pork to a large plate or board and shred the pork into small bite-size pieces with two forks or fork and a knife.
- Moisture the shredded meat with pan juices and set aside. In a large bowl beat the egg whites with almond flour, milk and salt and pepper.
- Heat medium nonstick pan brushed with small amount of olive oil and add ¼ cup of the mixture. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, then flip it and cook for 30 seconds on the other side. Transfer the tortilla on a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
- Repeat until all the mixture is used.
- Top the tortillas with shredded meat and your favorite salsa.
Want more Paleo recipes? Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.
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