Margarita's International Recipes


Carnitas estilo Jalisco

Jalisco-style Carnitas

Jalisco-style Carnitas

Even after having cooked this recipe, I am not sure there is such a thing as Jalisco-style carnitas. I found several recipes, mind you, mostly from home cooks from and/or living in Jalisco, but there was considerable variation among them. Most deep fry the pork in lard, and later stew it with at least onion and garlic - usually bay leaves as well. But at least one I found doesn't stew it at all. Another uses milk instead of water. Some have orange juice, but I found several with Coca Cola instead. My impression is that Jalisco doesn't have a particular style of carnitas, but rather Jalisciense cooks all have their way of making them - just as do Mexican cooks all over.

In the end, I combined several recipes I found to make one. The cherry coke is my unwilling innovation - I got it by mistake in my grocery order. While these carnitas were OK, they aren't nearly as good as those made from this recipe, which I recommend you use instead of the one on this page.

Jalisco-style Carnitas


  • 3 lbs pork shoulder
  • coarse salt to taste
  • 2 cups lard or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cracked peppercorns
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup coca cola or cherry coke


Dry pork shoulder. Cut into large chunks. Season with coarse salt.

Heat lard or oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pork pieces and fry for 15 minutes, turning once.

Add the onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and thyme. Add water, bring to a boil, and then simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Add coke and continue cooking until the pork is tender enough to be shredded by a fork. Remove from the pot and shred or slice.

Adapted from several recipes.

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