Carnitas estilo Durango

Carnitas are chunks of pork meat fried to a golden perfection and seasoned ever so slightly. A crispy layer gives way to a tender, juicy, meaty center that can be shredded for tacos or eaten as they come out of the pot. Every region of Mexico has their own version of the popular carnitas. In Durango, the secret is to add evaporated milk to give the carnitas a beautiful golden brown coat with a delightful crunch.

Serves 10 to 12


15 lbs Bone-in country style pork ribs

5 lbs Lard (such as Morrell)

2 Oranges cut in fourths

12 oz. Can evaporated milk

¼ Cup salt (or to taste)

Also needed:

A deep copper pot to fry in

A long wooden paddle/spoon


1 Cut the meat into 4x2 inch pieces. 
Around the bone cut most of the 
meat off, but leave some on. 
Add the lard to the pot and set the 
burner to high flame.

2 Cut some of the fat around the ribs and cook in the 
lard. This adds flavor to the lard before the rest of the 
ingredients are added.

3 Once the fat cuttings are nice 
and brown, the lard is ready 
for the pork to be added.

4 Add the pork making sure that the
lard covers the pork at all times.
Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick to 
the bottom of the pot.

5 To stir, place paddle on 
the side of the pot and 
scrape down towards 
bottom. When you reach 
the bottom, scrape and lift 
the pork upwards. Repeat 
this all the way around the pot.

6 After the pork has been cooking 
for about 10 minutes add the 
orange slices.
Continue stirring frequently.

7 About 5 minutes after adding
the orange slices, add salt (to taste).
Continue stirring frequently.

8 Once the meat has released all its juices and is frying in 
the lard, sample the meat for readiness. When the pork 
is cooked through, add the can of evaporated milk. 
You will notice that the milk will start to stick to the 
meat. Continue stirring.

9 When the carnitas have reached a 
crisp golden brown, drain the 
excess fat with a colander and 
transfer to a serving dish.

Fall 2013

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