Sweet and Spicy Carnitas to Add to Your Dinner Lineup

Watch chef Martita Jara prepare a mouth­watering version of this classic Mexican dish.

Serves 3-4


  • 2 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2" chunks
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • 12 oz can of cola or favorite dark soda
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas


    Preheat oven 325°.

    Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add vegetable oil and heat.

    Season pork with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. When oil is hot, add half of the pork to the pan, cooking about 4 minutes per side, until it is almost pan fried with a nice crust on all sides. Remove and set aside on a plate.

    Carefully pour out the hot oil from the pan and return pan to medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 4 minutes. Return the cooked pork to the pan, along with oregano, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, soda, broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and stir to combine. Allow to come to a simmer then remove pan from heat.

    Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Roast in oven for 2 hours.

    Remove from oven and pull pork apart with a fork before serving in a bowl with tortillas.