Pork Carnitas (lighter and healthier)

Pork Carnitas

Our families love affair with Mexican food is very strong! We have tacos or quesadillas at least once a week. Every one of our kids love chips and salsa. A good Mexican restaurant is almost always on the list of options of restaurants when we go out to eat. And we all love it! It is easy on the budget and so flavorful. I love Pork Carnitas and have worked out a new recipe to make it lighter and healthier.

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Pork is a really economical choice for meat these days and is often quite a significant savings over beef. I am ALL about saving money right now on the grocery budget! I usually skip the pork isle. Jon is not a big fan of pork. (Except bacon…He loves bacon! But who doesn’t LOVE bacon?) I have recently decided to win him over on eating more pork and developing delicious and healthy recipes that he will fall in love with.

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Pork Carnitas are usually made with pork shoulder, a very fatty piece of meat. I decided to cut out a lot of the fat by using a pork loin instead of a pork butt or shoulder in this recipe. That choice alone makes a huge difference in cutting out the calories. I love this recipe, because it can be made in the oven or the crockpot!

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We made tacos with our pork carnitas and added a whole bunch of delicious toppings to our tacos which basically made this whole meal over-the-top amazing! Corn tortillas, black beans, corn, sour cream, Chunky Salsa (pico de gallo), hot sauce, and shredded cheese were our toppings of choice.

Pork Carnitas
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Ingredients
  1. 4-5 lb Pork Loin
  2. 3 tsp Salt
  3. 2 tsp Pepper
  4. 3 tsp Cumin
  5. 3 tsp Oregano
  6. 1 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  7. 1 Onion
  8. 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  9. 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  10. 1 cup Diet Coke
  11. Cilantro
Instructions
  1. Place pork loin in a oven-proof pan.
  2. Pour lime juice, orange juice, and diet coke over pork loin.
  3. Chop onion into large quarters and divide in pieces around pork loin.
  4. In a small bowl stir together salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, & chili powder.
  5. Spread seasoning mixture over pork loin.
  6. Cover with tin foil and bake at 325˚ F for 5 hours.
  7. After 5 hours, remove from oven and shred meat using forks or tongs.
  8. Place back in oven with no foil for 30 minutes or until juices soak into the meat.
  9. Serve with chopped cilantro garnished on top.
SlowCooker option
  1. Combine all ingredients into crockpot and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low 6-8.
All My Good Things http://allmygoodthings.com/
Happy Eating!
Keikilani 

 

15 thoughts on “Pork Carnitas (lighter and healthier)

  • January 20, 2016 at 9:00 pm
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    We love Mexican food in our house. I need to try these. YUM!

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  • January 20, 2016 at 9:57 pm
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    This looks delicious! I’m curious about the Diet Coke..is it meant to soften the meat? I have never seen a recipe that used pop before.

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    • January 21, 2016 at 2:19 am
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      Yes! Diet Coke totally softens the meat and gives it a sweet flavor. I use soda a lot when braising meat. The flavor is amazing and the meat is so tender.

      Reply
  • January 20, 2016 at 11:30 pm
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    These look wonderful! I think my whole family would enjoy it if I made these one night!

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  • January 21, 2016 at 1:08 am
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    We love carnitas! We eat them daily if I had enough. I will try this recipe to see how it tastes.

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  • January 21, 2016 at 1:11 am
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    Mexican food is very popular in this house! This one will fit in quite nice on our next Mexican night!

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  • January 21, 2016 at 1:21 am
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    I love Mexican food. That is all the cravings I have during this pregnancy. This recipe looks amazing!

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  • January 21, 2016 at 2:08 am
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    This looks so good. Perfect for a fast dinner on a busy work day. My husband loves carnitas!

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  • January 21, 2016 at 3:23 am
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    I’m loving this idea. I may have to pick up some pork loin and try this. The slow cooker method would be ideal for me.

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  • January 21, 2016 at 4:40 am
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    This recipe looks so delicious. It is always great to learn a lighter and healthier option for our meal choices.

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  • January 21, 2016 at 10:31 am
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    That’s a great wya to use pork. I know my grown kids would LOVE to visit if I was making this for dinner.

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  • January 21, 2016 at 2:11 pm
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    This looks so good! I’m wondering about the Diet Coke..why do you use it? Is there a particular reason? Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
    • January 21, 2016 at 2:23 pm
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      I use Diet Coke all the time when braising meat. It give it a slightly sweet flavor and tenderizes the meat in a way that is just AMAZING!!!! My favorite is using diet coke when making bbq pulled pork! Seriously, you NEED to try it!

      Reply
  • January 22, 2016 at 7:25 pm
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    My family will love this. I pinned your recipe to make next week. Added the ingredients to my shopping list.

    Reply

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