Joey Special

Sous Vide Carnitas for Tacos (Crispy Mexican-Style Pulled Po

12 servings


8 hours 30 minutes

total time


4 pounds (1.8kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch-thick slabs

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

6 medium cloves garlic

1 stick cinnamon, broken into 3 to 4 pieces

2 bay leaves

1 medium orange, peel intact

Kosher salt

To Serve:

Warm corn tortillas

Lime wedges

Chopped white onion and fresh cilantro leaves

Charred Salsa Verde or other salsa


Combine pork, onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves in a large bowl. Split orange into quarters and squeeze juice into bowl before adding rest of orange. Season generously with kosher salt and toss to combine.

Transfer contents to a vacuum bag and seal (see note).

When ready to cook, use a sous vide immersion circulator to preheat a water bath to the desired temperature according to the chart above .

Add bag to water bath and cook for recommended time according to chart above. Make sure to top water up occasionally as it evaporates, and keep bag completely submerged. If bag floats, weigh it down by placing a wet kitchen towel on top of it. Alternatively, use a heavy-duty binder clip to attach a metal spoon or knife to bottom of bag as a weight.

When meat is cooked, remove from water bath. If you are cooking the pork in advance and don’t plan to serve it the same day, cool pork to room temperature directly in the bag or chill in an ice bath, then transfer bag to refrigerator or freezer (pork can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months). If finishing the carnitas the same day, transfer contents of bag to a large bowl. Pick out chunks of meat with a set of tongs and transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet. (Discard aromatics and excess liquid, or reserve liquid and blend it in with your salsa.) When it is cool enough to handle, shred meat roughly using 2 forks or your fingers. Spread evenly over baking sheet.

When ready to serve, adjust an oven rack to 3 inches below the broiler element and preheat broiler to high. Place pork under broiler and cook, using a spoon to flip pieces occasionally, until meat is browned and crisp on most sides, about 10 minutes total. Alternatively, working in batches, heat carnitas in a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes.

Serve carnitas with warm tortillas, lime wedges, chopped onion and cilantro, and salsa.


Serving Size

Serves 8 to 12


329 kcal

Total Fat

24 g

Saturated Fat

9 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



101 mg


286 mg

Total Carbohydrate

0 g

Dietary Fiber

0 g

Total Sugars

0 g


26 g

12 servings


8 hours 30 minutes

total time
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