| | |

Chipotle’s Carnitas (Copycat recipe)

Chipotle's Carnitas (Copycat recipe)

I’ve loved the restaurant Chipotle’s carnitas ever since the very first time I ate at their restaurant. To be honest, it’s the only meat I’ve ever tried there. I think the flavor is amazing and it’s always so juicy and tender. Recently, I asked a manager what their secret was and he said juniper berries. I have kept an eye out for a copycat recipe for a while but never found one with juniper berries until now–thank you Culinary Hill! Their recipe is for a slow cooker but my slow cooker is in our motor home at the moment so I adapted it for slow and low in the oven. Another adaption to the recipe was I seared the pork because I like the extra flavor searing meat adds to recipes like this. I cooked the meat slow and low in my Dutch oven for 4 hours, until the meat fell off the bone and shredded easily. The meat didn’t need any additional seasonings and we all thought it was AMAZING and tasted just like Chipotle’s carnitas. Yay! I used this meat for tacos but I think it will be great for enchiladas, burritos, and nachos too. I can’t wait to have the leftovers for dinner tonight. YUM.

Chipotle's Carnitas (Copycat recipe)

How to Make Chipotle’s Carnitas (Copycat recipe)

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Season the entire pork shoulder well with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Chipotle's Carnitas (Copycat recipe)

Place the fat side down in the HOT Dutch oven and sear for 2 minutes, or until golden brown; repeat on all sides of the pork shoulder until completely seared.

Chipotle's Carnitas (Copycat recipe)

Remove the Dutch oven from the heat. Add the water, juniper berries, bay leaves, and fresh thyme sprig. Cover with a lid and place into the oven to cook for four hours, carefully turning the pork shoulder over halfway through cooking.

Remove from the oven. Remove the bone and fat. Shred pork with a fork. Serve as is (as pictured), if desired.

For crispy edges, transfer the shredded pork and juices to a rimmed baking sheet and broil, watching carefully, until the edges become crispy. Serve. Enjoy.

Chipotle's Carnitas (Copycat recipe)

Chipotle's Carnitas (Copycat recipe)

Chipotle's Carnitas (Copycat recipe)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 12
Author: Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original by Culinary Hill

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tsp olive oil
  • 3 1/2 lb pork shoulder fat cap trimmed to 1/8th inch
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp whole juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large sprig of fresh thyme

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Season the entire pork shoulder well with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • Place the fat side down in the HOT Dutch oven and sear for 2 minutes, or until golden brown; repeat on all sides of the pork shoulder until completely seared.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the heat.
  • Add the water, juniper berries, bay leaves, and fresh thyme sprig.
  • Cover with a lid and place into the oven to cook for four hours, carefully turning the pork shoulder over halfway through cooking.
  • Remove from the oven. Remove the bone, fat, juniper berries, bay leaves, and thyme sprig. Shred pork with a fork. Serve as is, if desired.
  • For crispy edges, transfer the shredded pork and juices to a rimmed baking sheet and broil, watching carefully, until the edges become crispy. Serve. Enjoy.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @4loveofcooking on instagram and hashtag it #4loveofcooking

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. Looks very good Pam – did it taste like the restaurant?

  2. Thanks so much for a great recipe.and the adapted way of cooking. I don’t have a slow cooker, so I appreciate the altered directions. Looks yummy.

  3. deliciously glossy meat! 🙂 this kind of thing makes my mouth water like nothing else.