Tag Archives: pork

Cynthia’s Spicy Shredded Pork

I don’t know who Cynthia is, but I am eternally grateful for this aMAZing version of carnitas. Oh my, it’s the best thing I’ve put in my mouth in a very long time. Many thanks to Ree Drummond, of Pioneer Woman fame, who first posted this. I like to serve it with warm corn tortillas, a good south-of-the-border slaw and sliced avocados. Be prepared to fend off hungry passersby, as the aromas wafting from the kitchen are to die for!


4 lbs (up to 7 lbs) pork shoulder or pork butt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp salt
Black pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cups brown sugar (or less)
1 whole onion, quartered
lime wedges


Rinse and pat dry the pork.

To begin, just throw the dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar and brown sugar into a food processor or blender. (Leave out the brown sugar if you like, I agree with Ree that it adds to the dish.)

Cut the onion into quarters and put in the food processor with the spices. Blend mixture until totally combined and then pour over the pork.

Now rub it into every nook and cranny of the meat, (I love this part) tucking it under folds and in crevices. Let no sone go unturned.

Then place the pork into a roasting pan or Dutch oven and add a couple of cups of water. Cover tightly and toast pork at 300 degrees for several hours, turning once every hour.

When it it fork tender, crank up the heat, remove the lid and roast it, skin side up for another 15-20 minutes to get the skin crispy. When it’s done, let it rest for 15 minutes before shredding. (An alternative way to crisp pieces of it and give it that nice “burnt ends” texture is to shred it roughly and brown the pieces in a skillet until it’s as done as you like. This gives you a little more control over that and more crispness, in my opinion.)

Shred the pork with two forks. When it’s all shredded, be sure to pour the juices all over the meat. Serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, slaw, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocados or guacamole… whatever makes your skirt fly up!

Adapted from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/spicy-shredded-pork/