Sous Vide Pork Carnitas


I grew up in a cooking family and after getting a degree in Spanish and Anthropology, realized what I really wanted to do was to go to culinary school. After working in a NYC bank for a few years, I managed to get to culinary school and got my first jobs in NYC kitchens ...

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After so many cutlets and steaks and chops, I knew I had to experiment with something bigger — a full-on pork roast, 36 hours. One that you can set and forget for a while. The only worry I had was evaporation and letting the water fall below the minimum level line, but that ended up not an issue at all. Every time I left the house, I topped the water up to the maximum line, just as I did when I went to bed that night. The result is tender pork, which I used in this carnitas recipe (perhaps a bit of a faux carnitas recipe to some, but it really hit the mark for the recipe tasters here) and in the pulled barbecue pork sandwich recipe. The 4-pound pork butt yielded about 2 pounds of shredded meat.
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Ingredients for 4

  • 1 (4-pound) bone-in pork shoulder, trimmed of large pieces of fat

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

  • Juice of 1/2 orange

  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

  • 8 small flour tortillas

  • Salsa

  • Fresh cilantro leaves


  • Step 1

    Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 149ºF (65ºC).

  • Step 2

    Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Place in a large zipper lock bag with the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and celery salt. Roll the pork around in the bag to distribute seasonings.

  • Step 3

    Seal the bag using the water immersion technique and place in the water bath. Set the timer for 36 hours. Cover the water bath with plastic wrap to minimize water evaporation. Add water intermittently to keep the pork submerged.

  • Step 4

    When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath. Remove the pork from the bag and reserve cooking liquid.

  • Step 5

    Shred the pork into small pieces. Discard bones and any large pieces of fat. Transfer pork to a bowl and cover with reserving cooking liquid. Refrigerate overnight.

    • Finishing Steps

    • Step 0

      Measure out 1 pound of shredded pork and gelled cooking liquid. Reserve remaining pork for another use.

    • Step 1

      Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the orange juice, oregano, cumin, and pork. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and pork browns.

    • Step 2

      Serve from the skillet with warm tortillas, salsa and cilantro.

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149 F / 65 C Recipe Temp
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