Pork carnitas with sweet potato fries and pico de gallo

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves 4

By Andi Oliver

For the pork carnitas

  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 50ml/2fl oz rapeseed oil
  • 2 blood oranges, juiced, empty halves reserved
  • 500g/1lb 2oz boneless Boston butt or pork shoulder, fat trimmed

For the pico de gallo

  • 250g/9oz heritage tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 30ml/1fl oz molasses
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • pinch salt

For the fries

  • 200g/7oz white sweet potato, peeled and cut into chips


  1. To make the pork carnitas, mix together the first 12 ingredients with 200ml/7fl oz water in a large bowl. Add the pork and mix well, then cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 12 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3½.

  3. Tip the pork into a deep roasting tin and cook in the oven for 2–3 hours, or until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily.

  4. Meanwhile, to make the pico de gallo, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

  5. To make the fries, heat a deep-fat fryer to 180C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)

  6. Fry the chips for 8–10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. (You may need to do this in batches). Drain on kitchen paper.

  7. Using two forks, shred the pork and serve with the fries and pico de gallo.

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