Coca-Cola Carnitas

(from castro15’s recipe box)

Categories: Mexican


  • 1 1/2 pounds fatty pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pork fat or neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil, for frying (see Cook's Note)
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Corn tortillas, for serving
  • Suggested toppings: salsa verde, diced onions, cilantro leaves, sliced radishes, lime wedges and sliced avocado


  1. Sprinkle the pork on all sides with the garlic powder and plenty of salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the pork fat over medium-high heat in a small, heavy Dutch oven or braiser (see Cook’s Note). Add the pork and fry on all sides until well browned, about 20 minutes. Add the Coca-Cola and 1/2 cup water (there should be just enough liquid to cover the sides of the meat). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the tarragon, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and simmer until the pork is tender, about 1 1/2 hours; the Coca-Cola will caramelize and the liquid will evaporate completely.

  3. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred. Serve with warm corn tortillas (charred over a flame) and toppings on the side: salsa verde, diced onions, cilantro, radishes, lime wedges and avocado.

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