Cranberry Glazed Pork Carnitas Recipe

by Sandy on January 1, 2012

Cranberry Glazed Pork Carnitas Tacos Recipe

Can it really be New Year’s all ready? Just when you think you have the shopping, decorating, baking, dish washing done and you can sit down and enjoy the holidays… they’re over.

Well, not this year. Not for me. The holidays are not over until I say so.

I’ve decided to take the time to experiment with all of may favorite holiday foods (now that the hustle and bustle is over) and develop recipes to use them in all through the year.

First up, cranberry sauce. Yep, cranberry sauce. I love it. Just try a slice under a scoop of ambrosia salad then call me and tell me you don’t love it.

It was my first thought to use cranberry sauce in a dessert but, that was too easy. I wanted a challenge. After a few tries, I came up with Pork Carnitas. Genious. Pork is perfect with the sweet and sour cranberry. And, carnitas are my family’s favorite pork recipe. We eat carnitas every way imaginable.

Carnitas are small pieces of diced or shredded roasted pork. I roasted the pork for about two thirds of the roasting time before adding the glaze to make sure that the cranberry glaze stayed nice and did not burn.

You can make just about any southwest dish out of carnitas, tacos, enchiladas, chimis or not so southwest like lettuce wraps, bbq pork sandwiches or serve it “as is” with your favorite side dish.

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Cranberry Glazed Pork Carnitas Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Craneberries and Pork make a great combination for just about any Southwest dish.
Recipe type: entre
Serves: 8 to 10
  • 3 pound pork butt, boneless
  • 6 to 7 gloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Mexican Oregano (regular may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon marjoram
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • For Glaze:
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 12 ounces Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce
  • ¼ cup Heinz Chili Sauce
  • Garnishes:
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
  • Mexican crema
  • ½ head shredded cabbage
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • fresh cilantro
  1. Stud the pork with garlic by making 10 to 12 small slits on the fat side of the pork and inserting a peeled clove of garlic into each slit.
  2. Make a paste out of the oregano, marjoram, oil, salt and pepper. Rub into the pork.
  3. Place pork on a rack (fat side up) in a roasting pan. Cover with foil and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to penetrate into the pork.
  4. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Pour 1 cup water into the bottom of the pan. Cook pork, covered, for 3 and ½ hours.
  7. In the mean time, make the cranberry glaze. Heat the orange juice, water and Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce together in a small sauce pan. Stir until well combined.
  8. Remove from heat and add Heinz Chili Sauce. Set aside.
  9. Remove the cover from the pork and smother with cranberry glaze.
  10. Bake for another ½ to 1 hour or until pork is tender. Check to make sure the glaze does not burn.
  11. When the pork is tender, remove from oven and cool until the pork may be handled.
  12. Move the pork to a large sheet pan and shred the meat.
  13. Pour the juices from the bottom of the pan over the pork.
  14. Serve the pork on warm corn tortillas.
  15. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the carnitas .
  16. Garnish with Mexican crema, shredded cabbage, cilantro, and sliced radishes.
  17. Serve with additional lime wedges.



-posted by Sandy

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