For a low-budget weeknight meal, opt for leftover pork shoulder, an inexpensive and forgiving cut of meat.

Pork shoulder, while very recession-friendly, typically cooks for hours, but this recipe for tender, marbleized Mexican-style carnitas can be made within an hour and a half.

Find out how when you





  1. 6 pounds pork shoulder (butt or picnic roast), bone removed, meat cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  2. 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  3. 2 1/2 cups water
  4. Flour or corn tortillas, for serving
  5. 2 cups refried beans, warmed, optional for serving
  6. 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
  7. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  8. 1 small onion, chopped
  9. 1 cup salsa
  10. 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced


  1. Place cubed pork, salt, and water in a deep, straight-sided 14-inch skillet. (Water should barely cover pork.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer gently, stirring and skimming foam from the surface occasionally, until water has evaporated completely, 55 to 60 minutes.
  2. Once water has evaporated, pork will begin to brown in its own fat. Cook on all sides, using a spatula to turn cubes and scrape up crisp bits from the skillet, until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Pork can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Reheat in a skillet over low heat.
  3. Warm the tortillas. Spread some of the beans on each tortilla and top with some of the pork. Squeeze a wedge of lime over each tortilla. Add the cilantro, onion, salsa, and avocado.

Serves 8.

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