Pulled pork with cumin and orange

Pulled pork with cumin and orange

Total Time
2 hr 30 min
20 min
2 hr 10 min
Inspired by carnitas but much healthier than the traditional preparation, this savory pork is seasoned generously with orange zest and juice, ground cumin, dried oregano, and garlic. Though it takes about 2 hours to get the pork incredibly tender, it all comes together in just one pot. Browning the pork first is super important, as the caramelized sides will add lots of richness and depth of flavor. Don't skip this step! The end result is irresistible in a taco, sandwich, or wrap. You'll want to have a batch on hand at all times when you find yourself reaching for it over and over again.


Olive oil

2 Tbsp

Uncooked lean pork shoulder

2 pound(s), or butt, excess fat trimmed and discarded, cut into 1-in cubes

Kosher salt

1½ tsp

Ground cumin

2 tsp

Dried oregano

2 tsp


3 clove(s), minced


1¼ cup(s)

Orange zest

1½ Tbsp, finely grated (from 1 medium Navel orange)

Orange juice

2½ Tbsp, (from same Navel orange)


2 medium, or a small handful fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
  2. Place oil in a large, heavy pot set over medium-high heat. Season pork all over with salt. Cook pork (working in batches if necessary depending on size of your pot) until browned all over, about 10 minutes total.
  3. Turn off heat; sprinkle pork with cumin, oregano and garlic. Pour water into pot; cover pot. Place pot in oven; cook, uncovering pot now and again to stir pork, until pork is incredibly tender, about 2 hours. Use tongs or 2 forks to shred pork.
  4. Add orange zest, orange juice and cilantro to pork; stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.
  5. Serving size: 1/2 c