Carnitas Lettuce Cups



This recipe is perfect for your fat burning diet. I have detailed instructions on how to make Rick Bayless' recipe for carnitas shown below. Not only is this great for just enjoying on one's own, but I have found that bringing carnitas to a potluck is always a huge hit.


  • Pork carnitas - cooked using Rick Bayless' recipe from Mexico - One Plate at a Time.*
  • Romaine or butter lettuce - whole leaves
  • Garnishes - crumbled queso fresco, cilantro, tomatoes, pico de gallo, avocado chunks, guacamole, onions, salsa fresca or anything else you desire 

A 3 1/2 pound bone-in pork butt. About three inches thick. Sliced in two 1 1/2 inch slabs.


Slabs put into a baking dish and salted liberally. I used Hawaiian sea salt, but any will do.


Add 1/2 cup of water.


rap tightly with foil. The point here is to steam the meat.

Place in 375 degree oven.


After an hour, remove the foil. The meat will look pale.


Increase heat to 450 and watch carefully. Turn every 10 minutes at a minimum. When the water evaporates, the meat will start frying in its own fat. The result is crispy golden brown on the outside and soft and moist on the inside.  CAUTION: At this point the meat is very hot and not unlikely to splatter when turned!


Allow the meat to cool and begin shredding. I use my fingers to shred the tender pork, but I suppose you could use a fork.


A pile of yummy carnitas!


Start with empty lettuce "cups".

Now you add the carnitas and whatever garnishes you desire. 


I garnished with pico de gallo, tomatoes , and avocados, but use whatever strikes your fancy.

You might find you have some leftover carnitas. Perfect for a quick breakfast with a fried egg. Drizzle on some Cholula sauce for added perfection!


Jeff Edman