Carnitas Cooked Sous-Vide with Orange Juice

After the success of carnitas sous-vide, I wanted to try a sous-vide version of REMCooks’ recipe for carnitas. Richard cooks the pork with orange juice, lime juice, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, ground cumin, and garlic instead of with achiote paste, chipotle powder and pork stock. I also decided to cook the pork sous-vide for 48 hours at 62ºC/144ºF rather than 36 hours at 65ºC/149ºF.

We liked this version even better than the previous one. The pork was still nicely flaky and more juicy than when cooked at the higher temperature, and the flavor was better than with the achiote paste. It’s also easier to squeeze an orange than to make pork stock. Next time I will include some chipotle powder for smoky spiciness. This is definitely a keeper!


For 2 servings

300 grams (.66 lb) pork shoulder

freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1/2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp pork fat (substitute with 1 Tbsp vegetable oil)

For serving



pico de gallo


Cut the pork into 3 cm (1 inch) cubes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Put the pork in a sous-vide pouch and add the orange juice.

Add the herbs and cumin as well and vacuum seal in a chamber vacuum sealer or with a ziploc bag and the water displacement method to get most of the air out.

Cook for 48 hours at 62ºC/144ºF.

Separate the meat and the juices.

Melt the pork fat in a frying pan…

…and add the juices from the bag. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat…

…until reduced.

Add the pork and cook until the pork is browned and a bit crispy.

Serve with tortillas, avocado, and pico de gallo.

Wine pairing

We liked this with a riesling, which I had picked because riesling goes well with citrus.


Two years ago my front yard was infested with nettles, but I had my revenge as I used them to fill delicious tortelli di ortiche. Nettles have a very ‘fresh’ green flavor and once you’ve blanched them, they won’t make your tongue itch.


8 thoughts on “Carnitas Cooked Sous-Vide with Orange Juice

    1. Good point, you can only do that with a chamber vacuum sealer. With a ‘food saver’ type vacuum sealer, you’d suck the marinade right out of the pouch. In that case, a ziploc bag and the water displacement method is the way to go. I’ll point that out in the post. By now I am so used to having a chamber vacuum sealer that I’ve all but forgotten about how it was before.


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