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By Pati’s Mexican Table 

Everyone knows that Mexican food is great for a party. In this episode, Pati invites some of her son’s friends (and their parents) over to her house and makes some of her popular fiesta dishes — perfect for any party! In Mexico, she travels to the town of Quiroga, known as the Carnitas Capital of the World, where she’ll show us one of her absolute favorite treats: The REAL Mexican Gazpacho!


Serves 8


– Half a white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
– 1 1/2 cups water
– 6 garlic cloves
– 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– Pinch cumin
– 4 whole cloves, stems removed
– 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
– 1 tablespoon lard, vegetable shortening or oil
– 4 to 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt, cut into 4-inch chunks, fat on!
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
– 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk


In the jar of a blender, place the water, onion, garlic cloves, marjoram, thyme, black pepper, cumin, stemmed whole cloves and 1 tablespoon salt. Puree until smooth.

Set a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Add the lard (or vegetable shortening or oil), and once it has heated up, add the pork chunks and sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Brown the meat on all sides, stirring and flipping as each side browns, about 10 minutes.

Pour the onion mixture over the meat, let it come to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Pour in the orange juice and sweetened condensed milk, add the 2 bay leaves, and give it a good stir. Let it come to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low to low and cover.

Cook covered, stirring and scrapping the bottom of the casserole 2 to 3 times along the way, until the meat is completely cooked and coming easily apart if you pull one piece, about one hour and a half. Remove the lid, cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Scoop out the carnitas with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat behind, and serve in a bowl or platter. Shred with a fork, if desired, before tucking into tacos. Or do like we do, serve straight from the pot.

Serve with warm corn tortillas and pickled jalapeños or salsa verde cruda on the side.

Still hungry?… See more recipe’s from Pati’s Mexican Table