Dove Carnitas

 Photo by Jesse Morris

Photo by Jesse Morris


One of my all time favorites and go to recipe is carnitas.  They are flavorful and easy to cook. My version of the recipe is not totally traditional. I like to lighten it up and use things that I can find around me in the late August early September months. If you don't like the idea of using real sugar cokes, then don't use it.  You may substitute piloncillo, an unrefined sugar, and water.


1 pound salt pork, large cubed

Pig skin or pig ears, you may use the skin from the salt pork

1 white onion, rough chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 pound block of lard

10 dove plucked and cleaned doves quartered and hearts (trust me)

1 bunch fresh thyme, whole

1 bunch fresh oregano, whole

2 sticks Mexican cinnamon 

1 Meyer lemon (or small orange), peeled, rind and juice 

3 Mexican real sugar cokes


In a deep, heavy bottom pan or dutch oven brown the salt pork.

Add onions and garlic to pan and and saute for a few minutes.

Then add lard and allow it to melt and begin to slightly fry ingredients in pan.  

Next add dove and remainder of the ingredients and simmer for about an hour on medium/high heat until meat is tender and the cloudy look of the coke and lard turns semi clear. 

Pick all the meat and some of the lemon peel out.  Pull apart the meat to prep for serving. 

Finish off on flat top or cast iron pan till caramelized.

I prefer to garnish with charred jalapeno, chimichuri and a slice of lime or Meyer lemon.


Here is a video I did a few years back with my friends from Original Fare.