I learned Coke was the secret to making carnitas during my many trips to Mexico visiting my family’s produce farms. The sugar and caramel penetrate during braising and give the meat flavor and that golden brown delicious (GBD) color. Rumor has it that it also helps tenderize the pork, and I believe it.
1Tie the oregano, parsley and thyme into a bouquet garni with about 12 inches (30.5 cm) of butcher twine.
2Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the pork shoulder generously with salt, then arrange in the Dutch oven. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and orange juice. Pour in the chicken stock, cola and heavy cream. Add the bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and continue to simmer until the pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
3Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4Remove the pork from the Dutch oven. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Drizzle with a small amount of the reserved cooking liquid and lightly season with salt.
5Roast the pork in the oven until browned, about 30 minutes. Flake apart with forks or chop into small pieces. Serve on a plate with beans and rice or make some delicious tacos.
4-5 sprigs fresh oregano
4–5 sprigs fresh parsley
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup(120 ml) vegetable oil or lard
2 lb(910 g) pork shoulder, cut into 4'' (10-cm) cubes