Pork Carnitas Tacos

Pork Carnitas Tacos

Slow-braised, juicy pork carnitas with a hint of citrus and garlic – yes, please! This recipe is simple, low-maintenance, and will easily feed a crowd. Pork Carnitas is one of my go-to meals when we have guests. Guests can build their own tacos, adding as much or as little toppings as they like. But it also is a great recipe to cook for my family in advance, so you an reheat and eat during the busy weekday.

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, so it felt appropriate to share this recipe today! Simply start with a pork shoulder (bone-in gives the best flavor), olive oil, garlic, onion, ground cumin, a couple of oranges and limes. It’s one of those recipes you can start early in the day and forget about until it’s fall-off-the-bone tender, right in time for dinner. Intensify the flavor with toasted corn tortillas, a little lime zest and juice, and fresh cilantro. I also like to serve it with fresh salsa and homemade guacamole. Seriously, no cheese or sour cream is necessary — you won’t miss it! The pork itself is rich enough without it!

You can also adapt this recipe into most any lifestyle. Gluten free? Eat with corn tortillas. Keto or low-carb? Wrap in a lettuce leaf. Paleo? Serve in a bowl alongside Sweet Potato Bites and fresh salsa. Vegan? I can’t help you there… But seriously, this is a recipe you’ll want to keep in your repertoire because it truly is a crowd pleaser.

Pork Carnitas Tacos

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 6 hours (mostly inactive time)

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 large onion, sliced in half
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced in half
  • 1 cup of water
  • Zest + juice of 2 oranges
  • Zest + juice of 2 limes
  • Handful of fresh cilantro

Instructions

1

Heat a large Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Carefully place pork inside pot when it's hot (you'll hear it sizzle when it's hot enough). Sprinkle pork with salt and ground cumin and sear for a few minutes on all sides until it's lightly browned. Add water and deglaze bottom of pan.

2

Turn heat to low. Add whole pieces of onion and garlic (don't worry, you'll remove them later), and the zest and juice of the oranges and limes. Cover pot and allow to cook for about 5-1/2 to 6 hours, until it's fall-off-the-bone tender.

3

Remove bone, shred pork, and top with chopped cilantro and additional salt, if needed. and serve with tacos, as a lettuce wrap or as a burrito bowl.

Notes

You can cook this a few days in advance and store in fridge. You can either reheat in same cooking vessel, or separate the pork from the liquid, and crisp up in sautée pan. Once pork is a little bit crispy, add a couple tablespoons of cooking liquid to the pork. This is my favorite way to eat it -- it's a little but crispy, but still juicy. So good.

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