Tacos de Carnitas is a delicious authentic Mexican dish that is well worth the effort. Crispy succulent pieces of pork are slowly braised with fragrant spices, fresh orange juice and beer only to be later crisped to perfection. Placed inside fresh tortillas, Tacos de Carnitas is best served garnished with chopped onion and Mexico’s favorite fresh herb, cilantro. Although, this recipe is cooked using a small dutch oven, a heavy bottomed roasting pan tightly covered in foil will work just as well.
Total Cook Time: 4 hours (Approximate)
3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (or 2 1/2 pounds bone-in)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons of oregano
1/3 cup grape seed oil
1 onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves,
1 orange, juice of
1 lime, juice of
1/2 cup of mexican beer (Our favorite is Negra Modelo)
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
tortillas, corn or flour, warmed on a greased griddle
onion, finely chopped
3 limes, quartered
1 -Preheat oven to 275 degrees F .
2 – Cut the pork into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Be sure to include fat as this will keep the meat succulent
3- In a small dutch oven combine pork, cumin, oregano, garlic, olive oil, orange juice, salt, bay leaves, black pepper, and mix until pork is coated completely. Pour the orange juice and beer over the pork mixture. The meat and ingredients should be tightly packed as this will keep the meat moist.
4- Bring to a low boil on your stovetop and then transfer to the oven.
5 – Bake in the oven until pork is fork-tender, about 4 hours. Be sure to check the liquid level as the pork cooks. The meat should not be allowed to dry out. Add more if necessary
6- Once cooked tender, the pork is ready for crisping. Preheat the broiler and remove the pork from the oven. Adjust oven racks if needed.
7 – With a slotted spoon transfer meat (including the fatty pieces) to a baking pan greased with grape seed oil, while reserving juices. Also heavily drizzle the meat with oil before broiling to prevent the meat from drying out.
8- Crisp meat under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.
9 – Once nicely crisped the pork carnitas is ready to serve! Remove from oven and drizzle with more of the accumulated juices.
10 – Serve the crispy pork carnitas inside tortillas (your choice of corn or flour), with freshly chopped white onion and garnished with cilantro, your favorite salsa and a wedge of lime.
11 – As always, enjoy!