Carnitas Tacos - Mexican Recipe

Carnitas Tacos – Mexican Recipe


Carnitas is a traditional Mexican dish that is a filling used in tacos and other dishes. Usually cooked using the cheapest cuts of pork, the cooking method used for carnitas makes the meat melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Carnitas can be simply wrapped in corn tortillas or used as the base for something more ambitious like tamales or empanadas.

Yomaterial: Serves 12 people

  • 2kg pork 250g
  • 6 cups water
  • 7 orange peels
  • 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 onions (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 and 1/2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed oregano leaves
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt, and more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove powder
  • 24 warm corn tortillas
  • chopped fresh coriander for garnish
  • Finely chop 1 onion for garnish
  • Fresh green sauce or hot sauce for garnish


Remove the thick fat from the outside of the pork shoulder. Cut the meat into 2cm cubes. Discard any cubes of pure fat, but do not remove all fat from the meat.

Add the pork to a large pot. Add water, shredded orange zest, garlic, chopped onion, red pepper, cinnamon, bay leaf, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and cloves. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low. Remove any scum on the surface.

Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours until the meat is very tender. If necessary, add water until the meat is submerged. Season with salt.

Then continue cooking and lightly stir-fry the meat. If you want the meat to be crispier, cook it longer. Stir frequently and add a little water if the meat seems to be sticking or burning.

Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Place the meat in a fine sieve and press gently with a wooden spoon to remove excess fat. Discard the fat.

Place a few tablespoons of carnitas inside each tortilla. Cover with cilantro, onions and sauce.

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