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Carnitas Tacos

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  • Prep 50 min
  • Total 60 min
  • Ingredients 20
  • Servings 6
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When I was 15 years old, my parents owned a small taquería. My job on the weekends was to help my dad prepare a big batch of fresh pico de gallo, which would of course accompany carnitas tacos, my absolute favorite of all the tacos that we prepared. This Carnitas Taco recipe is a stovetop version of the original tacos I loved so much. It’s the perfect introduction to how to make carnitas tacos, and they’ll be great for any day of the week, not just #tacotuesday.
by Sonia Mendez Garcia
Updated May 30, 2024
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  • 2 1/2 lb boneless country-style pork ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, diced
  • 4 plum (Roma) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 serrano chiles, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • Juice of 2 limes, divided
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup pork lard
  • 1 piece (1-inch) of a cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium avocados, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 24 corn tortillas


  • 1
    In a large heavy pot, add the pork and season with 1 teaspoon of the salt, the garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of the pepper. Add 1 cup of water. Cover the pot, leaving it slightly open on one side. Bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat slightly and boil for about 20 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. (Do not disturb the meat while it is steaming.)
  • 2
    In medium bowl, combine the tomatillos, tomatoes, onion, garlic, serrano chiles, cilantro, olive oil, oregano, juice of 1 lime, 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine; season with salt as desired. Cover and set aside.
  • 3
    In small bowl, combine the orange juice and juice from the 1/2 lemon. As soon as the water has evaporated from the carnitas, add the juice mixture. Continue cooking until liquid has evaporated.
  • 4
    Remove the lid add the lard and cinnamon stick to the pork. Cook pork until nicely browned in most spots, turning as needed. Remove pork from oil with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with paper towels. Let drain for a couple of minutes before transferring to a serving dish with a lid.
  • 5
    In a small bowl, combine the avocados, juice of remaining lime and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Stir well. Season to taste. Heat tortillas on a large griddle or comal and keep warm in tortilla warmer or wrapped in a kitchen towel. Serve tacos garnished with fresh salsa and avocado.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe
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