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Hi! I'm Ari, photographer and recipe developer behind Well Seasoned. As a former NYC chef, I'm spilling all my tips and tricks from the restaurant industry with you! To learn more about me click here.

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Pulled pork tacos

Tacos De Carnitas

Posted by: Ari Laing

Slowly braising pulled pork in a dutch oven is our favorite way to make tacos de carnitas! The pork is tender, flavorful, and unbelievably juicy. You'll love serving it in tortillas with chopped onion and fresh cilantro or in burrito bowls (rice bowls or salad bowls). An easy, make-ahead meal that is family-friendly and great for entertaining! GF, DF, Whole30

recipe +-

Posted by: Ari Laing
Pulled pork tacos
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Tacos De Carnitas

Slowly braising pulled pork in a dutch oven is our favorite way to make tacos de carnitas! The pork is tender, flavorful, and unbelievably juicy. Serve with chopped onion and fresh cilantro or in burrito bowls. Easy, make-ahead, and family-friendly! GF, DF, Whole30
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 25 mins
Resting Time20 mins
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carnitas recipe, homemade carnitas, pulled pork dutch oven, pulled pork tacos
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 345kcal
Author: Ari Laing

Equipment

  • Dutch oven
  • Rimmed baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 4-5 lb boneless pork shoulder cut into 2" thick strips, about 4" long (smaller pieces are fine too)
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano or Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil or other light, neutral oil
  • 1 orange zested and juiced
  • 2 limes zested and juiced
  • ½ cup chicken broth or beer
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced, plus 1 finely chopped onion for serving
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Small flour tortillas for serving
  • Fresh cilantro for serving
  • Lime wedges for serving

Instructions

  • Mix the spice rub. Combine 2 tsp Kosher salt, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, and ¼ tsp black pepper in a small bowl, then whisk well. Season the pork shoulder pieces on all sides.
  • Sear the pork. Heat a large pot over high heat, then add 2 Tbsp avocado oil. When very hot, add half of the pork at one time, searing until golden brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a large plate, then repeat with remaining pork and set aside. Do not drain the drippings at the bottom of the pan!
  • Sauté the onion. Add thinly sliced onion to the hot pan, then scrape up all the brown bits. This equals flavor! Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Braise the pork. Return the seared pork to the pot, then add ½ cup chicken stock or beer. Add the zest and juice of 1 orange and 2 limes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature to a simmer. Cook for 2 ½ - 3 hours, or until the pork is fall apart tender. Keep an eye on the liquid! If all the liquid cooks off, everything at the bottom of the dutch oven will burn. You shouldn't need to add any additional stock, beer, or water, but check it every 45 minutes or so.
  • Cool slightly. Transfer the pork carefully to a large mixing bowl or tray and allow to cool about 20 minutes, until you're able to handle the meat. Pull or shred the pork. We like to press lightly on it with a fork.
  • Crisp the carnitas! You can either return the pulled pork to the pot along with the drippings and the onion and serve it straight from there, or transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, then heat under a broiler on high for up to 5 minutes to get crispy edges.
  • Serve immediately. Serve the pork in tacos that have been warmed with chopped onion, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.

Notes

  • Nutrition facts do not include tortillas, onion, or other condiments for serving, such as guacamole, salsa, or cotija cheese.
  • Carnitas will keep for up to 5 days in a refrigerator or up to 6 months in a freezer.
  • To make in a slow cooker: Follow instructions through the browning of the pork and the onions. Next, transfer both to a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients (chicken stock or beer, citrus zest and juice, and 2 bay leaves), then cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Finish the same way -- either shredding and returning to the braising liquid or by crisping under a broiler.

Nutrition

Sodium: 764mg | Calcium: 44mg | Vitamin C: 16mg | Vitamin A: 133IU | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 967mg | Cholesterol: 136mg | Calories: 345kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fat: 11g | Protein: 52g | Carbohydrates: 6g | Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @wellseasonedstudio and hashtag it #wellseasonedstudio!