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Tacos De Carnitas


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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (7 Votes)
Tacos De Carnitas 1 Picture


  • 4 1/2 lbs pork butt
  • 6 cups water
  • 7 slices orange zest
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks, preferably Mexican
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 24 small corn tortillas, warmed
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • finely chopped onion
  • fresh salsa verde or hot sauce


Servings 12
Preparation time 45mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Trim any thick fat from the outside of the pork butt. Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. Discard any cubes that are pure fat, but don't try to trim all of the fat out of the meat.

Put the pork in a large pot. Add the water the strips of orange zest, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, bay leaves, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and cloves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any scum that forms on the surface. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until the pork is very soft, adding more water if necessary to keep the meat submerged. Season with salt.

Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the water has evaporated about 30 minutes. Cook a little longer to fry the meat slightly. (Note: if you want extra-crispy carnitas, fry approximately 25 minutes.) Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Put the meat in a fine strainer and push gently with a wooden spoon to remove any excess fat. Discard the fat.

Fold a few tablespoons of carnitas inside each tortilla and top each taco with cilantro, onion and salsa.


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