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Carnitas Tacos (Michoacán-Style Braised Pork Tacos)


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Rate this recipe 4.2/5 (17 Votes)


  • For the Carnitas
  • 3 tbsp. lard or canola oil
  • 3 lb. skinless, bone-in pork shoulder, cut into 3" pieces (have your butcher do this)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 ⁄4 cup whole milk
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 6 canned or jarred whole pickled jalapeños
  • 1 ⁄3 cup jalapeño pickling liquid, from above
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • For the Salsa and Serving
  • 6 tomatillos, husked and cored
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored
  • 1 canned or jarred whole pickled jalapeño, stemmed
  • 3 tbsp. jalapeño pickling liquid, from above, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
  • Roughly chopped cilantro and thinly sliced radishes, for garnish
  • Orange wedges, for serving


Servings 8
Adapted from


Step 1

Make the carnitas: Melt lard in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Season pork with salt; cook, turning as needed, until browned, 10–12 minutes. Add milk, garlic, jalapeños and pickling liquid, onion, and lime and orange juices; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until pork is tender, about 2 hours. Let pork cool and transfer to a cutting board; chop into bite-size pieces. Strain cooking liquid and return to pan; stir in pork and keep warm.

Make the salsa and serve: Heat a 12" cast-iron skillet over medium-high; cook tomatillos, garlic, and tomatoes, turning as needed, until blackened all over, 12–15 minutes, and transfer to blender. Add jalapeño and pickling liquid, and salt; purée until smooth. Serve carnitas on tortillas with salsa; garnish with cilantro and radishes. Serve with more pickled jalapeños and the orange wedges.

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