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Mother Daniel’s La Taqueria Carnitas


Not to step on the toes of whoever blogs KelsEats... I. Me. Yea, I stole the La Taqueria Carnitas (La Taqueria, San Francisco, CA) recipe right after it was published in Sunset magazine March of 2000 (as credited at the end of the "Directions" here). I have made this several times a years since it was published. It has become tradition at our house to have for early dinner on Christmas day along with fresh salsa and the freshest possible corn tortillas. It's mine. You're welcome to it though.

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Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (9 Votes)
Mother Daniel’s La Taqueria Carnitas 1 Picture


  • 1 Boned, tied pork shoulder or butt (4-5 lbs.)
  • 2 Onions, (1 lb. total, peeled and quartered)
  • 4 Stalks celery, including leaves cut into chunks
  • 4 Cloves garlic
  • 2 Dried bay leaves
  • 2 t. dried thyme or 2 T. fresh
  • 1 about 1 t. Salt
  • 1/2 C. Milk (Whole or Low-Fat)


Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 300mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Rinse pork and place in 6-8 qt pan with onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves,
thyme, salt, and enough water to cover meat.

Bring to boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, 2-2 1/2 hours.

With slotted spoons, transfer pork to 9 x13-inch pan; reserve cooking juices. Remove string and use two forks to pull meat into large chunks. Pour milk over meat.

Bake pork at 325^ until drippings are browned, about 1 hour, stirring and scraping pan occasionally.

Meanwhile, pour reserved juices through a strainer into a bowl; discarding residue. Skim and discard fat. Return juices to pan and boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups, about 45 minutes.

When pork drippings are browned, add 1 cup of the reduced juices scrapping drippings free and stirring meat, breaking or pulling into smaller pieces. Bake until juices have evaporated and drippings are browned, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Repeat step, using remaining juices, and cook until meat edges are crisp and browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt

Sunset, March 2000

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