Carnitas Street Tacos

Aly Romero
Servings: 8 - 10
2+ hr

A You On The Chew winner!

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
  • 1 (4-5 pound) pork shoulder (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
  • 1 yellow onion (peeled, diced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 jalapeno (ribs removed, seeded, diced)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 orange (juiced)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • corn tortillas (warmed, to serve)
Toppings (to serve):
  • cotija cheese (crumbled)
  • cilantro (chopped)
  • pickled red onions (recipe below)
  • lime (cut into wedges)
  • tomatillo salsa (recipe below)
Pickled Red Onion:
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
Homemade Tomatillo Salsa:
  • 10 tomatillos (husked, rinsed, halved)
  • 1 yellow onion (peeled, cut into large wedges)
  • 1 jalapeno (top removed, halved)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • For the Carnitas: In a large bowl, stir together the smoked sea salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander, granulated garlic, oregano, and ancho chili powder. Add the pork shoulder pieces and toss to coat in the spices.
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, heating for 1-2 minutes. In batches, add the spice-covered pork shoulder pieces to the pan and cook until browned about 3-4 minutes per side. Rotate pieces to sear on all sides and remove to a plate. Continue cooking until all pork is seared.
  • Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the pork and pan drippings to the slow cooker. Stir in the fresh garlic, onion, bay leaf, jalapeno, lime juice, and orange juice. Set the slow cooker on high for 6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, cooking until the meat is very tender.
  • Remove the meat from the slow cooker and when cool enough to handle, shred using 2 forks and transfer to a large bowl. Pour some of the cooking liquid over the meat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Press the meat about 1-inch deep into the pan and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, or until the edges are crispy. Flip and allow to cook for 2-3 more minutes on the opposite side. Remove to a large bowl and pour more cooking liquid over the top.
  • Spoon desired amount of carnitas into warm tortillas and top with desired amount of cotija, cilantro, pickled red onion, and tomatillo salsa. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
  • For the Pickled Red Onions: Add the hot water to a large bowl, and stir in sugar and salt. Stir continuously until the sugar and salt have dissolved in the water. Add the white wine vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaf and red onions. Stir to combine. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • For the Tomatillo Salsa: Preheat the broiler.
  • To a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, add tomatillos, onion and jalapeno. Place in the broiler and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until slightly charred and softened. Flip and broil another 3-5 minutes on the other side. Remove from the broiler and transfer charred vegetables along with accumulated juices to the carafe of a blender. Add lime juice, garlic cloves, cilantro and season with salt to taste. Blend until smooth, adding a little water to loosen out the salsa if necessary. Re-season with salt if needed and serve.
rate this recipe

Latest Recipes