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Carnitas Tacos

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A well-balanced recipe between cooking time, complexity, and flavour. This recipe will quickly have your tastebuds enjoying a masterpiece of Mexican cuisine.
Print Recipe
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Assembling10 minutes
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
Servings20 tacos


  • 1.5 kg free-range pork shoulder cut in medium pieces – roughly 10 cms
  • 3 kg pork lard
  • 1 orange cut in half
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 brown onion cut in half
  • 1 cup cola soft drink
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 spring of thyme
  • salt to taste
  • 2 white onions finely diced for garnish
  • 1 bunch of coriander chopped for garnish
  • 5 limes cut in wedges for garnish
  • 20 nixtamal corn tortillas


  • Melt the lard in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add all the ingredients except the garnish.
  • Once it starts to boil, lower the heat to simmer.
  • Cook for 3 hours until meat is tender.
  • Remove the meat from the pot, shred it and place it on a serving plate or tray. This is what we call 'carnitas' in Mexico.
  • Reheat the tortillas on a hot frying pan or griddle, and place them in a tea towel or tortilla warmer.
  • Place the onion and coriander in serving bowls and limes on a plate.
  • Bring the pork, tortillas, coriander, onion, and limes to the table.
  • Get family and friends around the table to assemble their tacos by grabbing a tortilla, filling it up with the 'carnitas' pork, and garnishing it with onion and coriander. Squeeze the lime on top and put your favorite salsa on top.


  • For salsa, I really enjoy a good avocado salsa for carnitas tacos.
  • If you can't find lard or prefer not to use it, you can substitute with vegetable oil, about 1 litre.