Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Pork Carnitas Tacos

Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6-8 servings

I know this may not be for everybody, cooking in manteca (lard) … but this is how it is done. Had to try it at least once and share the recipe to keep the traditions going that I learned from my parents. If you can enjoy chicken wings by the dozen, then two pork carnitas tacos made with lard are OK to enjoy once in a while. And if you really are not into the frying method, add the pork to the slow cooker and cook overnight. Next day, dice or shred and cook on high heat in just a few tablespoons of oil. Enjoy!


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  1. Add the pork to a large pot, fill with enough water to cover pork generously, add salt and cook for a good 2 to 3 hours or until pork is tender. Remove from water and let cool and dry completely.
  2. In a heavy pot, add all the manteca and preheat on medium heat for a good 15 to 20 minutes. Add the cloves of garlic into manteca until it comes up to temperature. Remove before adding pork. Cook the pork pieces a few at a time in batches until they are brown and crispy on the outside. Drain onto wire rack or onto paper towels. Roughly chop before serving. Squeeze fresh lime juice over top. Serve with homemade corn tortillas, tomatillo salsa, chopped cilantro and minced red onion.
  3. To make the salsa, add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth; taste for salt.
  4. For the tortillas, add the masa harina to a large bowl, add the salt and chile ancho powder. Work the manteca or oil in and gradually add the water until a dough forms. Makes 12 dough balls; cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Preheat a comal or large griddle pan to medium heat for 10 minutes. Using a tortilla press, lined with wax paper or heavy plastic storage bag, press the dough balls to form tortillas. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Keep warm in between a clean kitchen towel. Rewarm on comal if needed when ready to serve.

Chef Notes

After I fry my carnitas, I like to drain them using my fine wire-mesh strainer. pork-carnitas-on-mesh

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