Carnitas (Mexican pulled pork) Tacos

September 28, 2020

Carnitas (Mexican pulled pork) Tacos

Recipe: Carnitas (Mexican pulled pork) Tacos

Author: Allie,  Hamama Happiness Team Member

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 6-8 hours 

Serves: 10-12

Carnitas is Mexican dish that originated in the state of Michoacán that literally means “little meats.” Pork Carnitas are the perfect balance of juicy and crispy with a rich Latin flavor. You can use your pork carnitas in tacos, burritos, nachos, tostadas, tamales or even eggs benedict! 

Tip: Make carnitas for a group or freeze a portion for later.




4 pounds skinless, boneless or bone in pork butt (or shoulder)

3-4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano (or Mexican oregano)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 large white onion, cut into wedges

8 cloves of garlic, smashed

2 limes, juiced

2 large oranges, juiced

3/4 cup coke (Original or Mexican coke is best)*

2 bay leaves

Tacos / Garnish 

Corn Tortillas 

Guacamole or diced avocado 

Pickled Red Onions or diced red onion 

Quick citrus slaw (thinly sliced red cabbage, shredded carrot, fresh orange juice and lime juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper) 

Hamama Microgreens (radish is my favorite for tacos)!


Hot Sauce

Fresh or pickled Jalapeno slices



  1. Rinse and pat dry pork with a paper towel.
  2. In the bowl of a 6-quart slow cooker, add pork, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, onion, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, coke, and bay leaves.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-10 hours, or high heat for 5-6 hours (until the meat falls apart).
  4. Remove pork and shred with two forks (keep the liquid!)

To crisp in the oven:

  1. Transfer the pork to a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil or parchment paper.
  2. Pour 1 ladle full (about 1 cup) of the liquid from the slow cooker over the pork to season. Broil for 5-10 minutes on high heat until the meat becomes golden browned and crispy on the edges.

To serve: 

Season with a little extra salt and pepper if desired. Add some carnitas into a warmed corn tortilla. Garnish with guacamole, pickled red onion, cilantro, citrus slaw, and radish microgreens. Add hot sauce if desired. Serve with blackened corn, refried beans, and/or mexican rice!

To freeze extras: 

Cook the carnitas according to directions but do not broil the portion you are planning to freeze. Freeze with the cooking liquid in an air tight, freezer safe container or freezer bag.They will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months if frozen properly. 


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