The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Pork Carnitas

5.00 Mitt(s) 6 Rating(s)6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 56 votes, average: 5.00 out of 56 votes, average: 5.00 out of 56 votes, average: 5.00 out of 56 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

This is probably as close as you can get to making your own Mexican-style street tacos.

Ingredients

  • 3-½ pounds Shoulder Pork Roast Or Pork Butt
  • 1 quart Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped, Plus Extra For Assembling The Taco
  • 1 leaf Bay
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Pepper
  • 2-½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1 container Guacasalsa Or Guacamole
  • 1 cup Queso Fresco Or Cotija Cheese
  • 2 whole Limes
  • 1 package Small Bajio Tortillas, Cooked

Preparation

In a large pot, combine the stock, tomato paste, garlic, onion, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir everything to combine. Add pork and water to cover. Bring to a good simmer. Turn heat to low and cover. Braise for 3 to 5 hours until meat can be easily pulled apart. You want it to fall off the bone.

(The original recipe says to braise for 3 hours on low heat, but after checking it, the water was not on a low simmer, so I had to turn up the heat a little and braise it for 5 hours.)

When meat is ready, transfer to a cutting board and pull it into 3- to 4-inch pieces. You can trim some of the fat off at this point, but you’ll want to leave some on.

Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a 450-degree oven. The fat will help caramelize the meat. You want it to look crispy around the edges.

Carnitas means small meats so you will want to chop the meat into little pieces.

Now you can begin assembling the tacos. Smear some guacasalsa (or guacamole) on the tortilla. Add meat, some chopped onion, cilantro, queso fresco or cotija and squeeze on some lime.
Absolutely delicious! I served this with Spanish rice and refried beans.

(By all means, use regular store-bought tortillas if you wish. However, Bajio sells them per dozen and they are delicious! $3.99/dozen and they can even cook them for you!)

10 Comments

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kgustafson on 8.5.2010

This was a fantastic recipe! I threw everything in the crock pot and let it cook for about 6 hours on low and it was delicious! I will be making this often and my husband thanks you.

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michellay on 7.13.2010

I made this for some neighbors who are going through a hard time right now. It was absolutely delicious! I added a little bit of chopped jalapenos from my garden to the tacos and made some mexican rice and pinto beans to go with them. Both the neighbors and my husband raved about them. I will definitely be making these again. Thanks!

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dollyfoxburr on 1.20.2010

So good! I will definitely make it again.

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Valery on 11.4.2009

Cotija cheese is usually found by the cream cheese, or string cheese or refrigirated bagels. It’s round like a puk and is in a clear plastic packaging. You can use any shredded cheese if you cant find that.

Queso Fresco is also a good choice.

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lcouzens on 11.2.2009

This was so. delicious. I made it last night and I added chipotle chili powder (a magical ingredient) and I also added some liquid when I baked it. It was such a hit- thank you!

By the way, we used corn tortillas and I feel the flavor overpowered the meat. I will use something different next time.

6 Reviews

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terrilw on 9.6.2019

Very good. Easy. I put everything in the crock pot and cooked on low 8+ hours. Didn’t need to add the extra water. After baking, my meat was too crunchy. My fault; cut meat into pieces too small before baking. Next time I’ll either bake for shorter time or leave meat pieces larger. Still delicious with all the toppings.

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Jenelle Miller on 9.28.2018

delicious and easy.

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aimee on 8.20.2012

This was a delicious and easy way to feed several teenage boys! I used the leftover broth to make rice and that was lauded as well. Thanks for the great recipe!

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cchoi on 2.5.2012

mmm….so good!! made it into a burrito with rice and beans like chipotle and it tasted almost exactly like it!!!!!!!! love this recipe!!

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ConnerNJaker'sMom on 9.26.2011

I made this in the crock-pot. This is just one reason I love cooking at home. My husband the pickiest eater I know- LOVED this!!! It was perfect, although… I did add 1/2 tsp. of Cayenne Pepper. Perfect! The left over’s became tostada’s :-)

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