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Carnitas Tacos

These pork carnitas tacos are at the top of my most favorite foods. They are adapted from the famed tacolicious cookbook by Sara Deseran -- one of my favorite cookbooks in my growing collection. The majority of this dish is completely hands off and with the crisping happening under the broiler rather than fried, it's full of flavor, not grease. We take the time to make homemade tortillas which takes this meal over the top delicious. It feeds a crowd, or in my house, a meal and some rockin' leftovers.

Course Main Course
Author Christina Shoup


  • 4-4½ lbs pork shoulder cut into 1½-2 inch chunks; bone reserved
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, skins removed and smashed
  • 5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 strips orange zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½-1 tsp dried red chili flake
  • 1 cinnamon stick optional


  1. The night before: Combine all ingredients in a large heavy pot with a lid. Toss to coat and place covered pot in the refrigerator overnight.

  2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300°. Give the pork a toss so it is evenly covered with marinade and place covered pot in the oven for 3 hours. Be sure to give the pork a quick stir once or twice over the 3 hours. When the pork is tender and pulls apart easily, remove from oven.

  3. To crisp the pork: Move rack near the top of the oven and turn on broil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack in the pan. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. Using tongs, remove the pork pieces from the pot and place on the rack, giving space between pieces if possible. Be sure to remove any large chunks of fat. Keep a close eye on the pork, broil until desired crispiness.

  4. Serve pork with tortillas, cilantro, radish, cilantro, hot sauce and lime wedges.