Carnitas Tacos With Pickled Red Onion

Prep Time
6 1/2h
Cook Time
6h 20m
Ready In

"I love these pork tacos. If you can't find the achiote paste in your Mexican market, you can grind annatto seeds and mix with vinegar, salt, cumin, and cayenne to suit your taste. This is a slow cooked meat, so prepare for your house to smell wonderful for a while! #recipe28527"

Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (277.4 g)
  • Calories 401.2
  • Total Fat - 16.1 g
  • Saturated Fat - 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol - 70.4 mg
  • Sodium - 1578.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 35.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 4.7 g
  • Sugars - 5 g
  • Protein - 30.3 g
  • Calcium - 81.8 mg
  • Iron - 2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 5.8 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Step 2

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic to the pan; cook 8 minutes or until the skins are well charred, turning occasionally. Remove cloves from the pan; cool 5 minutes and discard the skins.

Step 3

Combine the garlic, orange rind, orange juice, achiote paste, and 2 teaspoons oil in a mini food processor. Process until smooth.

Step 4

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over the pork. Brush the achiote mixture evenly over the pork. Place the pork in a medium Dutch oven and cover. Bake at 250 degrees for 6 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes.

Step 5

While the pork cooks, place the onion in a medium bowl. Combine 1/2 cup water, vinegar, agave, and remaining 3/4 teaspoons salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves.

Step 6

Pour the mixture over the onions; stir. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; cool to room temperature, rearranging as needed to keep the onion submerged. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Step 7

Place the pork on a cutting board; shred with 2 forks. Discard the fat.

Step 8

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Add 1 cup shredded pork to the pan in an even layer; cook 3 minutes or until a crust develops, turning once. Place the crisped pork on a platter. Repeat the procedure with the remaining shredded pork.

Step 9

Place 2 warm tortillas on each of 6 plates. Top each tortilla with 1 1/2 ounces crisped pork, 1 tablespoon tomatillo salsa, and 1 tablespoon pickled red onion.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.


Daily Inspiration

Made the pork carnitas for our Memorial Day dinner. Not sure if it is my oven cooking too hot, but my meat was done in less time. We loved the flavor that the orange added to the meat. We especially enjoyed the pickled red onion as well. Served the pork along with guacamole, southwest slaw, and tomatillo salsa and pico de gallo.

(29 May 2018)