Prep 45 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
2001 Best Recipe from the San Francisco Chronicle. Serve with avocadao slices, sour cream, and limes and of course margaritas! Recipe courtesy Tara Duggan
- 4 1⁄2 lbs pork butt
- 6 cups water
- 7 slices orange zest
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1⁄2 onions, diced
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1⁄2 cinnamon sticks, preferably Mexican
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons oregano leaves, crushed
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 24 small corn tortillas, warmed
- chopped fresh cilantro
- finely chopped onion
- fresh salsa verde or hot sauce
- Trim any thick fat from the outside of the pork butt. Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. Discard any cubes that are pure fat, but don't try to trim all of the fat out of the meat.
- Put the pork in a large pot. Add the water the strips of orange zest, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, bay leaves, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and cloves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any scum that forms on the surface. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until the pork is very soft, adding more water if necessary to keep the meat submerged. Season with salt.
- Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the water has evaporated about 30 minutes. Cook a little longer to fry the meat slightly. (Note: if you want extra-crispy carnitas, fry approximately 25 minutes.) Watch carefully to prevent burning.
- Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Put the meat in a fine strainer and push gently with a wooden spoon to remove any excess fat. Discard the fat.
- Fold a few tablespoons of carnitas inside each tortilla and top each taco with cilantro, onion and salsa.
Excellent recipe! Used carnita meat from the butchers selection and opted for crockpot. Where I went wrong was pushing the meat thru the strainer losing all the moisture. That was bummer and I should have put 2 and 2 together on that one. Next time I'll know to set aside a cpl cups of the juices as an add in on fry time. Thank you for the fabulous recipe-it's totally authentic and took us back!
I signed up for an account just to rate this... This is by far my favorite recipes to make. The flavors mix together nicely. I do like a little heat in my dishes, so I add about 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp cumin (I'm addicted. I can't help it). Great to serve with fresh jalape
Simply delicious! I used pork shoulder/ butt and all the ingredients. All of the flavors blended smoothly and nothing was overwhelming. Served on flour tortillas & topped with avocado slices, chopped fresh cilantro leaves and onions. I did not take the meat to the browning stage, just short of it, keeping it moist. This is company worthy and great for a family weekday dinner, we will make this often. Cookiedog, thanks a BUNCH! YUM!