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Zupan’s Slow-Roasted Carnitas Tacos with Cilantro, Onion & Lime

Author: Norr
Serves: 6-8

With savory broth, handmade-style tortillas, and fresh cilantro.

The star of this carnitas taco recipe is the super savory broth that you’ll slow-roast your pork shoulder in. We recommend serving these tacos while the meat is hot and juicy from the oven. Or, for a little extra crispiness, you can sear your shredded carnitas in a hot cast iron skillet with lard for a few minutes. If you don’t have lard for the most traditional Mexican direction, use bacon fat for a smoky element.


6 pounds boneless pork shoulder (pork butt)
3 tablespoons Jacobsen Salt Co. taco seasoning blend
2 teaspoons sea salt
3-4 tablespoons lard (see notes)
1 yellow onion, quartered
8 cloves garlic
4 lime leaves (fresh or dried)
3½ cups chicken stock
1½ cups Zupan’s freshly-squeezed orange juice
½ cup Corona beer (optional)

8 La Tortilla Factory handmade-style small tortillas, hatch green chile corn & wheat variety
8 crispy corn taco shells
Chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges
White onion, diced
Marshall’s Habanero Carrot Curry Haute Sauce, Mango Salsa (optional)


  1. Allow the pork to sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.  
  2. In a small bowl, combine taco seasoning and salt. Unwrap the pork and rub the spice mixture all over. If you have time, do this in advance and chill the seasoned pork overnight for more flavor, then bring the meat to room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before cooking.  
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 
  4. In a large oven-safe Dutch oven, melt the lard over medium heat. When hot, add the pork, fat side down. Sear until lightly brown all over, about 3 minutes per side. Add more lard if the pan becomes dry. 
  5. Transfer seared pork to a plate. Add the onions and garlic to the Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add the lime leaves, stock, orange juice, and beer (if using). Stir. 
  6. Return the pork to the pot. Cover and bring to a strong simmer. Transfer the pot to the oven, covered. 
  7. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and cook for 5 to 6 hours, or until the meat is tender and easily shreddable with a fork.  
  8. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the pork to a serving platter. Cool slightly, then shred with two forks. 
  9. Assemble tacos by layering the soft shell into the hard corn taco shell and then add your desired toppings and enjoy. Store leftover carnitas in an airtight container for 3 days or freeze for one month