cooking | food | meals | mexican | pork | recipe | savory

Pulled-pork tacos, or carnitas.

February 15, 2009

I found this recipe in Real Simple, and it seemed so easy I decided I’d have to try it. I never really thought about making my own pulled-pork, I figured it would be really hard and time consuming. But this is a very easy recipe, and its simpler than I thought. Real Simple really sticks to their name, huh?

Pulled-pork in a tortilla (or taco) is also referred to as carnitas. These are served with sour cream, (and I used some guacamole on mine) although traditionally, carnitas are served with:

chopped coriander (cilantro) and diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas (handmade), refried beans (frijoles refritos), lemon and radishes.

But hey- you can serve it with whatever you want! Who’s going to stop you? I thought it would be a fun weekend meal to make, and it was. If you’ve never thought of making something like this at home- try it! I served it with some yellow rice on the side.


  • 2 cups store-bought salsa, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Kosher salt
  • one 2 ½-pound boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro sprigs
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the salsa, chili powder, oregano, cocoa, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the pork and turn to coat.
  2. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. Twenty minutes before serving, heat oven to 350° F. Stack the tortillas, wrap them in foil, and bake until warm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, using 2 forks, shred the pork and stir into the cooking liquid. Serve with the tortillas, cilantro, sour cream, lime, and extra salsa.

Tip: When using a slow cooker, resist the urge to lift the lid until the dish has cooked the minimum amount of time specified in the recipe. Each peek allows heat to escape and can increase cooking time by as much as a half hour.

I should also say here that there is a cheat- buying pulled pork ready made from the store. Now you can buy the Jack Daniel’s kind or Curly’s, they aren’t going to have that Mexican seasoning, it’ll be more barbecue-y, but its the same principle. And I’ve had enough “brisket burritos” at restaurants to know that sometimes that southern flavor goes really well with the sour cream and guacamole as well. So if you’re really lazy or have no time there is another option. You don’t get as many cool points for using that, but I’ll forgive you!

Sorry I only got one picture of this one, I guess I was hungry 🙂

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