Michoacán-style pork Tacos (tacos de carnitas)

The tacos de carnitas originally are from the mexican state of Michoacán, but they have spread all over Mexico and are very popular in the capital itself. When ordering tacos de carnitas in Mexico, you have to know the three basic types: Maciza, Surtida and Cuerito; the Maciza is the lean pork meat taco, Surtida has more fat and then for the more adventurous, Cuerito can have meat from any part of pork...

A taco with crispy meat inside with a hint of citrus; the Carnitas are not only created to be enjoyed at Mexican restaurants. The secret to prepare an authentic Carnitas Tacos at home lies in four easy steps, combining tasty juicy pork with delicious spices; this way of preparing tacos also has crossed the american border as they are now served in southern states of the US as well. In Mexico we frequently see signs posted promoting this kind of tacos. This recipe is fairly easy to make and the outcome is delicious... good luck!

Tacos de Carnitas plate

Tacos de Carnitas recipe


• 20 corn tortillas
• 2 lb. of pork meat, (shoulder or pork butt, traditionally tougher cuts) cut to small, uneven pieces
• 3 slices from an orange
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 cup canola oil
• 1 Onion, diced
• Fresh cilantro
• Lemon juice
• Salt and Pepper to your Taste
• 2 tablespoons Bitter orange seasoning


Put your pork pieces in a large pot; sprinkle some salt, put the bay leaf in, then the bitter orange seasoning and finally pour some water in, just enough to cover the meat entirely. Cook the meat on the stove or in the oven, whichever you are most familiar with, but it has to be cooked very slowly for 3-4 hours. When the meat is completely cooked (i.e. shreds easily) pull away from the stove.

Empty the water from the meat until you are left with just a small amount of the broth resulting from cooking the meat; in a frying pan pour the oil, to fry the meat. Slightly fry the pork pieces until they start to brown; what we want here is the meat to be crisp on the outside while remaining tender and juicy inside...

Add the orange slices in, the fresh cilantro, one more tablespoon bitter orange seasoning and the pepper; check seasonng and if it is necessary, add more salt, resume cooking over medium fire for 5 minutes more, approximately, so the pork meat takes the citrus aroma in but without drying it as well.

Heat up the tortillas and fill them with the prepared carnitas meat.

Add the diced onion, the chopped coriander then finally a few drops of lemon juice.

These tacos are usually served with red salsa, red onions and more chopped cilantro.

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