Slow-Cooked Carnitas Tacos

“Carnitas Tacos are one of my favorites! There are only three ingredients in my version of carnitas, the classic pork filling for tacos, tortas, enchiladas and other Mexican favorites. The combination of slow cooking, gelatinous pork shoulder and lard gives the meat its melting texture and mouthwatering flavor.”
-Chef Richard Sandoval

Juicy, slow-cooked Carnitas Tacos

Juicy, slow-cooked Carnitas Tacos

Carnitas Tacos


  • 2 1.5lb boneless pork shoulder roasts, cut in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

  • 1.5lb store-bought lard, melted (about 3 cups)

  • Vegetable Oil, as needed

  • 6 4-inch corn tortillas

  • 3/4 cup pickled red onions*

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped

  • 1 lime cut into slices

  • 1 jalapeno pepper finely sliced (with or without seeds for spiciness)


For the carnitas

  • The day before cooking, season the pork all over with salt. Wrap it loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 12 to 18 hours.

  • Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat it to 300°F.

  • Rinse the salt off the pork under cold running water and pat it dry with paper towels.

  • Place the pork in a Dutch oven or deep heatproof casserole dish. Add enough melted lard to barely cover the pork, adding vegetable oil if you run out of lard. Cover with lid.

  • Transfer to oven and bake until the pork is fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and let it partially cool in the fat for about 1 hour.

  • Shred the pork into bite-size pieces, discarding any excess fat.

For the tacos

  • Heat ½ tbsp lard in a skillet over high heat. Add the shredded meat to the pan. Allow it to brown for at least 30 seconds untouched. Flip the meat over and brown an additional 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

  • Warm 6 corn tortillas according to the package.

  • Place an ample amount of carnitas in the center of each tortilla.

  • Sprinkle each taco with onions, cilantro, and jalapeno slices, to taste.