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Pasture Raised Pork Carnitas Tacos Recipe

Pasture Raised Pork Carnitas Tacos – does it get better than this? Juicy, fall-apart- tender braised pork with slightly crispy edges, on a warm corn tortilla, with spicy salsa and a juicy lime wedge squeezed over the top...I could eat five right now. This recipe is super simple and mostly hands-off thanks to a low 'n slow braise. Pickled jalapeños and their liquid are a secret weapon here, adding a pop of acidity that compliments the rich flavor of the pork perfectly. Milk may seem like an odd ingredient here but it's actually an excellent tenderizer (just ask a classic Italian cook, they love their milk braised pork). A spicy red salsa reminiscent of the good stuff only found in hole-in-the-wall taco shops is the perfect topping to these incredibly tasty tacos. Let's get cooking!


For the Carnitas – 

  • 2-3 Lbs. 1915 Farm Boston Butt(or Pork Shoulder Roast, Country Style Pork Ribs, or a few Pork Blade Steaks from your Grassroots Box)
  • 2 Tbsp lard (or avocado oil) 
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeño slices
  • ¼ cup jalapeño pickling liquid
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk (whole milk also works great, the evaporated just lends itself to slightly better caramelization)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

For the Salsa and Assembly – 

  • 3-4 medium tomatoes 
  • 1 fresh serrano chile, roughly chopped (or 2 jalapeños)
  • 5-6 dried chile de arbol 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3-5 sprigs of cilantro
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Corn tortillas, street taco sized, warmed for serving
  • Cilantro, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving


Preheat oven to 300°

Remove boston butt or pork shoulder from packaging and pat dry. Salt liberally with kosher salt on all sides, set aside.

Place a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add lard (or avocado oil). Once the fat is hot, carefully add the pork and sear for about 5 minutes per side or until deeply golden on all 4 sides. Remove to a plate and set aside. 

To the pot where the pork was seared, add the onion, followed by a pinch of kosher salt. Sauté onions for 5-6 minutes until softened and slightly translucent. Add smashed garlic cloves, followed by pickled jalapeño slices, pickling liquid, lime juice, orange juice, and evaporated milk. Stir to combine (don't worry about the milk appearing curdled, this happens when it mixes with the citrus juices). 

Nestle the seared pork roast back into the pot, sprinkle orange zest over top and cover with lid. Transfer to oven for 2.5 – 3 hours, or until meat easily shreds with a fork. I had a 2.25 lb. Boston Butt and it took 2 hours and 45 minutes.

In the meantime, make the salsa. Place all ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If your chiles were hotter than expected, another tomato or two resolves this. Pour into a jar and chill until ready to serve. Salsa is always more mild (with better developed flavors), the next day – so feel free to make this ahead of time.

When meat is done, shred it right in the pot using tongs or two forks. Portion the amount of shredded pork you'll use for tacos onto a sheet pan. Place under broiler for 4-5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it. Once the top/edges of meat have golden, crispy bits, it's ready.

To serve, pile carnitas on warmed corn tortillas (I always double up on the tortillas when using corn), top with salsa, sprinkle cilantro over top, with plenty of lime wedges on the side.

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you’d like to share your delicious dish on Instagram, don’t forget to tag us @1915_Farm

P.S. If you love our pasture raised pork – consider subscribing to the Grassroots Meat Club (ships free in TX, reduced in other states). Each box includes a variety of hand-selected grassfed and pasture raised meats, such as chicken breasts, chicken tenders, leg quarters, wings, thighs, drumsticks, whole chicken, ground beef, kabobs, stew meat, stir fry, cutlets, London broil (top round), beef roasts, beef ossobuco, short ribs, various sausages, pork roasts, pork chops, bacon, ground pork, fajita meat, country style ribs, spare ribs, and bacon!

Carnitas recipe adapted from Tasting Table

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