Friday, February 11, 2011

Pulled Pork Carnita Tacos

One of my blogger friends, Laurie, is doing a winter revolt and what better way to revolt against winter than a plate of fresh carnita tacos. Summer to me is about simple and fresh ingredients, and great, authentic taco's scream summer.  Please follow Laurie's Winter revolt at:    

In  response to Christine Riojas, @BellaCouturista on twitter for a pulled pork recipe (If you watch Top will get this!) Here is my simple and fresh Carnitas. For those of you that follow this blog, or follow me on Foodbuzz or twitter, you know that I love to use a pressure cooker. Why you ask? Time. It allows you to cook food with all of the flavors and complexities you would expect in much less time. Carnitas can take hours to cook. Not this recipe, 1-1 1/2 hours max.


  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt (I know, Kosher salt on Pork...sounds odd!)
  • 4 -5 lbs Pork Picnic Cut Shoulder
  • 1 -10.75 oz can of beef consomme
  • 1 cups of beef stock
  • 2 pounds refined lard
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 3 springs of fresh cilantro (more for serving)
  • Crumbled Queso Fresco for serving
  • Shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese for serving
  • Warm tortillas, for serving

I use a Calphalon Nonstick Sear Grill Pan to sear the meat first. Heat your pan on high heat, add 2-3 tablespoons of lard and sear till completely caramelized on each side.

In your pressure cooker, heat up lard till melted, then add in beef consomme and beef stock. Add in the Pork Shoulder and sprinkle meat with all of seasonings. add Cilantro and onion to pot. Seal pressure cooker and put on medium high heat till you hear pressure being released, then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 35-45 minutes. remove from heat and relieve pressure. remove pork shoulder ( it should be pretty tender by now)

Cut meat into large chucks off of bone and return back to pressure cooker. Add additional water if needed and heat on high heat again, returning back down to medium heat. Cook an additional 35-45 minutes.(the pressure cooker should be making very little "noise"....this is not a high heat recipe, the pressure cooker is simply condensing the flavors and reducing cooking time)

By the time this is done, all the water will have evaporated/steamed from the pot, and what is left at the bottom of the pan is the rendered fat and lard that the meat has been cooking in....meat should be falling apart and caramelized completely.

Let meat rest , pull apart what has not already fallen part and serve with warm tortillas, cilantro, cheese and onion.


  1. We make pulled pork every few months, but never thought of putting them into a taco. Great idea.


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  2. These tacos are excellent! I wish it was summer, but these will definitely remind me of it.

    Great photos, too!

  3. Great Recipe! Fantastic Pics!!! Love them! Great Job! You are so encouraging me to use the pressure cooker....ugh... :) Perfect Recipe for the Party! Fresh..Light! Love it! Thank you!

  4. Congratulations on the Top9 today! Beautiful photos of your tacos :-)

  5. Two pounds of lard? Seriously? Why? Its pulled pork, not deep fried pork, I don't see the point.

  6. Jay, this is not just pulled pork, it is carnitas. Traditionally, carnitas are cooked in lard, pulled from the oil, chopped. The lard caramelizes the meat in a way that can not be achieved by simply braising or roasting the meat.

  7. this sounds delicious!!!! I am just viewing your blog for the first time and everything looks great!

  8. Love pork carnitas! In a taco - perfect. Congrats on the Top 9 today!

  9. Sorry I'm late coming on board to view your blog, but now I'm a complete fan. Love these carnitas. They look delish and the pics are great as well. But I just love this whole Top Chef concept. I am an addict for that show. I couldn never be as smart as them to come up with so many culinary ideas but I can at least dream. I'll be subscribing and following you, thanks.

  10. Love a winter revolt!! Almost as much as I love your Carnita Tacos. I'm a big carnitas fan, but have never really found a recipe I could do as well as my favorite restaurant, this one looks like it might be the one. Thanks!

  11. This is the best of both worlds! Pulled pork bbq is my all-time favorite. I'm also a huge fan of Mexican food, especially tacos and carne asada. This is the oh-so-perfect blend of two fabulous things. I'm drooling...