Authentic Mexican Carnitas Tacos (Tacos de Carnitas)

Alright, here’s another special taco recipe treat for you Mexican food lovers: this is an authentic Mexican carnitas tacos recipe. Tacos de carnitas originated in the Mexican state of Michoacán and they’re commonly served all throughout central México (aka: in and all around Mexico City). But these tacos have spread beyond the Chilango borders and can be found in the US in the Latin markets and street stands with a sign that will read something like “Carnitas Style Michoacan.”

authentic Mexican tacos de carnitas

In Mexico, the carnitas include some or all parts (called “tacos de surtida”) of the pig, including the intestines, ears, nose, testicles, dick, mouth, lungs, uterus, the skin, the ribs, the kitchen sink… I swear to god. The authentic authentic carnitas tacos are definitely not for the squeamish or the unadventurous, if you haven’t tried them before!carnitas tacos fully loaded: all the ingredients you never knew you wanted to eat! Appetizing ;) For this recipe, I’m just going to have you use either the pork butt or shoulder (your choice) to make “tacos de maciza”, which is a way of saying carnitas with just the meat and NOT all other parts. 😉 (Maybe I’ll find a way to do that for a future recipe, if there’s enough interest…)

Mexican taco recipes like this do take some time to cook, but if you love your authentic Tacos from south of the border, there’s no substitue for the deliciousness that are tacos de carnitas. So here we go:

Prep + Cook Time: 4 hours

Ingredients (makes 20 tacos de carnitas):

20 corn tortillas
1 kg pork butt or shoulder, cut into small chunks.
2 large, sliced oranges (including the skin)
2 bay leaves
6 cloves of garlic
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp ground oregano
1/4 tbsp grounded clove
50g pork lard
1 chopped white onion
1 big bunch of chopped cilantro
10 limes
black pepper to taste
salt to taste

pico de gallo
salsa roja or salsa verde (your choice)


Start by cutting the excess fat off the pork meat. Cut the pork pieces into pieces that are a few inches wide. Then place all the meat in a cazo or a big pot.

Add enough water to cover it by about 5 cm, then add the orange, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, bay leaves, the oregano,s alt and the clove.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue cooking for 60 min or until meat is very tender, and be sure to add more water if necessary so the meat stays covered the entire time.

Make your Mexican salsas (listed above in the ingredients) for this dish, while waiting for the pork to cook.

When tender enough, add salt, and keep cooking it for another 10 minutes or until all the water has evaporated.

Drain the meat and place on a separate plate.

Heat the lard in the same pot. When hot, add the meat until it’s fried golden, about 10 to 20 minutes. Mix it often so the meat doesn’t stick and add a little water now and then to keep it from sticking to the pot.

Once it has fried, remove the bay leaves and cinnamon, then drain the meat in paper towels.

Heat up the corn tortillas: 1 min each/side. Place two on each plate and add a portion of the meat in the center of the tortilla and fold in half. Do that with each taco.

Garnish each with cilantro and onion, your salsas, and a wedge of lime, and serve!

Carnitas can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and then just need to be reheated before assembling the tacos you serve later on. That’s partially why we made so many tacos de carnitas with this recipe: if you’re going to spend four hours cooking something, even the most delicious authentic Mexican taco recipes, you may as well get a big payoff–in this case: a small cache of delicious tacos you’ll be able to eat away at for the next few days. That is, unless you invite all of your Mexican food loving friends over and have a big cena/dinner party, which is an even better idea if you can arrange it!

Carnitas tacos: even president Calderón cannot refuse…

Even president Calderon can't resist the draw of carnitas!

Alright, well I hope you enjoy this authentic Mexican taco recipe, and I’ll be back again soon with another great recipe! -Carlos

P.S. I thought you might like to see this. This is how they cook the pork for these tacos de carnitas in Mexico, in huge quantities in restaurants and for the street markets:

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Authentic Carne Asada Recipe (Ground Beef Taco Recipe from Mexico)

I have another super special treat for you today from Mexico’s collection of amazing taco recipes: here is an authentic carne asada recipe for easily making authentic Mexican taqueria-style carne asada tacos (beef tacos). These tacos are served on the soft corn tortillas, not those crunchy, American, hard, U-shaped tortilla shells. And to drive the point home, this taco does not contain any sour creme or thick yellow cheese. (I have to beat up on my American friends a little bit because down here in Mexico, they’re always surprised when I first introduce them to the local cuisine and they can’t find their hard shell tacos that they grew up on 🙂 )

Back to the carne asada: these tacos are often prepared in the northern Mexico, in states like Sonora, Baja California, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, and so on. The northerners love their beef, and all of Mexico makes a staple of the taco, and so it’s only but natural that we have this taco recipe for carne asada tacos, and it’s only but natural that you are here, reading this, wanting to make carne asada tacos yourself at home, because they are freaking delicious! So here we go:

authentic carne asada taco recipe from Mexico

Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients (serves 6 taco recipe lovers):

1.5 lbs of boneless beef top sirloin, cut up into little thin bite-size slices for the tacos
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1/4 large onion, chopped up
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped up
either radishes or cucumbers, sliced up
1 lime
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 tbsp canola oil

salsa Mexicana (AKA “pico de gallo”)
saldsa roja or salsa verde, raw or rosted sauce, however you prefer

Directions for making these carne asada tacos:

Place your sliced meat into a short, shallow bowl, and season it with salt and some black pepper.

Squeeze lime juice all over the meat, and turn the meat over and over again until it’s evenly coated with the juice. Then cover, and refrigerate the meat for 30 minutes.

Heat 1 tbsp of canola oil in a large skillet on high heat. Stir in 1/3 of the beef, and saute it for one minute.

Transfer the meat to a serving dish, then repeat the process with your remaining beef.

Meanwhile, go and heat your tortillas in a comal, or you can grill it like this guy does in the video below at around the 7:30 minute mark:

To serve these ground beef tacos, place two tortillas on top of each other. Add desired amount of meat, spoon over some pico de gallo, guacamole, and whichever other salsa you chose to make (roja or verde). Top each taco with onion and cilantro. Garnish with a wedge of lemon, to later be squeezed over taco before eating, and slices of either radishes or cucumbers.

And enjoy! I think you’ll find this authentic carne asada recipe yields amazing tasting tacos, and that you’ll love them! This is also a relatively easy carne asada recipe, so aside from it taking a while to cook, I think even newbies to cooking Mexican at home should find this taco recipe fairly easy. So try it out, have your good friends and family over to treat them to your carne asada, and provecho! 😉

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