I think that the whole reason to make this dish is the sauce. It makes the whole taco with everything in it
taste extra fresh. At first I thought the Coca-Cola was a gimmick until I tried it. You can really taste a subtle
special flavor in the Carnitas when they are done but only if you do not drown them in the sauce. I also like
making use of an inexpensive cut of meat like a pork shoulder. It is a fatty and tough cut of meat but cooking it
for a long time makes it tender and a lot of the fat is
For the pork Carnitas taco filling:
5-7 pound pork shoulder (aka Boston Butt) boneless or bone-in
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
8 ounces Mexican Coca-Cola (may substitute regular USA cola)
3 cups water
½ cup orange juice
8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
½ teaspoon oregano
Salt to taste
Optional – try adding a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
For the tacos:
Soft or hard tacos
Cilantro, chopped onion, tomato, lettuce and cheese to make additional stuffing fixings
For the sauce:
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced. Be careful! If you do not like so much heat, just slice once lengthwise and
scrape out the seeds and inner pulp with a spoon.
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (juice from one fresh lime)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup Mexican table cream
(You may make your own by substituting ½ cup heavy cream or table cream plus
½ cup sour cream with a dash of optional cream cheese.)
Salt to taste – but be careful not to over-salt.
First, cut up the pork shoulder into 2-3 inch cubes, removing the bone if you have bought a bone-in
shoulder. In a medium-large pot, submerge the chunks in all of the ingredients called for in the Carnitas
section above. Simmer the pork for 2 hours uncovered and 1 hour uncovered, stirring occasionally. In my
experience they are finished much faster than that. Yours will cook faster or slower depending on the
toughness of the meat, the size of the pot, etc.
Test for doneness by checking if the individual chunks are fork tender or not. Over cooking them will not
hurt their taste, but the meat will eventually disintegrate and I prefer my carnitas to be a little chunky.
When they are done, drain the Carnitas but reserve a bit of the water in case you need to moisturize them
a little. At this point the Carnitas are cooked through but we want to add some flavor to them by broiling them a
Break up the chunks to about 1 ½ inch or so and arrange them on a large baking sheet. Broil them close
to the heat source for 4-6 minutes then remove them and flip and stir them a little. Then broil for about another
5 minutes. The object is to get the Carnitas a little bit crispy and browned. Watch them carefully and do not
overcook them and dry them out. They are done as soon as they look delicious.
For the sauce, just place all its ingredients in a blender and purée. I like to use a squeeze bottle to squirt
the finished sauce over the Carnitas after placing them on an open soft tortilla for a good looking presentation
on the plate. You can freshen leftover sauce just by stirring in some fresh lime juice.
Tacos with Pork Carnitas and Lime Sauce