Recipe: Carnitas tacos with apple salsa

Recipe: Carnitas tacos with apple salsa

Learn to make your own carnitas tacos at home. Author: Kimberley Hasselbrink


Recipe: Carnitas tacos with apple salsa

Change a standard taco night into a new, hearty meal with these pork tacos and fresh apple salsa.



  • 2 tsp each: ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin and fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3" pieces
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 cups water

Apple salsa

  • 1 large sweet-tart red apple, such as Braeburn or Pink Lady, cored and finely diced
  • 6 green onions (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 12 to 16 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 to 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • Lime wedges for serving

1 To make the carnitas, in a large mixing bowl, combine the ancho and chipotle chili powders, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss the pork into the bowl and generously coat with the dry rub.

2 In a large heavy pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add as many cubes of pork as will fit in a single layer and sear, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the browned meat to a bowl and repeat with the remaining pork.

3 When all the pork is browned, return it to the pot along with the onion, garlic, orange juice and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the pork is falling-apart tender and cooked through, about 1 1/2 hours.

4 Using tongs or a large fork, shred the pork. Raise the heat and cook, uncovered, until the liquid reduces and the meat begins to brown and crisp at the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

5 Meanwhile, make the salsa. In a mixing bowl, toss together the apple, green onions, cilantro, jalapeño, salt and lime juice; set aside.

6 To serve, top each warm tortilla with pulled pork, apple salsa, cabbage and queso fresco. Garnish with the additional cilantro and lime wedges on the side.

Prep & cook time: 2 hours
Serves: 6 to 8

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Excerpted from Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink. Copyright Kimberley Hasselbrink © 2014. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press. All rights reserved.






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Recipe: Carnitas tacos with apple salsa