Salsa Verde Carnitas Tacos

We love pork here at We Ate That, we also love Tacos. They go together so perfectly, so we decided to make some Salsa Verde Carnitas.  Carnitas are the version of pulled pork made in Mexico.  It is often served in taco form. You may remember that we posted a recipe for Salsa Verde before.  We used the homemade salsa verde to ensure a fresh taste as compared to jarred or canned versions. 



  • 3 1/2 pounds pork butt or shoulder
  • 2 cups salsa verde either canned or homemade (Click Here for our Salsa Verde Recipe)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt
  • Corn tortillas (heated and softened)
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija Mexican farmer's cheese, or some grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Crema fresca, crema Mexican, or sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Trim the excess fat from the pork shoulder roast.
  2. Place the roast, the salsa verde, onion, chicken stock, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and oregano in a large, thick-bottomed pot, and heat on high heat.
  3. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and simmer until meat pulls away easily with a fork, about 3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove meat from liquid in pot and put the meat into a roasting pan.
  5. With 2 forks, tear the meat into large shreds, spreading them out in an even layer in the roasting pan. Roast meat for 15 to 20 minutes until parts are brown and crispy.
  6. While the meat is roasting, skim and discard fat from the liquid in the large pot. Heat the pot on high and vigorously boil the remaining liquid, stirring, until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Return the meat to the pot with the liquid. Stir in chopped cilantro. Season with salt.

Serve with heated and softened corn tortillas (20 seconds each in the microwave spread out over a paper towel will heat and softened packaged tortillas sufficiently), diced avocado, crumbed Cotija or grated Monterey jack cheese, sour cream (or crema fresca).

Step #2 - All the ingredients mixed into the pot before cooking

Step #5 - Here is the pork shoulder after it has been pulled

Step #7 - After roasting in the over, the pork is added back into the pot it was cooked in coating the pork in the Salsa Verde and other ingredients helping to give the pork a nice sauce.

The Results:

The Carnitas (or pork) came out perfectly.  They were nice and tender and had great flavor thanks to slow cooking in the pot with all of the other ingredients.  Roasting the pork in the oven also added a nice crisp to the pork which helps give the tacos a crunchy texture.  The salsa verde was great when we made it as a dipping sauce and is a perfect addition as a sauce for the carnitas.  There was a strong cumin flavor in these tacos, when making these in the future we would use a little bit less cumin to suit our taste. This is a very good recipe and is easy to make, it takes awhile to cook but does not need constant attention.  It is the type of recipe that once everything is in the pot you can just walk away and take care of other things while the pork slow cooks.