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Sazón’s Carnitas For Tacos

Colorful ingredients for tacos, arranged on a wooden table and white plate, photographed from above.

Sazón offers a vegan option and a pork option, and they make their own salsa. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

Traditionally, the pork for carnitas would be deep-fried in a huge amount of lard.
Sazón goes with the low and slow approach. Low heat, in the oven, for a long time.

Barajas says the coke has a caramelizing effect on the pork, and he specifies that you want to use the kind from Mexico, in the glass bottle, made with cane sugar.

Sazón’s Carnitas For Tacos
  • 3-4 lbs pork shoulder
  • 3-4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon marjoram
  • 1/4 cup lard (sourced locally)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup coke (Mexican coke is ideal)
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Rub the pork all over with salt and dry seasonings including thyme, marjoram and black pepper. Place it in a large roasting pan along with the lard, bay leaves, orange juice and coca cola.
  2. Let this marinate in the fridge for most of the day, if you have time.
  3. When you're ready to cook the meat, cover it with foil and roast overnight, 8 to 10 hours, in an oven set to 225F.
  4. When it is finished, remove the pork, shred it with tongs and a fork, strain the remaining pan juices and add some of that back in with the pork.
  5. The carnitas are now ready to be nestled into a hot tortilla, with the toppings of your choice.
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