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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Sazón’s Carnitas For Tacos

Pickled red onions are traditional on tacos from the Yucatan, and Sazon offers other fresh options. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

This recipe comes to us from Jesus Barajas, of Sazón Mexican Cuisine.
It is best served on a hot, corn tortilla topped with pickled red onions.

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, margarom and black pepper. Place it in a large roasting pan along with the lard, bay leaves, orange juice and coca cola.
  2. Let this marinade 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.

Earth Eats Staff

Earth Eats Staff is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog bringing you the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

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