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Carnitas tacos with refried beans, tomato, onion, coriander


Stephen La Rosa
Carnitas is a a Mexican  slow-cooked, lightly spiced fatty pork but with just the right amount of crispy exterior for some amazing textural contrast. I ended up with tons of braising liquid leftover from the process and after much deliberation, I braised some black beans in it and they turned out incredible!
The flavour of the pork really shines after sitting overnight in the braising liquid but if you’d prefer to finish this recipe the day you prepare it, plan accordingly and soak the beans the day before.
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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 People



  • 1 kg pork collar
  • 500 ml chicken or pork stock
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 orange
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 20 g salt
  • 2 g cayenne pepper
  • 5 g cumin seeds
  • 2 oregano, sprigs
  • neutral oil
  • 250 g black beans, , dried


  • 100 g masa harina
  • 10 g lard or chicken fat
  • 130 g Water
  • 5 g Salt


  • Soak the black beans in 1 litre of cold water the night before you plan on cooking them.
    250 g black beans
  • Chop the pork into large pieces, roughly 2” cubes, and pat them dry with paper towels.
    1 kg pork collar
  • Place a large pot over high heat and add roughly 2 tablespoons of neutral oil.
    neutral oil
  • Season the pork well with salt and add them to the pot. Brown the pork on the top and bottom. Do not crowd the pan and work in batches if necessary.
    20 g salt
  • Remove the meat and add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, orange peel, bay leaves, oregano, cayenne and cumin. Season lightly and stir to start deglazing the bottom of the pan.
    2 cinnamon sticks, 2 onions, 3 bay leaves, 1 orange, 6 garlic cloves, 5 g cumin seeds, 2 oregano, 2 g cayenne pepper
  • Add the pork or chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to completely remove the fond. Add the pork back to the pot.
    500 ml chicken or pork stock
  • Bring the liquid in the pot up to a boil before placing it into the oven and cook for 2 hours at 140C.
  • Remove the pork from the oven and pour the contents of the pot into a large container or bowl and allow it to come to room temperature before storing it in the fridge for a few hours or up to 3 days.
  • The following day, scrape the fat from the top of the container and set aside.
  • Place the pork braise into a pot and warm up until the pork is easy to remove. Remove the pork from the rbaisingliquid and set aside.
  • Add the soaked and drained beans to the cooking liquid and bring up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
    250 g black beans
  • Reduce the cooking liquid of the beans until the beans are creamy, tender and there is little liquid left.
  • Shred the pork onto a baking tray lined with foil and brush liberally with the cooking fat reserved earlier.
    Carnitas braised pork
  • When you are ready with the rest of your taco garnishes and tortillas, place the baking tray of carnitas unter the overhead grill of your oven and broil for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy.
    Carnitas - crispy braised pork


  • Place the masa and salt into a mixing bowl. Combine the water with the melted fat and stir to combine.
    100 g masa harina, 10 g lard or chicken fat, 130 g Water, 5 g Salt
  • Pour the liquid over the masa and knead until a dough comes together.
  • Shape into a ball and cover with cling film. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Roll out your dough into 40g balls using a weighing scale. Cover the balls with cling film or a kitchen towel so they don't try out.
  • Prepare your tortilla press by lining with two sheets of baking paper. Alternatively prepare 2 larger sheets of baking paper and a rolling pin.
  • Press or roll out each of your dough balls into tortillas and immediately palace them into a dry, hot pan until lightly browned on one side. Flip over to colour the other side and reserve onto a plate.
    Corn tortilla in taco press
  • Cover with a damp cloth until you are ready with all of the tortillas. Warm in a low oven when ready to serve or serve immmediately.
  • Serve the tacos, carnitas and beans with bowls of diced tomato, diced onion, fresh coriander and optionally radishes, hot sauce, fresh cream, crumbled or grated cheese.


For the full lowdown on braising, check out this article here.
Keyword Black beans, Carnitas, Corn Tortilla, Masa, Pork COllar, Taco