Carnitas with Pineapple and Pickled Jalapenos

Save Recipe
  • Yield: 8 servings
Share This Recipe


Pickled Jalapenos:

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

3 jalapenos, seeded and cut into rings


1 (3-pound) boneless pork shoulder (butt), trimmed of excess fat

Juice of 4 limes

1 cup orange juice

4 garlic cloves, smashed

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon kosher salt

16 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed


2 cups 1/2-inch diced fresh pineapple

Fresh cilantro sprigs, for serving

Shredded red cabbage, for serving

Cotija cheese, for serving

Lime wedges, for serving

Kosher salt

Guacamole, for serving, optional

Pico de gallo, for serving, optional


  1. For the pickled jalapenos: In a small saucepan, combine the lime juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and jalapenos. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.Transfer to heat proof container and cover with plastic wrap and let cool for about 20 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 days. 
  2. For the carnitas: Cut the pork shoulder into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces and put them in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the lime juice, orange juice, garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, and salt. Add just enough water to cover the pork and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking at a gentle simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours but no longer than 2 hours, stirring occasionally and taking care that there is still liquid in the pot. 
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until all of the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking, carefully turning the pork pieces, until they develop brown, crispy edges, about 5 minutes. 
  4. For the tacos: Assemble the tacos using the warm tortillas and the carnitas. Top with the pineapple, cilantro, cabbage, cheese, Pickled Jalapenos and a squeeze of lime juice. Season with salt. Reserve the remaining pork for another use. Serve alongside guacamole and pico de gallo, if desired.