• Kaley

Recipe: Pastured Pork Carnitas Tacos with Summer Melon Salsa

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

Taco Tuesday is a time-honored Colorado tradition, and when long hot summer days call for pork carnitas tacos with a crunchy refreshing salsa, a little planning ahead makes taco night a pinch. Head to the Longmont Farmer's Market on Saturdays to find Colorado melons at the peak of freshness (we like Monroe Farm's musk melons), and support your local ranchers by choosing SkyPilot chopped pork sirloin or pork shoulder.

Marinate your meat, throw together your salsa and let both sit overnight, so when it's Taco Time, simply roast, pull, and build your carnitas tacos for a surprisingly easy, mouth-watering, budget-friendly Taco Tuesday at home (margaritas optional).

yield: 3.5-4 lbs carnitas for tacos

equipment: oven, cast iron pan

time: 1-3 days

Melon Salsa:

4 cups ripe melon, cleaned and diced (we like Colorado muskmelons)

3/4 cup red onion, diced

1/2 cilantro, chopped

1/2 pepper, diced

4 jalapeños, diced

4 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

2lb tomatoes, diced

To make salsa, combine ingredients and let sit overnight.

Pulled Pork Marinade:

5 lbs pastured pork shoulder, cut into large 4-inch cubes

1 onion, diced

3 celery stalks, sliced

10 cloves garlic, smashed

1C mushroom stems, cleaned

1C cilantro


salt & pepper to taste

Braising Liquid: (enough to cover meat)

Pork or vegetable stock

Canned roasted diced green chilies (preferably Hatch)

Make marinade by combining oil, salt and pepper, onion, celery, garlic, mushroom & cilantro with raw pork and let marinate for 1-3 days. Then when ready, remove marinated pork from fridge, gently wipe off marinade, and sear pork in a pan with hot oil, being sure to caramelize all sides of the meat. Then, combine the braising liquid with seared pork and braise until pork is tender, approximately 4 hours at 275°F. Let pork rest to room temperature, then shred pork to desired consistency. To reserve, cover in braising liquid and refrigerate for up to one week.

When ready to make tacos, warm tortillas on cast iron griddle with a small amount of fat, frying tortillas on both sides until hot. Add carnitas meat, melon salsa and cotija cheese (optional) to serve.

Variation: Try Pastured Pork Carnitas Tacos with our Colorado Peach BBQ Sauce

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