Find pieces featured in and inspired by Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse. Shop now.

Seven timeless paint colors reminiscent of lakeside living.  Shop now.

Chip + Jo’s latest season of Fixer Upper is here! Learn more.

Elizabeth Poett's Slow Cooked Carnitas with Homemade Flour Tortillas

Slow-Cooked Carnitas with Homemade Flour Tortillas

byElizabeth Poett
Total 4 hours
Active 90 mins
Makes 32 tacos (about 8 servings)
I love slow cooking meat because there is so little work to do. Just put the cut in with all the spices and vegetables and let heat and time work their magic. This carnitas recipe is the perfect cozy meal to have at home with your family, and it's also wonderful to make ahead of time to feed a crowd. Making your own tortillas is a game changer. Just a handful of simple ingredients make the softest, freshest tortillas. Once you’ve had freshly made flour tortilla, there is no going back!
TIP: The tortillas should be cooked as close to serving time as possible so they are fresh and soft. Letting the balls of dough rest is key to making good, thin tortillas. Resting will make them easier to roll out because the gluten has time to relax in the dough. Do not over-flour your surface when you roll out the tortillas. If there is excess flour on the tortillas it will char in the pan.
For the carnitas
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds bone-in pork shoulder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large poblano peppers, roughly chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 24 ounces cane-sugar cola (two 12-ounce bottles)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 orange, cut into rounds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
For the tortillas
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 large avocados, cut into cubes
  • 10 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • 2 medium white onions, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 small radishes, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 limes, cut into 6 wedges each
    1. For the carnitas: Preheat the oven to 275°F.
    2. Combine 2 tablespoons of the salt with the oregano, cumin, and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Cut the pork shoulder into 4 to 6 large pieces, leaving the bone in with the meat. Rub the spice mixture into every side of each piece of meat. Let the meat sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
    3. Add the olive oil to a large heavy Dutch oven and place over medium heat. Add the onions, poblanos, garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onions turn golden brown and the peppers are soft.
    4. Remove the vegetables from the Dutch oven and set them aside in a medium bowl. Brown the pieces of pork two at a time in the pan. Be sure to brown every side of each piece of meat. When all sides of a piece are a rich golden brown, remove from the pan to make space for browning the next pieces.
    5. When all the pieces of pork have been browned, return them to the Dutch oven. Layer the onions and poblanos over the top of the pork. Pour the cola and orange juice over the top. Arrange the orange rounds on top of the pork. Add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick to the pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a simmer over low heat.
    6. Place the Dutch oven in the oven and bake 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is fork-tender and the bone can be pulled out of the meat easily. Remove from the oven and use tongs to transfer the pork from the braising liquid to a large heatproof bowl.
    7. Transfer 1/2 cup of the braising liquid into a second large heavy Dutch oven. Use 2 forks to shred the meat in the Dutch oven over low heat. If the meat seems too dry, add a little more of the braising liquid to the pot. There should not be any liquid at the bottom of the pot; just add enough liquid to keep the carnitas from drying out. Cover and turn off the heat.
    8. For the tortillas: You can prepare the tortilla dough 1 to 2 hours before serving, but cook them as close to serving time as possible.
    9. To make the dough, combine the flour, butter, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Pour the hot water over the top of the ingredients and turn the mixer to medium speed. Mix until fully combined and the dough begins to pull away from the bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature.
    10. Place the dough on a cutting board and use a knife to cut it into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and then cut them all in half. Roll all 32 pieces of dough into balls and cover with plastic. Let the dough balls sit for at least 30 minutes.
    11. Heat a seasoned but not oiled cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Use a small amount of flour to dust a cutting board and a rolling pin. Flatten the first ball of dough, making sure to keep the round shape as you do so. Use the rolling pin to roll the dough out as thinly as possible, making a circle 6 to 7 inches in diameter.
    12. Carefully place the first tortilla in the heated skillet, making sure it is completely flat in the pan. When small bubbles have formed at both the edges and toward the middle of the tortilla, flip it over to cook the other side. When the tortilla is done, both sides should have a hint of golden-brown coloring. The total cook time for one tortilla is usually less than 1 minute, but this depends on the heat of your pan. Wrap finished tortillas in a cloth inside of a lidded container to keep them warm while repeating the process with each ball of dough.
    13. Put it all together with the toppings: When all the tortillas are cooked, spoon carnitas onto the tortillas, top with avocado, queso fresco, onion, radish, and cilantro. Squeeze a lime wedge over the top just before eating and enjoy!