Carnitas tacos with tomatillo salsa. Way out of my comfort zone and loving every second of it.

Having some boneless pork shoulder in the freezer, all cut up in 2-inch cubes, was only the right course of action to make carnitas with them.

carnitas tacos with tomatillo salsa

What we love the most about this recipe is that for the Carnitas Tacos, you can boil the pork the day before. 

Subscribe to Giangi's Kitchen!

Get my FREE email series: 5 Days of Easy Elevated Recipes plus a weekly newsletter!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Please return it to room temperature before proceeding with the final cooking step.

The combination of grapefruit, I have a tree in my backyard that gives out the sweetest juice, and the milk leaves the meat with a savory flavor.

Once all cooked off, the meat will sear to perfection because of the sweetness left on it by both milk and grapefruit.

At this point, you can prepare any sauce you wish.

We do enjoy Smoked Salsa with it quite often. The flavors are just amazing together.

What are carnitas made of?

Carnitas, which means little meat in Spanish, is a Mexican pork dish. A cost-effective, nicely marbled cut of pork, such as pork shoulder or picnic ham that is braised or simmered for several hours with seasoning and fat until it is tender that you can easily shred it.

carnitas tacos with tomatillo sauce with avocado

Below is an adaptation from one of my favorite Mexican cookbooks, “Mexico The Beautiful Cookbook,” which is no longer on prints

Here is where it gets exciting and a bit challenging for me. I do not embrace spicy hot food, thus making it a bit difficult for the sauce to go alongside.

However, I did make it a bit more tolerable for my palate.

I am giving you the recipe for Carnitas tacos with tomatillo sauce and avocado with the whole spicy hot sauce.

How do you eat Carnitas?

It can be a dish all in itself. Depending on where you eat them, they can be served with chopped cilantro, diced onions, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, refried beans, lime, and or radishes, as I have it here.

carnitas tacos with tomatillo sauce with avocado

A two-part recipe

This recipe of carnitas is a combination of two recipes coming together beautifully.

The carnitas tacos require a long preparation, and the tomatillo sauce can be prepared the day you want to enjoy it.

However, I recommend that you prepare them both the day before. The longer the flavors stay together, the more savory this dish will become.

Ingredients needed to make this carnitas tacos with tomatillo sauce

Boneless pork shoulder

garlic cloves



Grapefruit juice

Whole milk

Poblanos peppers


White wine vinegar



Sea salt

tomatillos and poblanos for carnitas tacos

If you are like me, there are a few things that you can omit or substitute

~ First of all, I decided to go with Poblanos peppers instead of Serrano peppers. The poblanos are milder in flavor than the serranos counterparts. 

Replace the poblanos with the serrano if you like hot in the recipe.

~ Another of my little changes, I took off the seeds of the poblano before blending them into a puree.

The seeds pack the heat. Keep the seeds if you like the heat.

carnitas tacos with tomatillo sauce with avocado

I sure did not make enough as it was gone at the speed of light.

Flour and corn taco-size tortillas are warmed before serving. We also had some extra lime to squeeze over it all.

We will add radishes and queso fresco to it as per our preference.

See my other recipes if you enjoy those delicious carnitas tacos with tomatillo salsa.

Chiles Rellenos – A Southwest Favorite

Avocado Soup – Enjoy It Hor or Cold

Egg Rolls

Avocado, Mozzarella and Tomatoes with Vinaigrette

Carnitas Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce and Avocado

5 from 3 votes
carnitas tacos with tomatillo sauce with avocado
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people
The combination of grapefruit, I have a tree in my backyard that gives out the sweetest juice of them all, and the milk leaves the meat with a savory flavor.



  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ onion, outer skin removed and left intact
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • ½ cup grapefruit juice
  • ½ cup whole milk


  • 3 poblanos peppers
  • 14 ounces tomatillos, husk removed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cilantro, freshly chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • cup onion, finely chopped



  • Place the pork, water, onion, garlic, and salt in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cook covered over medium heat for 1 to 1 ½ hour or until the pork is tender. Transfer the meat to a colander and drain.
  • Melt the lard in a saucepan. As soon as it bubbles add the grapefruit juice and milk and then the pork. Cook uncovered, over medium heat until the meat is browned, about 20 minutes. The juice and milk will cook off leaving the pork to brown.


  • Place the fresh poblano peppers in a large saucepan of boiling water. After 5 minutes add the tomatillos. After 3 minutes. Remove the peppers and tomatillos and drain.
  • Puree the poblanos, tomatillos, garlic, vinegar in a blender. Add the salt and cilantro and blend. For 2 short cycles.
  • In a bowl combine the puree, avocado and onion. Adjust seasoning if needed.


Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 1659mg | Potassium: 1014mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

Did you make this?

Leave a comment below and tag @giangiskitchen on Instagram