There is something about a taco filled with slow-braised juicy pork mixed with black beans, fresh cilantro and lime, and a spicy tomatillo sauce that just makes sense to me for breakfast. I love starting my day with a rich breakfast like this that is packed with bright and vibrant flavors, even if it’s not the healthiest thing in the world.
Carnitas Breakfast Tacos
For the Carnitas:
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 tsp Kosher salt
- 32 oz (2 lbs) pork shoulder
- 5 cups pork stock
- 1 large onion (quartered)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 oranges (juiced)
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Spicy Black Beans:
- 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
- ¼ can chipotles in adobo (finely chopped)
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper (to taste)
For the Tomatillo Sauce:
- 8 tomatillos (husks removed and discarded)
- 2 fresh jalapeños (included if you want more spice)
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1 lime
- Kosher salt & freshly-squeezed black pepper (to taste)
For the Remaining Taco Components:
- 8-10 small tortillas corn or flour based on your preference
- 3 whole eggs (soft-scrambled in whole butter)
- ½ cup sour cream (for serving)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro (roughly chopped, as garnish)
- 1 lime ( cut into wedges, for serving)
- Before braising the carnitas, add the vegetable oil to a large saute pan.
- Pat the pork dry with paper towels, and salt the pork on all sides.
- Turn the heat to high, and wait until the oil is almost smoking.
- Sear the pork shoulder on all sides, until it is browned all over.
- Remove the meat from the pan, and deglaze the pan with a bit of the pork stock.
- *To deglaze the pan, simply use a wooden spatula to stir the stock around in the saute pan, removing any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and combining them with the stock.
- Add this liquid to the bottom of a soup pot that is large enough to accommodate the pork and vegetables.
- Add the browned pork shoulder, the remainder of the pork stock, and the onion, garlic, orange juice, lime zest, lime juice, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a large pot or Dutch oven.
- Bring to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to low.
- Cover, and let cook for roughly 3 hours, or until the pork is fork-tender and can easily be pulled apart.
- *Cook the meat at a temperature slightly below a simmer. This slow-cooking process can take up to 4 or 5 hours.
- Once the pork is cooked, allow it cool in the liquid for roughly 45 minutes.
- Once the pork has slightly cooled, remove it from the liquid and place it in a large bowl.
- Use two forks to shred the pork, then set it aside and keep warm.
- For the spicy black beans, combine the rinsed and drained black beans, chipotles in adobo, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and Kosher salt in a medium-sized pot or saute pan.
- Heat over medium heat until warmed through, and remove from the heat.
- Taste, and season with Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
- To make the tomatillo sauce, preheat the oven to 525F.
- Combine the tomatillos, jalapeños, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet and broil in the oven until the tomatillos and jalapeños are lightly charred, about ten minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and let cool before blending with the cilantro, lime juice, and Kosher salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Cook your scrambled eggs and set aside.
- To assemble the tacos, heat the tortillas and then layer with the braised carnitas, scrambled eggs, and spicy black beans.
- Drizzle with the tomatillo sauce and add a scoop of sour cream.
- Serve the breakfast tacos with fresh cilantro and lime wedges, and enjoy warm.