Carnitas Tacos

One of the reasons I became a chef was because I was amazed at my father's ability to prepare the perfect meal, particularly his carnitas, Traditionally, carnitas are deep fried in larda nutritionist's nightmare! Now using healthier cooking methods and healthier ingredients., my father (who now has diabetes) and I can enjoy carnitas without sacrificing the crispy outside and tender juicy inside of the pork. - Chef LaLa

Recipe from Diabetic Living
Carnitas Tacos
15 mins
by 4.5 8  people
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Related Categories:

Mexican Cuisine, Pork
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  • 1 1 1/4 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 recipe Pico de Gallo
  • Snipped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges (optional)
  • null
Pico de Gallo
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno chile pepper**
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Trim fat from pork. Juice orange over a bowl (you should have about 1/4 cup orange juice). Brush orange juice evenly onto pork tenderloin. Sprinkle with garlic salt and black pepper; set aside.
In a large oven-going nonstick skillet* heat oil over medium-high heat. Add tenderloin. Cook tenderloin for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown on all sides, turning to brown evenly. Drain off fat.
Roast tenderloin for 25 to 30 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted near the center registers 155 degrees F. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in foil. Heat in the 350 degrees F oven about 10 minutes or until warm, turning once. Chop roasted pork or cut into bite-size strips. Serve in warm tortillas; top with Pico de Gallo and cilantro. If desired, serve with lime wedges.
Pico de Gallo
In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno chile pepper, lime juice, garlic, and salt. Makes about 1-1/4 cups.


  • Chef Tip:

    The natural sugars in the orange juice help caramelize the pork, while the juice's acidity helps tenderize the meat.


  • *

    If your skillet has a rubber or plastic handle, do not put it in the oven. Instead, transfer the tenderloin to a baking dish and then bake it.


  • **

    Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 383, Fat, total (g) 11, chol. (mg) 92, sat. fat (g) 2, carb. (g) 38, Monounsaturated fat (g) 5, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 3, Trans fatty acid (g) 0, fiber (g) 6, sugar (g) 4, pro. (g) 34, vit. A (IU) 923.21, vit. C (mg) 26.57, Thiamin (mg) 1.5, Riboflavin (mg) 0.57, Niacin (mg) 10.86, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 1.37, Folate (g) 24.19, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 0.73, sodium (mg) 427, Potassium (mg) 934, calcium (mg) 90.87, iron (mg) 3.06, Starch () 2.5, Lean Meat () 4, Fat () 0.5, Carb Choice () 2.5, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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