Pajarito's super savory pork carnitas tacos

Up your game and impress your guests with his recipe for super savory Shredded Pork Carnitas Tacos.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - If you’re thinking about serving tacos on the game day, Pajarito Chef & Co-Owner Stephan Hesse has a suggestion for you, ditch the seasoning packets and ground beef. Up your game and impress your guests with his recipe for super savory Shredded Pork Carnitas Tacos. They’re one of the most popular items on the popular restaurant’s menu. Or leave the cooking to Pajarito, and join them for their special “Super Bowl House Party.” For details, visit the Pajarito Facebook events page.

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Pajarito Pork Carnitas


3 pounds lard

5 pounds pork shoulder cut into 2” cubes

1 cups fresh squeezed orange juice

1 cups Coca-Cola

1/4C sweetened condensed milk

8 garlic cloves, smashed

2 Mexican cinnamon sticks

1t black peppercorns

5 fresh bay leaves

4T kosher salt


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season pork shoulder with salt and set aside. Heat lard on stove until melted. In a deep hotel pan combine pork, orange juice, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic and Coca-Cola. Carefully pour warm lard into roasting pan. Cover with parchment and place in preheated oven for 2 to 3 hours, until the meat is very tender and is shreds easily.

Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa


18oz Fresh Tomatillos

1 Serrano Chile

3 Avocado, halved and seeded, skins removed

1/4C Cilantro, Packed and chopped

2 Limes, juiced

1 Clove Garlic, Peeled

Salt to taste


Place the garlic and Serranos in the bowl of a blender. Add a little water and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Add the Tomatillos and puree until smooth. Add to the serrano puree. Add the avocados to the blender with the lime juice. Puree until smooth. You may need to add some water to allow the avocados to work through the blades. Finally add the cilantro with a small amount of water. Puree, but not to a smooth puree, there should still be flecks of cilantro in the mix. Add to the rest and adjust the seasoning.

Opened in December 2016, Pajarito is a Mexican eatery that offers up fun, fresh, contemporary-style Mexican fare. Pajarito is located at: 605 7th St. W., St. Paul, Minn., 651.340.9545,, @PajaritoSTP (Instagram/Twitter)

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