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Carnitas tacos with black bean salad

Recipe for carnitas tacos with black bean salad.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 4 hrs 15 mins cooking plus soaking, cooling, resting
  • Serves 16
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Carnitas tacos with black bean salad
Carnitas means little meats in Spanish. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 1.5 kg pork neck
  • 60 gm lard (¼ cup)
  • To serve: sour cream, hot sauce and lime wedges
Black bean, lime and avocado salad
  • 200 gm dried black beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
  • 100 ml lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped coriander
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 jalapeño chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
White corn tortillas
  • 250 gm white masa flour (see note) (1¾ cups)


  • 1
    Combine pork and lard in a casserole over high heat, scatter with 1 tsp sea salt, add enough water to just cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, simmer until water has evaporated (1½-2 hours). Increase heat to medium and cook, turning pork occasionally, until meat is golden and almost falling apart (1½-2 hours). Season to taste, set aside.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for black bean, lime and avocado salad, combine black beans and enough cold water to generously cover in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Skim scum from surface, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until very tender (45 minutes-1 hour). Drain, cool slightly, transfer to a bowl, add remaining ingredients and ½ tsp sea salt, toss to combine, set aside to cool completely and refrigerate until required.
  • 3
    For white corn tortillas, combine flour, 340ml hot water and a large pinch of salt in a bowl and mix with your hands until a soft dough forms. Cover closely with plastic wrap and set aside to rest (15 minutes). Divide dough into 35gm pieces and roll into balls. Line a tortilla press (see note at left) with two squares of baking paper, then, working with one ball at a time, press gently but firmly in press to form a thin disc. Set aside on baking paper and cover with a tea towel. Preheat a cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat, add tortillas one at a time and cook, turning once, until bubbles appear on the surface and base browns (30-45 seconds each side). Wrap in a cloth napkin to steam, soften and keep warm.
  • 4
    Top tortillas with black bean, lime and avocado salad, pork, sour cream and hot sauce, and serve with lime wedges.


Note White masa flour (also known as masa harina or harina de maíz) is a white nixtamalised corn flour. If you don't have a tortilla press, you can use a rolling pin to flatten the tortillas. White masa flour and tortilla presses are available from Mexican food shops including Monterey Mexican Foods.
Drink Suggestion: Hop-flowery pale ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen