Tequila Carnitas (The Frugal Paleo Cookbook)

the frugal paleo cookbookI was thrilled when Ciarra Hannah, founder of Popular Paleo, sent me a copy of her new cookbook. She proves that eating healthy, nutritional food is not only affordable but incredibly delicious ~ BAM!

PROS of The Frugal Paleo Cookbook:
1. the recipes are sooo TASTY
2. the pictures are gorgeous
3. the personal stories add flair and smiles along the way
4. the recipes provide metric equivalents
CONS of The Frugal Paleo Cookbook:
1. I don’t have a copy to give each and every one of my Cavegirl friends!! :-)

So, two things happened when I was cooking the Tequila Carnitas, a recipe from The Frugal Paleo Cookbook. I learned something and I was inspired. I learned that pork shoulder is also pork butt. This was my Homer Simpson “doh” moment; however, I love it when I learn something. Also, it never crossed my mind to cook with tequila, so I am inspired to create my own recipe using this ingredient. Thank you Ciarra. I can’t wait to try your Tater Tot Casserole!!


Tequila Carnitas

Tequila Carnitas (The Frugal Paleo Cookbook)


  • 3 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 batch Taco Seasoning Blend (below)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons lard or coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
  • Juice of 2 limes, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup pure tequila (gluten-free, no added sugars)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Fresh cilantro and additional lime wedges, for garnish
  • Additional optional garnishes: sliced radishes, red onion, fresh pineapple
  • Taco Seasoning Blend:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Cut the pork shoulder into four or five even chunks and coat with the combined Taco Seasoning Blend, plus the kosher salt.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and melt the lard or coconut oil (though lard is my favorite). Drop in the seasoned pork and sear the sides. If the spices are starting to burn, reduce the temperature just a bit. It’s also a good idea to work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. If too many chunks of meat go in together, the result will be steaming, not searing. Not pretty.
  3. Once seared, return all of the meat to the pan and drop in the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Lightly mix the ingredients, but make sure the pork gets priority at the bottom of the dog-pile.
  4. Next, pour in the fresh lime juice, tequila, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature to a simmer and cover.
  5. Let the pork braise on the stovetop for 2 hours, or until it falls apart easily when gently pressed with the back of a fork.
  6. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat, shred the pork (discard any fatty bits) and mix with the juices. Scoop all the pork out, transfer to a baking dish and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the carnitas. Just eyeball it.
  7. Pour the remaining braising liquid over the carnitas and serve with fresh cilantro and a few lime wedges for squeezing. Other toppings that go great with carnitas are avocado, sliced radishes, finely diced red onion and even fresh pineapple, if you’re feeling adventurous.
  8. Enjoy!

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