5 from 5 votes
Overhead shot of Jerk Carnitas Tacos with Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa and lime wedges on a gray plate; with a pale purple linen underneath the plate.
Jerk Pork Carnitas Tacos {with Pineapple-Jalapeno Salsa}
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs 35 mins
Total Time
3 hrs

Tender, succulent Jerk Carnitas generously stuffed into tacos and topped with a sweet and spicy pineapple jalapeno salsa.

Course: entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carnitas, chicken tacos, Easy Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork, jalapeno, jerk, pineapple, salsa
Servings: 8
Calories: 384 kcal
  • 2 Scotch Bonnet Chiles – stemmed, deseeded & roughly chopped (can substitute habaneros)
  • 5 Scallions – both white and green parts, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small Sweet Yellow Onion – roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic – peeled and smashed
  • ½ Bunch of Fresh Thyme – leaves only (about 1 TBS)
  • 2 fresh Bay Leaves – stalks removed
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 TBS Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 2 TBS White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBS Honey
  • 1 TBS Dark Jamaican Rum
  • 3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil , or more as needed to thin out sauce
  • 3 pounds Boneless Pork Butt – Cut into 2’’ Cubes
  • 2 TB Salt
  • 3-4 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or as Needed for Browning Pork Cubes)
  • 1 (12 oz) Lager Beer
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Pineapple Juice
  • ½ Cup Beef Stock (unsalted)
  • ¼ Cup Lime Juice
  • 1 Yellow Onion – Peeled and Halved
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – Peeled and Halved
  • 2 fresh Bay Leaves – stalks removed
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp Dry Oregano
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • ¾ tsp Chili Powder
  • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
PINEAPPLE JALAPENO SALSA: (yield approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 ½ Cups Fresh Pineapple – coarsely diced
  • 1 Jalapeno – stemmed, partially deseeded and finely diced
  • ¼ Red Onion – diced (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro Leaves , packed – roughly chopped
  • 1 Scallions – thinly sliced
  • 2 TBS Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Dark Rum
  • Splash OJ
  • Sea Salt , to taste
  • For Serving: Corn Tortillas, Shredded Cabbage, Avocado, Jalapeno, Lime Wedges
  1. Make the Jerk Sauce: Place chiles, scallions, onions and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until all ingredients are minced. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. If sauce is too thick add more oil, more tablespoon at a time, until a smooth pourable sauce is achieved.
  2. Place pork cubes in a large nonreactive baking dish or Ziploc bag. Pour in jerk sauce and roll/stir pork around until thoroughly coated. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, turning pork occasionally.
  3. Make the Pineapple-Jalapeno Salsa: Combine all the salsa ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. To Cook Carnitas: Remove pork from refrigerator and transfer to a colander to drain of jerk sauce/marinade, discarding sauce. Allow pork to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  5. Set a Large Dutch Oven, or large sauce pot, over Medium – Medium High Heat.
  6. Add ONE Tablespoon of Oil to Pot. Add Pork, in batches and being sure to not over crowd the pot. Brown in oil, about 2 minutes per side, for a total of 6-8 minutes. DO NOT disturb Pork Cubes while they are cooking on each side. After all sides are browned, use tongs to transfer to a plate and set aside.
  7. Repeat browning process, adding one tablespoon of oil before browning each batch, until all Pork Cubes are browned and removed from pot.
  8. Deglaze Pan with Beer, Orange Juice, Beef Stock, and Lime Juice; scraping up brown bits from bottom of the pan.
  9. Add Onion, Garlic, Bay leaves and remaining Carnita ingredients. Add browned pork cubes and any accumulated juices back to pan.
  10. Bring to simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to low – medium low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and cook Pork 2 Hours, or until are fork tender.
  11. Use a slotted spoon to transfer Carnitas to a baking dish, or sheet pan lined with aluminum foil.
  12. Strain cooking liquid into a large bowl or container. Set aside.
  13. Place Oven Rack on Upper-Middle Rack and preheat oven to high broil.
  14. Add ½ Cup of the strained cooking liquid to the Carnitas and toss to coat.
  15. Broil Carnitas 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven, flip and again toss to coat with liquid. Continue Broiling an additional 4-5 minutes.
  16. Serve Carnitas tossed in additional strained sauce or use two forks to shred meat to desired consistency.
  17. For Taco Assembly: Top each tortilla with a small amount of shredded cabbage, carnita meat, sliced avocados, pineapple salsa, jalapeno rings and a drizzle of reserved strained cooking liquid. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

*To Cook Carnitas in the Oven: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bring Pot to simmer as indicated as above, once simmering, cover, and transfer pot to preheated Oven. Continue with directions as stated in recipe.
*To Prepare Carnitas in Advance:
1. Prepare carnitas through step 10.
2. Remove Carnita meat to a container and allow to cool slightly before covering and transferring to the refrigerator. Strain the cooking liquid and transfer to a separate container with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate.
3. When ready to use- allow the carnita meat and liquid to come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Toss the cold carnita meat with 1/3 cup cooking liquid. Warm in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and proceed with recipe as directed (step 13).

Nutrition Facts
Jerk Pork Carnitas Tacos {with Pineapple-Jalapeno Salsa}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 384 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 102mg34%
Sodium 3347mg146%
Potassium 791mg23%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 305IU6%
Vitamin C 31.8mg39%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.