Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development
Walter Rivas

Walter Rivas
Former Manager of Culinary Innovation
On the Border

Frico Carnitas Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Walter Rivas
Sponsor: Texas Pete

Servings: 24



  • 8 lb pork butt
  • ½ c Texas Pete® Original Dust Dry Seasoning
  • 3 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ Tbsp dried oregano
  • 12 oz bacon fat or lard
  • 8 fl oz Texas Pete® Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce

Frico Tacos:

  • 24 oz jack cheese
  • Texas Pete® Original Dust Dry Seasoning, as needed
  • 8 oz leeks, thinly sliced
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 12 oz pineapple, ¼-in dice
  • 24 lime wedges
  • Chopped cilantro, as needed


For the Carnitas:

  1. Cut pork butt into 2-in cubes and place into a full 4-in hotel pan.
  2. Season cubes with Texas Pete® Dust, black pepper, cumin and oregano.
  3. In a large pan, heat bacon fat over medium heat.
  4. Once fat is melted, add seasoned pork and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes on each side, or until all pieces reach 165°F.
  5. Once cooked, place pork and rendered fat in a clean hotel pan and let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. On a cutting board, chop pork into ¼-in pieces. Toss in pan again with Texas Pete® BBQ Sauce and set aside. Cover and refrigerate or hold warm for service.

For the Frico Tacos:

  1. On a flat top, evenly place 1 oz jack cheese and form into a 4-in disk. Cook until crust is developed, then flip and season with Texas Pete® Dust. Cook on each side for about 1 minute. Place cooked cheese disk over the edge of a full 4-in hotel pan to create a taco shell shape. Replace with remaining cheese to create 24 shells.
  2. Deep fry leeks at 350°F for 1 minute. Cool and set aside.
  3. Fill cooled shells with cooked carnitas, diced pineapple and fried leeks.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve each taco with a lime wedge.

Chef Notes

Frico shells can be cooked for a longer or shorter amount of time depending on preferred doneness.

Project Management: Summit F&B
Photography: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley

About The Author