Crispy Pork Belly Tacos with Pico de Gallo

Chef Enrique Olvera stuffs tacos with crispy pork belly, confited in fat, and serves them with a tangy salsa spiked with Mexican beer. Slideshow:  More Taco Recipes 

Crispy Pork Belly Tacos with Pico de Gallo
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs


Braised pork belly

  • One 2-pound piece of meaty pork belly

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup melted lard or shortening

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 white onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 morita chiles or dried chipotle chiles

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pico de Gallo

  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 4 ounces tomatillos—husked, rinsed and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) 

  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 chile de árbol, crumbled

  • 1/4 cup Mexican beer

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • Kosher salt


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • Twelve 5-inch Corn Tortillas or fresh corn tortillas, warm

  • Lime wedges, for serving


Braise the pork belly

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°. In a large ovenproof saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Cover, transfer to the oven and braise the pork until very tender, about 3 hours. Transfer the pork to a plate to cool slightly; discard the braising liquid.

Make the pico de gallo

  1. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the salt. Season with salt and mix well.

Make the tacos

  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the canola oil. Add the pork belly, skin side down, and weigh it down with another heavy skillet. Cook over moderately low heat until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pork, skin side up, to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Slice across the grain 1/4 inch thick, then halve the slices crosswise. Top each tortilla with a few pieces of pork belly and a little pico de gallo and serve warm.

Make Ahead

The braised pork belly can be refrigerated overnight; return to room temperature before frying. The pico de gallo can be refrigerated for 6 hours.


Morita chiles are small, dried smoked chiles; they’re a little spicier than chipotles.

Suggested Pairing

Nothing will ever go as well with tacos as an ice-cold Mexican lager.

Related Articles