Make Ahead

Carnitas

September 23, 2014
Author Notes

We love these carnitas served over coconut rice for dinner. The secret my family doesn't know? I always make extras for the next day. Heat up the meat, slide it into a tortilla, sprinkle with cubed avocado, and you have an easy, delicious lunch. As with any stewed meat, the flavors in these carnitas meld, intensify, and improve overnight.

(Inspired by a Williams-Sonoma carnitas recipe) —Kees To The Kitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

My husband, our adventurous toddler, and I adored this. The meat was meltingly tender. I prefer the carnitas as a taco filling, and it was superb. I loved the hint of coconut, which is so unexpected. I'll add a bit more citrus next time to balance out the richness of the pork shoulder. —Amanda Gibson

  • Makes 16 tacos
Ingredients
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (approximately 4 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 large yellow onions
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, diced
  • 2 cans beer, preferably lager
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 medium oranges, grated zest and juice
  • 1 lime, grated zest and juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 cups chicken broth, as needed
  • 16 tortillas, either corn or wheat (the freshest you can find)
  • Lime wedges, avocado slices, chopped cilantro, and chopped onions, for garnish
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Generously sprinkle the pork shoulder with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other oven-proof pan on top of the stove. Add the pork shoulder and sear on all sides, turning frequently, for approximately 10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a platter.
  3. Over medium heat, add the onion to the pan and sauté until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the beer to the onions and deglaze the pan, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the coconut milk, the juice and zest of the oranges and lime, the oregano, and 1 cup broth. Return the meat to the pan and bring just to a boil.
  5. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven, cover, and cook for at least 2 1/2 hours. Periodically check that the pan is not drying out. If so, add more broth to the pan. At the end of the cooking time, the pork should easily fall apart when sliced and the liquid ingredients should form a thick, juicy gravy
  6. Transfer the shredded pork to a platter and spoon with the thickened broth. Immediately serve with tortillas and garnishes.

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