Beer Braised Carnitas Tacos

By • April 21, 2016 1 Comments

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Author Notes: I've made carnitas before, but this one blows them all out of the water. It's all in the beer. So flavorful, and the consistency of the pork was delicious. Match it with some quick pickled onions and fresh cilantro, and you're all set. Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast


Makes enough for about 12 tacos

for the beer braised carnitas

  • 3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 1 4 ounces can diced green chilies
  • 1 can beer
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (homemade or low sodium)
  • spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, ancho powder, chipotle powder, Mexican oregano)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lime (zest & juice)
  • grapeseed or canola oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Let the pork come close to room temperature before cooking, for about 1 hour. Make sure to trim excess fat off of the pork before you start. Save a little bit of that excess fat. Salt and pepper the pork generously on all sides.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, turn the heat to low and drop in a few pieces of that pork fat with a tbsp of oil and let the fat melt. Once melted, crank up the heat to high. Drop the pork in, with the fattiest side down and let it sizzle away for about 4 minutes, until browned. Repeat the process on all sides of the meat. Once done, remove from heat. Your kitchen will probably get super messy from splattering oil, unless you have a splatter screen. Get one.
  3. Lower heat to medium and add onion, garlic and green chilies. Let cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are soft. Deglaze the pan with the can of beer, scraping any leftover bits on the bottom of the pan. Now add a healthy dash of each spice (not too much of the chipotle though), the chicken broth, bay leaf, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Once simmering, drop the pork with all the accumulated juices into the simmering sauce. Cover and pop into the preheated oven. Turn the pork over in the juices once or twice during the cooking process. Let the pork cook for 3 hours, covered the whole time.
  5. Remove from oven and bring pork to a cutting board. Remove any large pieces of unpleasant looking fat, and shred the rest with a fork. Spoon some of the liquid onto the pork, and you're ready for taco assembly.

for the pickled red onion

  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  1. Bring vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a slow simmer, and turn off heat once simmering. Pour liquid over sliced onions and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Assemble tacos using your favorite toppings. I made mine with fresh cilantro, Greek yogurt, pickled onions and a squeeze of fresh lime.

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