Cooking with beer, wine and spirits

Slow Cooker Beer Braised Carnitas

Slow Cooker Beer Braised Carnitas

I’ve said it before (and I’ll probably say it again) but these beer braised Carnitas are probably the best thing that I have ever made. Not to toot my own horn, but this was actually the first time I ever attempted to make the dish…And I crushed it. BEEP BEEP!

This recipe can reasonably serve 8-10 people. Based on that fact that I am part of a two person (and one dog) household, I assumed that I would be enjoying leftover Carnitas for about a week. WRONG! Three days. It took three days for my husband and I to absolute demolish this stuff. To be fair, I also brought small portions to work to force let my coworkers taste it (yes, I am THAT proud of this recipe).

What I love about any shredded meat recipe is that the leftovers can be used in different ways throughout the week. While we found this meat was excellent when used as filling for burritos, tacos and salads, more often than not we found ourselves eating it by the spoonful right out of the cold Tupperware container (don’t judge us, it’s seriously addictive).

 

This Carnitas recipe gives Chipotle a run for its money – juicy pork, tenderized from hours in the slow cooker then browned under the boiler to achieve a gloriously moist yet crispy bite.

I have the suspicion that this recipe would hold up pretty well in the freezer, if I were only able to resist the temptation to eat it all as quickly as possible.

 

Slow Cooker Beer Braised Carnitas

This Carnitas recipe gives Chipotle a run for its money – juicy pork, tenderized from hours in the slow cooker then browned under the boiler to achieve a gloriously moist yet crispy bite.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4-5 lb. bone-in pork butt also known as pork shoulder
  • 1 large white onion quartered
  • Juice of 2 limes about ¼ cup
  • Juice of 2 oranges about ¾ cup, reserve spent quarters of 1 orange
  • 6-8 garlic cloves minced
  • 12 oz. bottle of Mexican beer I used Dos Equis
  • 1 tbsp. salt plus additional to taste
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. Place the quartered onion and reserved remains of 1 orange in the bottom of the slow cooker
  2. Rub the pork with salt, paprika, oregano, pepper, chipotle chili powder and minced garlic until even coated on all sides and add to slow cooker with fat cap facing up
  3. Add the lime juice, orange juice, beer and bay leaves
  4. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, turning the pork halfway through
  5. When pork is fork tender, transfer to a large cutting board or platter and shred with two forks, discarding the bone
  6. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and stir well so that meat is coated with the cooking liquids. Add additional salt to taste, if needed
  7. Using a slotted spoon, arrange the shredded pork in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Pour about ½ cup of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker evenly over the meat
  8. Place in a preheated boiler until the edges are browned and crisp. This should take about 3-5 minutes but keep an eye on it to avoid burning the pork

Recipe Notes

Boneless pork can also be used, however I always find that bones provide more flavor and are usually worth the extra minute or so it takes to remove while shredding.



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