Beer-Braised Carnitas Tacos Recipe

Taco Tuesdays are commonplace in many households these days. More authentic mexican food chains are popping up in new places, too. With more ‘real’ Mexican food on all of our palettes, new taco recipes are in order.
What makes this recipe different from the rest is that it takes the classic carnitas tacos and gives it an updated twist with the added beer. These carnitas tacos are full of savory flavors that are perfectly complemented with fresh cilantro and crisp white onions.

Tools of the Trade

Before you get started making these delicious tacos, there are a few tips you should keep in mind. First, many recipes call for completely removing the fat from the meat before cooking. This not only can cause the meat to be less flavorful, but can even make it end up dry and unsatisfying.
With the fat utilized in the dish, the meat is able to retain more of its juices and, ultimately, end up more flavorful.
Secondly, try to find a cut of meat with the bone still in. Cooking with deboned pieces of meat may be easier, but meat with bones are less likely to dry out.
Finally, the cut of meat you use isn’t set in stone. The best meat for this recipe is pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), however, you can use brisket, short ribs, or a beef chuck roast if that suits you better.

Beer-Braised Carnitas Tacos Recipe

Some people might be a little wary adding beer to their meat. If you’re worried about how the beer will affect this dish, rest assured that beer does nothing but help the meal out.
Beer helps tenderize the meat when added while cooking or as a marinade. Plus, beer helps bring out savory flavors in meat that wouldn’t come out otherwise. The hoppy flavor completely disappears during cooking when using a light beer like FRIO, so you don’t have to worry about hoppy meat.
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Green chili peppers (optional)
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 can FRIO beer

TIME: 4 hours
Step 1
- Place your dutch oven on the stove over high heat to begin heating it up, and preheat the oven to 300°F. Meanwhile, trim the excess fat off of the meat and put the fat into the dutch oven to melt.
Step 2
- Once the fat has melted, add in a tablespoon or 2 of oil. Then, sear the meat on all sides for 4-5 minutes until brown.
Step 3
- Take the meat out and lower the heat. Cook the onion until soft, then put the meat back into the dutch oven. Now, add in the spices, as well as some salt and pepper. Lastly, pour in the orange juice, broth, and beer.
Step 4
- Let this start to simmer, then put the top on the dutch oven and stick it in the oven. Let this cook for 2½ to 3 hours, flipping the meat over after 1½ hours. When you can easily pull the meat apart with a fork, the carnitas is done.
Step 5
- Shred the meat completely using a fork or tongs, then prepare a pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Sear the shredded meat in the pan until slightly crispy. You will most likely have to do this in batches.
Step 6
- Plate your tacos. Start with soft corn tortillas and the carnitas. Then, top your tacos with the diced white onion and cilantro.
Carnitas can be used in a handful of delicious dishes, and can be saved for about 5 days in the fridge. Use it for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, or just eat some with rice.
Any way you choose to eat your carnitas, try adding a little lime juice for an extra kick of flavor.
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