Orange Beer Braised Pork Carnitas — Damn Delicious

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Orange Beer Braised Pork Carnitas

It’s been really nice to have Jason back home for the holidays. We’ve been staying at home and relaxing for the most part, while eating out at our favorite restaurants. But while I have him home, I try to cook a lot of the things that he likes, like spicy wings, burgers, and now, these carnitas. I didn’t think it would be such a time-consuming recipe (had I known I wouldn’t have made it) but I’m glad I took the time to make this dish because Jason absolutely LOVED it.

I tweaked the recipe just a tiny bit and omitted the bacon since I was saving it for another recipe. Plus, it makes for a healthier recipe. Okay maybe not healthier but there’s definitely less calories.

We used the carnitas for these breakfast tacos that we made with corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, salsa, homemade guacamole, cilantro and a squirt of fresh lime juice. It was a taco filled with tons goodies along with the juicy carnitas that burst with flavor in every bite. I’m not sure if I would be willing to make this again because it was a bit too much work but we definitely enjoyed it!

Orange Beer Braised Pork Carnitas (adapted from These Peas are Hollow):

Yields 8 servings

  • 6 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 5 pounds pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 12 ounces beer (any full flavored ale would work fine here)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 oranges

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper; set aside.

Cut the pork shoulder into 4-inch pieces.

Coat each piece of pork with the spice mixture, rubbing gently into the meat with your fingers.

Let the meat rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes. (This allows the rub to penetrate.)

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Sear the pork in batches until brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.

Add the chicken stock, beer, orange zest and juice to the pot; bring to a simmer, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.

Add the seared pork back into the pot.

Cover and place into oven to braise until meat is falling apart, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Transfer the pork to a plate and cover tightly with foil.

Simmer the remaining liquid over medium high heat; reduce for about 30 minutes. (You will want to skim as much fat off the top of the liquid as possible. It will reduce the greasiness of your carnitas.)

While the sauce is reducing, shred the pork with a fork, removing large pieces of fat.

Add the shredded pork to the sauce and stir to coat.

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