Beer-braised Pork Carnitas

Pork carnitas raw ingredients

Summer is in full heat-wave attack mode and that means plenty of ice cold drinks, Hawaiian t-shirts and beer-braised pork carnitas. This recipe is by no means authentic but its so god damn delicious that you will not want to put anything else in your tacos after this. Carnitas is a Mexican slow-cooked pork which is pulled apart easily with a fork and full of intense flavour. I’ve added a bit of pork belly in the recipe because this keeps the meat flavourful and unctuous. 

 Beer-braising has some tenderizing effects on the meat but the real reason you beer-braise anything is that you get to drink a cold one while you cook. 

Pork carnitas raw ingredients

Beer-braised Pork Carnitas

This recipe is nice in the summer because you don’t have to use the oven and heat up your home unnecessarily. Great for a party, bbq or meal planning for the week. Keeps up to 3 days in the fridge in a sealed container.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 3 people


  • 800 g pork Shoulder bonesless, skinless
  • 200 g pork Belly boneless, skinless
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 red chilis fresh
  • 1+1/2 bottles Light lager beer Drink the rest
  • 2 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 whole lime zest and juice
  • water


  • Cut your pork shoulder and pork belly into roughly 5cm pieces and throw it into a medium sized stock pot. Add your crushed garlic, chilis, beer and half of the cumin. Add enough cold water to just cover the meat. Season nicely with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Once it boils turn the heat all the way down low and cover with a lid. This takes about 80-90 minutes. Check it every 20 minutes or so to make sure the meat is still covered in liquid.
    You will know when its done because the meat will be very soft and easily break away when you pull it apart with a fork. If it’s still tough, continue cooking until it breaks down.
    Pork carnitas raw ingredients
  • When the meat is tender, remove the lid and continue cooking for about 20 minutes on medium heat until all the liquid evaporates and concentrates into the meat. 
    Carnitas frying in the pan
  • Once the liquid is gone, its time to crisp it up. Remove the chilis and garlic and discard. Get a big frying pan and heat on low. Add the meat and another teaspoon of cumin to the hot pan and continue to fry low and slow until a beautiful dark golden brown colour is achieved. Finish with the zest and juice of one lime and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with tacos. 
    Finished carnitas
Keyword beer and pork recipes, beer-braising, carnitas recipes, cooking with beer, fried pork, meat recipes, mexican recipes, pork butt, pork carnitas recipe, pork recipes, pork shoulder, slow roasted pork, taco recipes, tobasco

If you like this, have you seen my rib recipe? →

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