Beer Kitchen: Carnitas Tacos

So, I wanted to make pulled pork tacos. I’ve never done this before, so I went to the trusty interweb to find a recipe that would be quick and effective. I didn’t want to cook for five hours, I wanted something that I could simply put together in a pot and let cook over a couple hours. I came across this recipe for carnitas (pulled pork) tacos. Seemed simple enough, you sear the pork, deglaze the pot, then toss it all into the oven. After about an hour in the oven, every time I started turning the pork, it started falling apart. Success!photo 1-1

I changed up the ingredients a little bit to account for about ½ as much pork as this recipe called for. Another thing I would do is eliminate the salt altogether. That’s the one thing I didn’t like about the final outcome, was a bit salty. I hate salt, I never put it on anything. That’s my preference and it was a lesson learnt.

Ingredients for the pork:

  • 1.5 lb pork loin roast(boneless), cut into small pieces (2-3 inch) pieces (leave fat untrimmed)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 small cloves of garlic(pressed or finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or enough to cover the bottom of the pot
  • 8 fluid oz beer, (I used Sierra Nevada Pale Ale)
  • Juice of 1freshly squeezed orange and lime

photo 2-1

Accoutrements for the tacos:

  • warmed corn tortillas
  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • salsa (a simple pico de gallo works)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut the pork into small pieces. Leave the fatty ends, they add lots of flavor.
  3. Combine all the dry goods and half the garlic into a bowl. Toss in the pork and mix it around til everything is coated with the rub.
  4. Heat up some oil and the rest of the garlic in your pot, once that’s up to temp, sear the pork on all sides til browned evenly.
  5. Remove pork from the dutch oven and set aside.
  6. Pour in the beer, orange and lime juice into the pot and deglaze and release the browned bits of pork.
  7. Once that is boiling, add in the pork. Cover the pot and place in oven for about 30 minutes.
  8. Take off the lid, carefully turn over the pork and put it back in the oven, uncovered for another 30 minutes. Repeat this another two times, cooking for about 1 and 1/2 hours total.
  9. At this point, the pork should start falling apart without much pressure being applied. Start tossing around and shredding the pork. Tossing it with the reduced juice.
  10. Serve with all the extras and enjoy!

Also, I would probably try putting in some green chiles and maybe a bit more beer next time. The liquid almost entirely evaporated in the last ½ hour or so.

Enjoy!

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