These pork carnitas have a little more flair and much less fat than the traditional deep-fried versions common to Mexican cuisine. Beer and dark tequila give them a very special flavor. Use leftover carnitas to make burritos, sandwiches or quesadillas.

Bruce Aidells
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2010


Recipe Summary

3 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Trim enough fat from pork to yield about 1/3 cup diced (discard the rest). Cut pork into 1-inch cubes.

  • Heat a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat and add the pork fat. Cook, stirring, until there is a thin layer of fat covering the bottom and the bits left in the pot are brown and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add onion, poblanos, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

  • Add the pork and cook, stirring frequently, until enough liquid has been released to almost cover the pork and vegetables, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to maintain a lively simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a thick paste, about 30 minutes.

  • Stir in tomatoes, return to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add tequila and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and a thick sauce coats the meat, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the beer and return to a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, scraping up any browned bits near the end of the cooking time, 30 to 45 minutes more. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the carnitas to a serving platter and let guests assemble their own tacos with warm tortillas and taco garnishes as desired.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat, covered, in microwave or 325°F oven.

Bone-in pork shoulder (“Boston butt” or “fresh pork butt”) can weigh upwards of 10 pounds, so you may have to ask your butcher to cut one down for this recipe.

Golden-hued Reposado tequila has been aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of two months but no longer than 11 months. The flavor is more smooth and balanced than unaged (Blanco) or young (Joven) tequilas.

Kitchen Tip: 2 ways to warm corn tortillas: 1. Microwave: Wrap stacks of up to 12 tortillas in barely damp paper towels; microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds. Wrap tortillas in a clean towel to keep warm. 2. Oven: Wrap stacks of 6 tortillas in foil; place in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap tortillas in a clean towel to keep warm.

Nutrition Facts

440 calories; protein 22.9g; carbohydrates 30.9g; dietary fiber 4.5g; sugars 4.1g; fat 17.5g; saturated fat 6.2g; cholesterol 73.8mg; vitamin a iu 665.4IU; vitamin c 53.4mg; folate 20.8mcg; calcium 72.9mg; iron 2.3mg; magnesium 65.2mg; potassium 552.9mg; sodium 300.4mg; thiamin 0.5mg.

Reviews (2)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Awesome I browned the meat then followed directions to tequila reduction added everything back with the beer and heated it. Then put it in the crockpot on low for 7 hours. Refrigerated overnight. Next day I reheated and boiled the excess liquid away and shredded the meat. Brown this a little for some crunch. Used 2 servings and vacuum sealed the remaining in 2 portion bags. This was soooooo good. I also used canned hatch tomatoes with peppers for my tomatoes. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This was outstanding! A good recipe for when you are in the mood to putter around the kitchen. Well worth the time. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Rating: 4 stars
Bone in pork shoulder? If you could find pork shoulder with the bone removed it would save significant time preparing the meat. This was excellent. Be prepared for a long cooking time. It took me longer than what the recipe asked for. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Taste fantastic I would recommend you use your butcher to prep the beef for you. If you are not experienced on how to de-bone meat you will have alot of waste and it will take you a significant amount of time. Be prepared to babysit this meal. Took me the entire 3 hours. Pros: Flavor texture aroma Cons: Lonnnnnnng prep time and cook time. Read More