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Orange and Beer Braised Pork Carnitas

Orange and Beer Braised Pork Carnitas

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5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Honest Cooking
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 Servings 1x


A delicious twist on traditional carnitas, infused with the unexpected zest of orange and robust taste of ale. Perfect for piling onto warm tortillas or served with rice and beans, whether during a cozy family dinner or as the star of a weekend brunch, these fall-apart pork pieces are salivatingly good.


Units Scale
  • 4.5-5 lbs pork shoulder roast, cubed into 3-4 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 6 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 12 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 12 oz beer (preferably a full-flavored ale)
  • 2 qts chicken stock
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 oranges


  1. Spice the Pork: In a bowl, combine all dry spices with salt. Coat pork pieces evenly with the spice mix. Allow resting at room temperature for 20 minutes for flavors to penetrate.
  2. Render the Bacon: In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil and cook diced bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and excess fat, leaving enough to coat the pot.
  3. Sear the Pork: Increase heat to high. Sear pork in batches, ensuring a golden brown crust on all sides. Set aside after searing.
  4. Prepare the Braising Liquid: In the same pot, combine chicken stock, beer, orange zest, and juice. Simmer, scraping up the pork remnants from the pot.
  5. Braise the Pork: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Return pork and bacon to the pot, cover, and place in the oven. Braise for 3-3.5 hours until the pork is tender.
  6. Shred and Serve: Remove pork, shred, and return to reduced sauce. Mix well to combine flavors.


  • Ensure pork is at room temperature before seasoning.
  • Sear pork in small batches to avoid overcrowding.
  • Adjust heat when rendering bacon to prevent burning.
  • Regularly check the braising liquid level during cooking.
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 240 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired
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