Pork Carnitas Tacos


I love tacos.  Especially slow-cooked pork shoulder braised in a delicious beer and loads of garlic.  Today was the weekly Sunday dinner with my sister, her husband, and my neice.  I wanted to make something that had a bit of preparation at the outset, but not a terrible amount to do once my guests were here.  This is a great entertaining dish – just throw it in the oven, and forget it for about 3 hours.  Served with Weston’s Guacamole and some caramalized onions, cilantro, and some queso fresco, this is a delicious meal, and you should have plenty of leftovers!



  • 4-5 lb. bone-in pork shoulder
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground mustard seed
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 12 ounces good ale or dark beer
  • 6 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • corn tortillas, steamed
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1/2 a red onion, sauteed in butter
  • good bunch of cilantro, chopped


In a bowl, combine the oil, salt, sugar, pepper, chili, powder, garlic powder, coriander, and mustard seed in a bowl and mix well.  Rub it all over the pork shoulder.  Wrap the shoulder in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Unwrap the pork and place in a roasting pan with sides just a couple of inches high.  If your pan is too high, the meat won’t brown well.  Cook for 15 minutes, and then drop the temperature to 300. 

Remove the pork from the oven, pour the beer over the top and add the sliced garlic to the beer around the pork.  Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or twice with regular foil.  Poke about 10 holes all over the top of the foil.  Cook for about 2.5 – 3 hours until the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. 



To serve, lay a corn tortilla on the plate, add some pork, some onions, guacamole, queso fresco, and cilantro to the center.  Serve with some black beans and cilantro rice. 



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  • comment-avatar
    Mark January 4, 2010 (10:22 pm)

    Love it. I halved the recipe and used a boneless Boston butt. Also, I couldn’t find chipotle chili powder but whatever I used turned out fine. Next time I will substitute a cheap domestic mozzerella for the queso fresco. The cheese is fine but expensive and doesn’t distinctly stand out with all the other yumminess going on. Thanks for the recipe. I think I will try the rub on a roast chicken.

  • comment-avatar
    bee January 20, 2012 (9:37 pm)

    These look delicious, thanks for the inspiration! I used a good quality mexican seasoning mix & added brown sugar and sprinkle of salt as my rub which is in the refrigerator as we speak waiting for tomorrow where I will follow the rest of your steps. Can’t wait to taste it!