I have always loved Pork Carnitas but to find moist flavorful Carnitas is almost impossible. Usually when I am lucky enough to actually find them on a menu I am disappointed in how dry they are and often the flavors are not developed.
Anthony got me this great Craft Beer Cookbook at a brewery while we were on our trip to Utah earlier this year. I was skimming through it today and found a recipe from Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado for Colorado Carnitas. The recipe as described by the cookbook:
Carnitas means "little meats"; the bite-size pieces of pork in this traditional Mexican dish are usually served with soft tortillas. This version of carnitas takes on some Colorado flavoring with the addition of Avery's White Rascal Belgian Wheat. The recipe requires some patience and restraint, as the meat should go untouched for nearly two hours. The end result is worth the wait!
Although I was unable to locate Avery's beer a my local grocery store I easily substituted with a comparable wheat beer. These carnitas are so moist and delicious that you just can't stop eating them. I served ours with corn chips, guacamole, tomatoes and handmade whole wheat tortillas. You can also serve them with sliced avocado, cilantro or even fresh minced jalapeno pepper.
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or ribs, cut into 2-inch cubes, taking care to keep fat intact
1 (12 oz) bottle or can Avery White Rascal Belgian Wheat Ale or similar beer
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Water, as needed
Small corn or flour tortillas
Optional Fixings: sliced avocados, cilantro, diced tomatoes, fresh minced jalapeno pepper, etc.
Combine the pork, beer, orange juice, lime juice, garlic and salt in a soup pot. Add enough water so the liquid barely covers the pork. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered intil fork-tender, about 2 hours. Do not turn or move the pork.
Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the pork while occasionally stirring and turning the pieces until all of the liquid has evaporated, leaving only the rendered pork fat, 10 to 15 minutes.
Continue cooking the pork in the pork fat until brown on all sides, turning the pieces gently so they won't fall apart. Serve the pork in the tortillas, topped with desired accompaniments.
Makes 8-10 servings.
Avery Brewing: http://averybrewing.com/