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Braised Carnitas

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    Braised Carnitas in a bowl.

    As a new food blogger, I am starting to understand the importance of the food picture. It’s equally important for the food to both look good and taste great for people to be interested. When I saw the pictures of the braised carnitas at The Culinary Chronicles, I wanted to try making this right away. Her pictures are so delicious, aren’t they?

    I followed her recipe exactly but the only changes I made are the amount of meat (3 lbs instead of 5), the brand of beer (Sierra Nevada instead of Fat Tire), and cooking time (1 hr shorter than her recipe). It takes several hours to prepare, but most of cooking time is baking in oven. What a great weekend menu, right?

    FYI, this is the recipe that I told you I wanted to share with you maybe about 2 weeks ago. My focus on this blog is still Japanese food but please allow me to share non-Japanese food once in a while, especially the ones that my family and I really enjoyed. Also in Japan, the Japanese eats a lot more Westernized meals at home or restaurant than you probably guessed.

    Lastly, Giulia from Alterkitchen passed me wonderful awards*. Thank you so much Giulia! She is an Italian living in Italy. So you know what she’s posting on her blog, REAL authentic Italian food! She’s working so hard to translate her Italian recipes into English, for us! It’s not so easy to write recipes in a 2nd language, so please kindly visit her site and say hello! She’s a very charming girl and she’ll be happy to hear from you.

    Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

    4.5 from 2 votes
    Braised Carnitas |
    Braised Carnitas
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    3 hrs 25 mins
    Total Time
    3 hrs 30 mins
    As a new food blogger, I am starting to understand the importance of the food picture.  It's equally important for the food to both look good and taste great for people to be interested.  When I saw the pictures of the braised carnitas at The Culinary Chronicles, I wanted to try making this right away.
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Keyword: braised pork, carnitas
    Servings: 5
    Author: Namiko Chen
    • 3 lbs boneless country pork ribs (boneless pork shoulder)
    • Sea salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
    • ½ onion (diced)
    • 3-4 clove garlic (minced)
    • 2 bottles beer (2 bottles = 24 oz)
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • ¼ tsp paprika
    • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
    • ¼ tsp ground cumin
    • 2 bay leaves
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Braised Carnitas 1
    2. Cut the meat into 5-inch chunks and generously season with salt and pepper.
      Braised Carnitas 2
    3. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil on medium-high heat. Place the pork in a single layer without overlapping each other (you might need to do a 2nd batch depending on your meat and pot size). I put 3 lbs pork in a 3.63 qt Dutch oven and it just fit. Cook the meat till brown. Try not to flip too much and make sure each side of the meat is well-browned (UPDATE: Please brown the meat in batches and give some distance between meats. It would end up steaming the meat.). Don’t worry about burning the bottom of the pot because we’ll scrape it off nicely with beer later on.

      Braised Carnitas 3-a
    4. Braised Carnitas 3-b
    5. When the meat is all browned, take it out onto a plate and set aside. Use a paper towel to blot away some oil leaving just enough to cook onions.
      Braised Carnitas 4
    6. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions to the pot. Sauté onions until translucent and then add garlic to cook 2 more minutes. Again don’t worry about burning the bottom of the pot (it’s going to be okay!).

      Braised Carnitas 5-a
    7. Braised Carnitas 5-b
    8. Pour in the beer, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits.

      Braised Carnitas 6-a
    9. Braised Carnitas 6-b
    10. Heat the oven to 350F degrees.
    11. Add the pork back to the pot and add Seasonings. Braise in the oven uncovered for about 2½ hours (varies depending on oven), turning the pork every half an hour during cooking.

      Braised Carnitas 7-a
    12. Braised Carnitas 7-b
    13. Braised Carnitas 7-c
    14. Braised Carnitas 7-d
    15. When much of the liquid is evaporated and the pork is falling apart, remove the pot from the oven. Take the pork pieces out to the plate so they will cool down.
      Braised Carnitas 8-a
    16. When the meat is cooled down, shred them into bite sizes with your hand. Serve with corn or flour tortillas and your choice of salsas and toppings.
      Braised Carnitas 8-b
    Recipe Notes

    Slightly adapted from The Culinary Chronicles, originally from David Lebovitz.


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