Summer is the time to dig into spicy, meaty, two-fisted pork carnitas. Carnitas are perfect party food. They are easy to assemble and messy to eat, best washed down with a cold beer while eaten outdoors. What could be more fun?
The key to carnitas is to let the meat cook low and slow until it’s fork-tender. In this recipe, the pork braises in a smoky, citrus-infused beer broth that imbues the meat with flavor and spice. The cooking process takes several hours, but it’s relatively hands-off, simply requiring the occasional turn. The biggest challenge will be the wafting aroma of the simmering pork, which will surely test your patience. Hang in there. You can do it.
The final step is optional but highly recommended. Once the meat is shredded, arrange it in a baking dish or grill pan, toss with some of the basting juices and grill or broil at high heat until the meat begins to caramelize. Pile the meat on tortillas with salsa, guacamole or your favorite fixings, and you are good to go. (Just remember the napkins.) If you have any leftovers, use the meat in sandwiches or loaded on homemade nachos the next day.
The pork can be grilled, which will keep the heat outdoors on a warm day, or it can be cooked in an oven. If using a grill, brown the meat on the grates before transferring to a deep grill pan or grill-proof Dutch oven with the braising liquid.