Authentic Beer Braised Carnitas

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These are quite possibly the best carnitas you will ever eat! This beer ragout is full of authentic flavors and super easy to make in the oven or slow cooker.

Carnitas translates as “little meat” and usually refers to pork that is stewed until tender, then shredded and fried to crisp it up.

How should I serve carnitas?

Carnitas can be enjoyed as a main course with some Mexican rice, street corn or refried beans。 Carnitas can also be used as a filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas and tortillas. We like to serve them on warm tortillas or flour tortillas with a little chopped cilantro, diced red onion, and ground tortillas.

Which beer should I use in this recipe? Can I use something other than beer?

Any beer will work for this recipe, as braising is a very forgiving cooking method. Different beers will change the taste slightly. Since this is a Mexican dish, we recommend Mexican beers, and we prefer lighter beers like Tecate, Dos Equis, Corona Extra, or Montejo.

If you don’t want to use beer in this recipe, you can use chicken broth, ginger ale, white grape juice, beef broth, apple juice, cider, root beer, or Coca-Cola.

Aerial view of braised pork shreds

If you liked this recipe, you might also be interested in one of our other amazing Mexican meat recipes:

watch the video below Rachel will walk you through each step of this recipe. Sometimes the visuals help, and we always let you watch our cooking shows.You can find the complete collection of recipes youtube, facebook watch, or our facebook pageor provide a corresponding recipe on our website.

Aerial view of braised pork shreds

These are quite possibly the best carnitas you will ever eat! This beer ragout is full of authentic flavors and super easy to make in the oven or slow cooker.

Preparation time 15 minute

cooking time 2 Hour 30 minute

crisp time 10 minute

total time 2 Hour 55 minute

raw material

  • 3 to 5 pound Pork Butt or Shoulder Roast
  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil use separately
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 12 ounce mexican beer
  • 1 big orange slice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim roast and slice into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Preheat a large Dutch oven or oven safe pot over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sear pork, 5 to 7 minutes.

  • Mix spices and sprinkle over pork. Pour beer over meat and spices. Top with orange slices.

  • Simmer in a 350-degree oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the meat shreds easily with a fork. Remove the orange slices. Mince the meat.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 3 batches, use tongs to drop the meat into the oil and fry until crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add more oil with each batch. Serve hot.


Crisp in the oven: Spread the chopped carnitas evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, then place in the oven on the broiler setting for 3-5 minutes, until crisp.
Slow Cooker Instructions: To make this recipe in the slow cooker, sear and spice the meat in the first step, then transfer to the slow cooker. Or, if you’re short on time, you can simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker without searing. Add the beer and orange slices and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 to 6 hours.

Calories: 474kcal | carbohydrate: 5G | protein: 54G | fat: twenty threeG | Saturated fat: 11G | cholesterol: 170mg | sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 1072mg | fiber: 1G | sugar: 1G | Vitamin A: 590unit | Vitamin C: 9.3mg | calcium: 70mg | iron: 4.9mg