Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nachos with Beer-Braised Carnitas

This is a great way of preparing shredded pork to fufill your wildest Mexican food dreams. Real Mexican food takes patience. It takes soul. It takes love. And it takes meat. Tacos and Nachos are incredible made with beer-braised carnitas. "Braised"...even the word sounds delicious! Enveloping your kitchen in spicy aromas, this recipe ruins you for ever again using those little spice packets in the supermarket. Make it a day ahead for Taco parties or in Nachos for an outstanding appetizer at a SuperBowl party...Originally found and altered from a Bon Appetit.com February 2013 recipe. Yield: 6 cups meat--ennough for two or three huge cookie sheets of Nachos.

Ingredients for Beer-Braised Carnitas:

1 7 oz. can Chipoltle Peppers in Adobo sauce (I used Embasa brand)
4 lbs. pork tenderloin or skinless boneless pork shoulder cut into 2" pieces ( I use half of a HUGE 9 lb plus Costco pork tenderloins for this--saving the remainder for other dishes)
4 naked garlic cloves, smashed
12 oz. beer (such as Modelo Especial or Budweiser)
4 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and chopped
4 t kosher salt
2 C water


Note: You can make these 3 days ahead or freeze them for later. In fact, it is BETTER made the day before you need them.  Simply eheat them adding 1/2 C water in a covered pot. Add more water as needed.


Remove 2 chilis from the can. Stem chilies (if they aren't already), halve lengthwise and discard seeds. Chop them up. In a large pot bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork is fork-tender, 60-80 minutes. Uncover pork; simmer until liquid evaporates and pork begins to brown--20-25 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and scraping bottom of the pot until pork is shredded and browned, 10-15 minutes.Add 1 C water to pork; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, for about 1 minute. Use to fill tacos, enchiladas or as a meat addition for nachos.

Ingredients for Nachos

2 bags (9 oz.) thick, authentic, tortilla chips--salted (if you don't live in the Southwest find the best chips you can)
Beer-Braised Carnitas--sprinkle all over the chips randomly. About 4 cups.
chopped green onions--about 1 1/2 C
shredded sharp cheddar and
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 pts sour cream (optional)
Sliced olives (optional)
Guacamole (optional)
Salsa (NOT optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 large-rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray or oil. Divide ingredients evenly between the two sheets, layering ingredients by literally sprinkling them on in the order they are listed above. Bake, one sheet at a time until sheet is melted, 20-25 minutes. Plate as is or with dollops of sour cream and sliced olives on top. Serve with a bowl of salsa and quacamole on the side,

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