Smoky Carnitas with Fresh Tomato Salsa

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This is an excellent dish for a fun and casual meal with friends. Chill a bunch of beers and let everyone helps themselves.


4 lb (2 kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 equal sized pieces

2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil

2 cups (500 mL) onions, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tsp (10 mL) smoked paprika

2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin

2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup (125 mL) your favourite smoky barbecue sauce

2 cups (500 mL) water

2 ripe avocadoes, mashed with 1 tsp (5 mL) lime juice and a pinch of salt

10 small flour tortillas

2 cups (500 mL) fresh tomato salsa (recipe follows)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
  2. In a large Dutch oven heat oil over medium, cook onion and garlic for 10 minutes to soften. Add barbecue sauce and 1 1/2 cups of water to pot, bring to a gentle boil.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Add pork and toss to coat evenly. Cover pot with lid or foil and place in oven on middle rack.
  4. Cook for 2 hours, checking periodically that the liquid has not dried out. If so, add another 1/2 cup water.
  5. Remove lid and cook uncovered for another hour, or until meat is fully tender and shreds easily with a fork.
  6. Once cooked carefully remove pork from pot and shred with a fork into a serving bowl.
  7. Serve meat with avocado, salsa and warm tortillas,


Fresh Tomato Salsa

2 cups (500 mL) ripe tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup (60 mL) red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 tsp (5 mL) lime juice


  1. Stir together tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season generously with salt. Serve alongside carnitas.

Beer pairing:

Rogue “Dead Guy” Ale, Oregon (USA) or Great Lakes Canuck Pale Ale, Ontario (CAN)

or any favourite American Pale Ale