Espresso Nice Pork Carnitas

It’s Taco night! Which means slowly braising some delicious meats until they fall apart and melt in your mouth, and then crisp up under a hot broiler! Pork plus espresso flavours? Yes sounds delicious. We have adapted this method of low and slow cooking this pork from The Food Lab book, using it’s own fat and vegetable oil to slow braise on low…

“… keeping it there long enough for the collagen to break down, while minimizing the amount of moisture loss …”

J. Kenji López-Alt, The Food Lab.

Resulting in super tender pork as the fat from the pork and coating of oil create a barrier around the meat to keep moisture in.

Oh he is so smart. This was very easy, and came out amazing! Try his technique with these flavours.


  • 3 1/3 lbs Pork Shoulder Roast, cubed 2″
  • 4 tbsp Big Cove Foods Espresso Nice spice blend
  • 1/2 head of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Corn Tortillas Toppings (optional, because toppings can be whatever you want!):

  • feta cheese
  • shredded carrot
  • jalapeno, sliced length wise
  • 5 pearl red onion, peeled
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • sour cream
  • Big Cove Foods Jalapeno After School Special hot sauce

Preheat oven to 275 F.

In a 9×13 casserole dish, coat the pork cubes with Espresso Nice spice blend. Disperse the garlic, wedge in the onion quarters and top with the bay leaves, vegetable oil, water and apple cider vinegar. Tightly cover it with tin foil and place it in the oven for 3 1/2 hours. Tons of time to get the rest of your taco night prepared!

While that is cooking – in a small, oven safe dish, add the sliced jalapeno’s, pearl red onions, garlic, salt and pepper and drown in olive oil. Place it in the oven beside the pork for the last hour. End result will be soft, yummy vegetables that you will remove with a slotted spoon and serve as a topping for your tacos. (save that oil because it’s delicious! Use to cook potatoes in for another dinner, or drizzle over bread)

When the pork has finished doing its thing, remove from the oven and transfer that tin foil that has been covering it to a baking sheet. Scoop out the pork pieces and lay on the tin foil lined baking sheet. Shred each piece a couple times using 2 forks. Evenly distribute the pork on the baking sheet.

With the remaining liquid in the casserole dish, strain into a small, heavy bottom saucepan. Bring the contents of the sauce pan to a boil on high heat, lower and simmer until reduced and syrupy. Then spoon about 1/4 cup over the pork that has been patiently waiting for you on the baking sheet. Save the rest of the liquid, if any, for another time.

Turn the broiler to high and place the meat under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully as the heat is intense and could burn. Would still be delicious, however. Take it out when you see a nice even browning. Place in your favourite serving bowl with the rest of your fixings and corn tortillas.

Happy Taco Night!

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