Nicely spiced, and deeply flavored from slow cooking, this beer-braised pork is versatile enough to feel at home on nachos, in sliders, or simply spooned atop some mashers for an unparalleled comfort meal—but see even more ideas for how to use leftover pulled pork (because you’ll have a lot).
What to buy: Use a brown ale such as Newcastle; bitter or hoppy beers such as IPAs should be avoided, because they will make the pork taste bitter.
This recipe was featured as part of our Nacho Recipes photo gallery.
- Yield: 8 to 10 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 4 hrs 20 mins
- Active: 35 mins
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4- to 4-1/2-pound boneless pork butt, butcher’s twine or netting removed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 medium garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 medium habanero chiles, sliced into rounds
- 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 24 ounces brown ale
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place salt, chili powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine. Coat pork butt with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, then coat all sides with all of the spice mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid until just starting to smoke, about 5 minutes. Add pork and brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Remove pork to a plate and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pot.
- Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, chiles, and onions. Cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, until softened, about 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium high, add reserved pork and beer, and bring to a boil. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook until pork is tender and falls apart when shredded with a fork, about 3 hours.
- Place a large strainer in a large bowl and pour the contents of the pot into the strainer, reserving the liquid. Place pork and strained solids back in the pot and shred pork with two forks, removing any large pieces of fat. Measure 3 cups of the reserved braising liquid (you may not need all of it). Use a fat separator to remove the fat from the liquid until you have 1 cup. (Alternatively, let the pork and braising liquid cool, then refrigerate both overnight or until the fat solidifies on the surface of the liquid. Once the fat has formed a hard layer, scrape it off and discard.) Add liquid to the pot and stir to combine. Add cider vinegar and stir to combine.