Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas

Oh, Instant Pot Carnitas! How we love thee!

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our family always craves this tender Mexican shredded pork, particularly once it’s crisped up in a hot skillet. Whenever we go out for tacos, carnitas is our filling of choice. At home, I’ve tried to pass off crisped-up Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig (or Slow Cooker Kalua Pig) as carnitas, but apparently, I didn’t raise no dummies. My kids’ll happily gobble up the crispy, tender pork, but both of them will occasionally remark that the flavors just aren’t the same. “This is good kalua pig, mom. But it’s not carnitas!” They know that carnitas has a deeper, richer flavor profile—even if they don’t know exactly what goes in the recipe.

Carnitas is traditionally cooked with onions, garlic, oregano, orange, and warming spices like cumin—so yeah, it’s a little more complex than kalua pig. But that doesn’t mean it’s any more difficult to make—especially with my handy-dandy Instant Pot. I’m happy to report that after multiple tests, I’ve perfected a porktastic Instant Pot version that takes even less time to make than my Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig recipe. Plus, the results can go toe-to-porky-toe with the carnitas at your favorite taqueria!

Ready to get your pork on?

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoons crushed dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican
  • 1 medium orange (I like using Cara Cara)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, avocado oil, lard, or favorite high temperature cooking fat (optional)
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves removed, washed and spun dry (Siete’s grain-free tortillas are awesome as well.)
  • 2 Hass avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 limes, quartered

Equipment:

Method:

Grab your boneless pork shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt) and cut it into 2-inch cubes.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Plop the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle on the salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Toss well to coat. Then, transfer the seasoned pork to the Instant Pot insert.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest off the orange. Stay close to the surface, making sure you don’t peel into the white pith, ’cause that stuff is bitter.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Add the strips of orange zest to the Instant Pot, along with the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. 

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Cut the bald orange in half and juice it.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Pour the juice into the Instant Pot insert…

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and stir to distribute.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Place the insert into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Press “Manual” (or “Pressure Cook” if you have the new IP-DUO Plus60) and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. (Stovetop pressure cooker users should cook under high pressure for 30 minutes.) Then, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes).

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

If the pressure hasn’t completely released after 20 minutes and you’re hungry, manually vent the pressure by turning the release valve on the lid. Open the lid and discard the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. You can shred and serve the pork as-is, or store it in the fridge (with all the liquid/fat) for up to 4 days (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Me? I prefer to eat crispy carnitas, so I always fry up the meat in a cast iron skillet until there are crunchy bits, before serving on lettuce leaves (or grain-free tortillas) and piled high with taco toppings.

Here’s how to do it:

Heat up a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking fat. Grab the pork out of the fridge and dig out the pieces of carnitas.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Shred the meat up with your fingers.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Once the pan is hot, add the pork and fry, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired crispness.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

While the pork is getting crispy, combine the diced white onion and cilantro in a bowl. Also, wash some butter lettuce leaves, slice up the avocados, radishes, and jalapeños. Grab your favorite salsa, and cut up some lime wedges.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Last but not least, grab your plate and assemble your own delicious tacos!

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas

Prep 15 mins

Cook 35 mins

Inactive 35 mins

Total 1 hour, 25 mins

Yield 6 servings

I’ve perfected a porktastic Instant Pot Carnitas recipe that will rival what you’d order at your favorite taqueria! 

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoons crushed dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican
  • 1 medium orange (I like using Cara Cara)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, avocado oil, lard, or favorite high temperature cooking fat (optional)
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves removed, washed and spun dry (Siete’s grain-free tortillas are awesome as well.)
  • 2 Hass avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 limes, quartered

Instructions

  1. Grab your boneless pork shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt) and cut it into 2-inch cubes.
  2. Plop the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle on the salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Toss well to coat. Then, transfer the seasoned pork to the Instant Pot insert.
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest off the orange. Stay close to the surface, making sure you don’t peel into the white pith, ’cause that stuff is bitter. Add the strips of orange zest to the Instant Pot, along with the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. 
  4. Cut the bald orange in half and juice it. Pour the juice into the Instant Pot insert and stir to distribute.
  5. Place the insert into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Press “Manual” (or “Pressure Cook” if you have the new IP-DUO Plus60) and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. (Stovetop pressure cooker users should cook under high pressure for 30 minutes.) Then, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes).
  6. If the pressure hasn’t completely released after 20 minutes and you’re hungry, manually vent the pressure by turning the release valve on the lid. Open the lid and discard the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. You can shred and serve the pork as-is, or store it in the fridge (with all the liquid/fat) for up to 4 days (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).
  7. If you prefer crispy carnitas, heat up a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking fat.
  8. Grab the pork out of the fridge and dig out the pieces of carnitas. Shred the meat up with your fingers.
  9. Once the pan is hot, add the pork and fry, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired crispness.
  10. While the pork is getting crispy, combine the diced white onion and cilantro in a bowl. Also, wash some butter lettuce leaves, slice up the avocados, radishes, and jalapeños. Grab your favorite salsa, and cut up some lime wedges.
  11. Last but not least, grab your plate and assemble your own delicious tacos!

Notes

Make the carnitas ahead of time on the weekend and taco night will be a breeze during the week!

Courses Dinner

Cuisine Mexican, Whole30, Paleo, Gluten-free

The post Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas appeared first on Nom Nom Paleo®.

Original Source: Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas

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