Have you fallen in love with Instant Pot yet? Oh, you would prefer to have to wait 8 hours for your slow cooked meat instead of achieving the same result in 30 minutes in an Instant Pot? Fill your boots. But i’ll be over here getting on with my day.
This recipe will give you perfectly tender and flavourful pork carnitas in no time. I have suggested how to serve them in tacos but invite you to use your imagination and experiment. A fresh mango or pineapple salsa could be a nice substitute for the tomatillo salsa I’ve listed here. Toss in some avocado for extra creaminess or swap out sour cream for a chipotle lime crema.
I served these babies at my fourth annual Cinco de Mayo party over the weekend, and then again to my parents at Sunday dinner and then had them again for dinner the next day. Needless to say, this recipe will give you A LOT of carnitas so best prepared for a crowd.
Few cuisines bring me greater joy than Mexican. Fresh fruit and vegetables chopped into a wide array of salsas, well-spiced meats and lots of heat make for an exciting palate.
You can find the recipe for my quick pickled red onions in my Chickpea Taco Salad post. I used store-bought tomatillo salsa from the Mexican aisle at my local Loblaws but feel free to prep your own if you have the time and get your hands on fresh tomatillos.
I love hosting parties, whether it’s a big fiesta or an intimate dinner party, I feel most at home when I’m entertaining.
Even though I love it, I often get a bit anxious before hosting. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and want things to be just so. This past weekend though, I surprised myself. I didn’t set a meal plan or nail down my feature cocktails until the morning of, picked up the groceries and some booze and then got things going in the kitchen around 2:30 p.m. – with guests slated to arrive around 8 p.m.
In spite of my last-minute planning, I was blissfully calm. I don’t know if I’m becoming less high-strung as I get older, if I’m more confident of my skills in the kitchen, or I know my friends won’t notice or care if the smallest detail isn’t perfect. In reality, it’s probably a combination of these factors.
I also wasn’t afraid to ask for help. When people offered to contribute something, I gratefully accepted and ended up with more than enough food to go around.
It felt so good to spend the afternoon in the kitchen, whipping up food and drink for my friends. For me, working in the kitchen, with a great soundtrack blasting, is restorative. The only part I don’t like? All the damn dishes.
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- 3 pounds pork shoulder cut into 3 inch cubes
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 bottle Corona or other Mexican beer
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 limes juiced
- 16 medium corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
- 1/4 cup pickled red onions
- 1/4 cup fresh or pickled jalapeños, sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese
- 1/4 cup cilantro for serving
- 16 lime wedges
Toss the cubed pork with the garlic powder and chipotle chili powder. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Click the “Saute” setting on the Instant Pot. Add oil and one third to half of the pork, and sear — turning every 45-60 seconds or so — until the pork is browned on all sides. Transfer pork to a separate clean plate, and repeat with the remaining pork, working in batches, searing until browned on all sides. Press “Cancel” to turn off the heat.
Pour Corona, orange juice, lime juice, and water into the Instant Pot. Add two bay leaves and return all the pork to the Instant Pot.
Press “Meat”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the up/down arrows until time reads 30 minutes. Ensure the vent is set to “Sealing”. Cook. The Instant Pot will turn off on its own, leave the pork untouched for 15 minutes to let the pressure dissipate naturally. Carefully turn the vent to “Venting”, just to release any extra pressure that might still be in there. Then remove the lid.
Press the “Saute” setting on the Instant Pot, click “Adjust” until the temperature is set to “Less”. Simmer on the saute function until the broth is reduced by half – about 20 to 30 minutes. Turn off Instant Pot.
Remove pork to a cutting board and shred with two forks.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wrap tortillas in tinfoil and warm in oven for 5 minutes.
To assemble tacos. Spread 1 tbsp of sour cream over warmed tortilla, top with carnitas, tomatillo salsa, pickled red onions, jalapeños and crumbled cotija/feta. Serve with wedges of lime.