Making carnitas can take a long time to make; pork shoulder is a cut that needs time to get tender. Or: you could make Instant Pot Carnitas and have tacos in about an hour!
Instant Pot Carnitas – crispy and delicious
I LOVE carnitas, and just about anything made with pork shoulder, for that matter. I’ve made variations of pulled pork in my instant pot countless times, but for these carnitas, I wanted the signature crispy parts that make them so delectable.
The easy way to do that? Throw it all under the broiler. The fat content in the pork is plenty to turn crispy under some direct heat.
These carnitas are perfect for Taco Tuesday, and the leftovers reheat wonderfully. For taco night, we had them on cassava flour tortillas with creamy slaw – cabbage, red onion and bell pepper tossed with Cilantro Lime Dressing, and spicy pickled vegetables – from my Instant Pot Barbacoa recipe. (I julienned the veggies instead of slicing them)
Ingredients you need to make instant pot carnitas:
- pork shoulder
- orange juice
- bay leaves
Don’t sweat it if you don’t have every ingredient- as long as you have pork shoulder and salt, you’re good! You can season them however you’d like, and use any citrus or other other liquid in place of the orange juice.
How to make instant pot carnitas
- Mix all the ingredients together in the insert of your instant pot
- Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes
- Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes
- Strain and broil for 10 minutes or so
- 3–3.5 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup orange juice (from about 2 small oranges)
- In the insert of your Instant Pot, combine all of the ingredients: cubed pork shoulder, garlic, salt, cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves and orange juice. Mix it all up. (Your hands are the best tool here)
- Make sure the seal is in place and lock on the lid. Set the seal to sealing and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.
- After the time is up, hit cancel, and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before turning the vent to venting. Preheat the broiler. Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and transfer the pork to the strainer. Once the pork is drained, spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. Flip the pork and broil for another 3-5 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crispy in parts.
- Skim the fat off the cooking liquid and stir some back into the pork, if desired. It’s good to reserve it to store leftover carnitas in it, so it doesn’t dry out.
Keywords: instant pot carnitas
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