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Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe

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Experience the flavors of Mexican pulled pork with this Instant Pot Carnitas And Pico de Gallo recipe. Using the Instant Pot for convenience, tender pork carnitas are paired with fresh pico de gallo for a delicious meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

Instant pot carnitas

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Flavorful and Juicy: This Instant Pot Carnitas recipe guarantees tender, melt-in-your-mouth pork with a rich, savory taste.
  • Versatile Meal: Use the pork carnitas in tacos, burritos, or bowls for a filling main dish.
  • Time-Saver: The Instant Pot cuts down traditional cooking time, making your meal prep easier.

Recipe Ingredients

Carnita Meat Ingredients

  • Boneless Roast: A tender and flavorful cut of meat is ideal for making Instant Pot pork carnitas.
  • Jarred Jalapenos: Add a spicy kick and a tangy flavor to the carnitas, enhancing its overall taste profile.
  • Garlic: Contribute a pungent and aromatic flavor to the dish, adding depth and richness.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavors of the other ingredients while helping to tenderize the meat and balance the overall taste.
  • Oregano: Oregano adds a savory and earthy note to the carnitas, enhancing its aromatic profile.
  • Cinnamon: Adds a subtle warmth and depth to the dish, complementing the other flavors and providing a unique twist.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a hint of spiciness and a robust flavor to the carnitas, enhancing its overall taste.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds umami and depth to the dish, enhancing the savory flavors of the meat.
  • Ground Cumin: Adds a smoky and slightly nutty flavor to the carnitas, enhancing its overall taste profile.
  • Flour or Corn Tortillas (Soft): Serve as the base for serving the delicious carnitas, providing a soft and versatile vessel for wrapping the meat.
crema ingredients for carnita tacos

Pico de Gallo Ingredients

  • Medium Tomatoes: Serve as the fresh and juicy base for the pico de gallo, providing vibrant color and a burst of flavor.
  • Medium Red Onion: Adds a crisp texture and mild onion flavor, enhancing the overall crunchiness of the Pico de Gallo in Instant Pot Carnitas recipe.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Infuses the salsa with citrusy and herbaceous notes, elevating its freshness and adding a delightful aroma.
  • Jalapeno Peppers: Bring a controlled level of heat to the pico de gallo, balancing with the other ingredients.
  • Garlic Cloves: Offers a subtle and savory kick, complementing the overall flavor profile of the pico de gallo.
  • Lime Juice: Provides a zesty and citrusy brightness, enhancing the refreshing taste of the pico de gallo.
  • Salt: Added to taste, enhancing the flavors of the ingredients and ensuring a well-seasoned and delicious salsa.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a hint of spiciness and contributes to the overall savory character of the pico de gallo.
pico de gallo ingredients

Crema Ingredients

  • Plain Greek yogurt: Provides a creamy and tangy base for the crema, offering a rich texture and a source of protein.
  • Juice of 1 medium lime: Infuses a zesty and citrusy flavor, adding brightness to the crema.
  • Zest of 1 medium lime: Enhances the lime flavor, contributing aromatic citrus notes to the overall profile of the crema.
  • Chili powder: Introduces a subtle, smoky heat, elevating the crema with a hint of spiciness.
crema ingredients 1

How To Make Instant Pot Carnitas?

Step One: Prepare and Season Pork

Place pork and all spices, jalapenos, and soy sauce into the Instant Pot. Toss meat around in the spices to coat.

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Step Two: Cook

Seal the Instant Pot and pressure cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.

Step Three: Release Pressure And Remove Meat

Release pressure manually and remove meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

Step Four: Discard Jalapenos

Remove jalapenos and discard. (If you prefer extra heat, you can choose to leave the jalapenos in with the meat.)

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Step Five: Shred The Meat

Using your hands or two forks, shred the meat.

Step Six: Add Juice

Pour juice from the Instant Pot over the cooked pork and toss to mix.

Step Seven (Optional): For Crispy Carnitas

I use this shredded pork as it is at this point, but if you prefer crispy meat, place it in a skillet over high heat until edges of the meat start to caramelize and crisp.

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Step Eight: Mix Ingredients For Pico de Gallo

Mix together all ingredients.

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Step Nine: Allow To Be Chilled

This is even better if chilled for several hours to allow flavors to meld.

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Step Ten: Mix Ingredients For Carnitas Crema

In a bowl, whisk yogurt with the lime juice and zest.

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Step Eleven: Sprinkle Chili Powder

Sprinkle the chili powder over the top.

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Step Twelve: Fill Tortillas

Fill each tortilla with Carnita Meat, Pico de Gallo, and Carnitas Crema.

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Step Thirteen: Serve Carnitas

Your Instant Pot Carnitas, also known as Carnitas Tacos, are now ready to be served. Enjoy your meal!

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Cooking Tips

  • Using Knife: Use a sharp knife to finely dice the ingredients, ensuring even distribution of flavors in every bite.
  • Carnitas: For the juiciest carnitas, choose boneless pork shoulder meat (also known as pork butt) with good marbling for tender, flavorful meat after slow cooking. Pork tenderloin isn’t ideal for Instant Pot carnitas as its lean nature lacks the fat needed for traditional flavor.

Substitutions

  • Orange Juice: Can substitute lime juice in the carnitas marinade, adding sweetness and helping tenderize the pork, while enhancing caramelization.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

  • Refrigerate: Seal the container tightly transfer the leftover Instant Pot Carnitas (cooled at room temperature) into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheat with Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the carnitas on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cover with aluminum foil and reheat for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
  • Reheat with Microwave: Place the carnitas in a microwave-safe dish. Add a splash of water or chicken broth to keep them moist. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Heat on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until heated through.

What to Serve With This Recipe?

  • Black Bean and Corn Salad: A colorful blend of black beans, corn, red onion, and bell peppers for added crunch.
  • Pickled Red Onions: Quick-pickle red onions in vinegar, sugar, and salt for a tangy kick.
  • Guacamole: Mash avocados with diced jalapeños, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro for a spicy twist.
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FAQ’S

What Cut of Meat Are Carnitas Made From?

Carnitas are best made from pork shoulder, also known as pork butt. This cut, taken from the top of the pig’s shoulder, is referred to as Boston shoulder, shoulder roast, fresh pork butt, or Boston butt. When cooked properly, pork butt is moist, tender, and budget-friendly.

carnitas

Delicious Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe

Yield: 4-5
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Succulent Instant Pot Carnitas served with fresh Pico de Gallo and a dollop of smooth crema, for a flavorful Mexican feast ready in a fraction of the time.

Ingredients

  • 4 lb boneless pork roast cut into 2-4 chunks
  • 8 slices jarred jalapenos
  • 3 lg garlic cloves (diced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 8-10 corn or flour soft tortillas
  • 4 lg tomatoes (diced)
  • ½ c diced red onion
  • ½ c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp diced cilantro stems
  • ⅓ c diced green onion
  • 1 tsp diced fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp diced jalapeno
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 10½ oz plain greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 med. lime
  • zest of 1 med. lime
  • ½ tsp chili powder

Instructions

  1. Place pork and all spices, jalapenos, and soy sauce into the Instant Pot. Toss meat around in the spices to coat.
  2. Seal the Instant Pot and pressure cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.
  3. Release pressure manually and remove meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  4. Remove jalapenos and discard. (If you prefer extra heat, you can choose to leave the jalapenos in with the meat.)
  5. Using your hands or two forks, shred the meat.
  6. Pour juice from the Instant Pot over the cooked pork and toss to mix.
  7. I use this shredded pork as it is at this point, but if you prefer crispy meat, place it in a skillet over high heat until edges of the meat start to caramelize and crisp.
  8. Mix together all ingredients.
  9. This is even better if chilled for several hours to allow flavors to meld.
  10. In a bowl, whisk yogurt with the lime juice and zest.
  11. Sprinkle the chili powder over the top.
  12. Fill Tortillas
  13. Fill each tortilla with Carnita Meat, Pico de Gallo, and Carnitas Crema.

Notes

  • Using Knife: Use a sharp knife to finely dice the ingredients, ensuring even distribution of flavors in every bite.
  • Carnitas: For the juiciest carnitas, choose boneless pork shoulder meat (also known as pork butt) with good marbling for tender, flavorful meat after slow cooking. Pork tenderloin isn’t ideal for Instant Pot carnitas as its lean nature lacks the fat needed for traditional flavor.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1765Total Fat: 103gSaturated Fat: 37gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 56gCholesterol: 408mgSodium: 1752mgCarbohydrates: 92gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 120g

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