Pork Carnitas prepared in a third of the time. Yes, it’s possible. Once you get over your fear of using that pressure cooker that still sitting in the box in came in. One of my biggest fears, as far as cooking, was the thought of the pressure cooker and all of the terrible stories people tell. I, thank goodness, and knock on wood, have survived the pressure cooker at least 20 times now. Ha, Ha, ha! People often refer to the pressure cooker as something their grandmother’s used. There are some fairly simple models that are very inexpensive, like the one I have. And then, there are some fancy models, that you can set a timer on and just walk away. I secretly love the scared thrill as the pressure cooker spits and spatters, sounding oh so threatening the whole time it’s doing it’s wonderful cooking. The plus about this version of carnitas, is that there is minimal oil used. Unlike the traditional carnitas that are fried in their own fat. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I love that version, but everything in moderation, I say. My first experience with the pressure cooker was watching my abuelita Sarita cook countless chicken dinners using the pressure cooker. One of my best memories while visiting my family in Mexico always seem to revolve around the kitchen and cooking. If I have not convinced you to use the pressure cooker for this recipe, you could certainly braise them in the oven. Directions for the oven method to follow below…..Las Carnitas!
Pressure Cooker Pork Carnitas
Just my opinion, but I think they should make a new card for La Loteria. Las Carnitas! Lol!
2 1/2 pounds pork butt/shoulder, sliced into 2 inch pieces
chile ancho powder
You will also need
1 medium white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano or jalapeño, sliced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules(caldo de pollo)
3 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 to 4 chile de arbol
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups of orange juice, freshly squeezed or “no pulp” variety
1/3 cup water
Juice of 3 key limes
My 5 quart pressure cooker, ready to cook some black beans in a hurry.
* I also added 2 whole cloves
Simplicity at it’s best….spices from your cupboard.
1. Season the pork, to taste, with salt, pepper, cumin and chile ancho powder. Drizzle with olive oil. In the pressure cooker pot, preheat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Sear the pork pieces in batches and transfer onto a plate.
2. To the pressure cooker pot, add the onions, garlic and chile pepper. Saute for a few minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Taste for salt. Add pork pieces back into pot. Secure lid and lock. Raise heat to pressurize. Once the safety valve locks and begins to steam, lower the heat to medium/low, set your timer for 75 to 80 minutes.
3. Carefully move pot off the burner and let sit until safety valve releases. Remove lid. Using a slotted spoon or tongs remove the carnitas into a nonstick pan. Heat to medium. Strain the sauce from pot, discarding the solids. Reserve the sauce from carnitas. Once the liquid in the pan with carnitas evaporates, add 1 tablespoon of oil or manteca. Raise heat to to crisp the outer surface of the carnitas for a few minutes. Transfer to serving dish and use fork or tongs to shred finely. Add about 1 cup of reserved sauce back into carnitas.Taste the sauce first. Sometimes it becomes more salty when the flavors are concentrated like that. Squeeze on some fresh key lime juice before serving. Toss to combine. Serve with warm tortillas, chopped cilantro, onion and your favorite salsa. Yields 6 servings.
For Oven Method: After you sear the pork, transfer to an oven safe dutch oven. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Cover tightly and roast in a preheated 350 degree oven for 3 hours, checking for the liquid level every hour or so. Then you will follow the directions as written to finish the carnitas.
Carnitas after being seared.
After about 1 hour and 15 minutes in the pressure cooker. I used a 5 quart pressure cooker.
If you are really hungry and can’t wait, you can enjoy the tender carnitas straight out of the pressure cooker. But wait!
To give it a more classic finish, I like to add my carnitas back into a little hot oil to crisp up the outer surface of the meat.
And for tacos, I like to finely shred my carnitas and then add in some of the strained broth to add moisture. The carnitas are so tender, I shred these with the tongs. hey come apart so easily. The carnitas this way would make some great machaca con huevo for breakfast tacos!
Ok, so I only had one more homemade corn tortilla left…darn. Store bought will do in a pinch! The salsa garnishing the carnitas is the recent Salsa de Jalapeño Tatemada(Charred Jalapeño Salsa) I posted on the blog.
The store bought tortilla wasn’t so bad after all, thanks to the carnitas! Lol! Garnished with Salsa de Chipotle, also on my blog.
I have to admit, I secretly have been challenging myself to come up with a new and fresh looking taco recipe to share on Taco Tuesday…I know, I am loca…but in a good way, he, he …