Cinco De Mayo is here so this recipe is a perfect festive dish to make. You know how much I love my Instant Pot so I thought I would cook carnitas in the handy dandy Instant Pot. Traditionally, you do this in a big, heavy pot, and stir the seasonings into the oil and then let the pork cook over a really low flame until it’s falling apart. Then you turn up the heat briefly to sear it. The end result is meat that’s crisp on the outside, but tender enough to pull apart with a fork. YUM!
The slow cooker method is basically throwing all the ingredients together in the slow cooker, letting cook for 8 hours or longer till the meat is able to shredded apart easily. Once that is done you transfer it to a oven safe dish and cook it for additional 30 min, or until the meat gets crispy and the juices boil down. Leaving you with delicious crispy carnitas!
Instant Pot Carnitas in half the time!
Now that we are in 2017 we have amazing kitchen gadgets such as the Instant Pot, which essentially is a pressure cooker. Back in day people used to use pressure cookers to cook their meals but the risk of the lids blowing off were very scary!!! Fast forward to our decade and they have made a NEW safer kitchen friendly pressure cooker which is my number one friend in my kitchen! Click here to see the version I use.
Carnitas can be made, literally in less then 2 hours with the meat shredded and nicely tender!
I decided to experiment in the kitchen and use chipotle peppers in my recipe to give it a little spin off the traditional way of making a mexican carnitas recipe. Adding the chipotle peppers gives this recipe a great kick! So if you like spicy then this recipe is for you! I served this recipe with traditional Mexican rice for my family. I had it with cilantro cauliflower rice and it paired very well with the chipolte carnitas.
We enjoyed making tacos with corn tortillas (the kids/husband) and I had lettuce cups. Guacamole and fresh pico de gallo salsa as our topping and we all had a perfect taco Tuesday meal. The Crispy literally adds a whole unami to the recipe!
Lets Get started
Here is what you will need
Lets start of with chopping the onions and zesting the lemon. You can also press the saute function on the Instant Pot so it can warm up while your chopping.
Spray the Instant Pot with cooking oil spray
Trim all the fat off the meat
Add all the spices
Next, saute/brown all sides. You do this by hitting the saute function on your instant pot! Isn’t that cool, you get to brown the meat all in one pot!
Add the fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.
Up next, is adding the garlic and chipotle peppers. I added 5 whole peppers however, you might want to add less depending on your heat tolerance. I think 2-3 is great for a mild chipotle spice flavor.
Once you’ve added the peppers and garlic, you can now add the chicken broth .
A little kitchen tip: adding apple cider vinegar to any meat that is tough, such as any roast will help tenderize it faster and give the recipe a little kick
Everything is in the Instant Pot and you are ready to close the lid, make sure the pressure valve is closed and is set to sealed, lastly; set the functions. Everyone has a different way using their functions. Since my roast was a bit frozen I decided to go the manual route and set it for 120 min. However if your roast isn’t frozen you can probably set it to 60-80 minutes. Now your all set and you can go about your day!!
Once the pressure cooker notifies you that its done cooking, open the lid slowly and check the meat. If you can’t pull the meat apart then put the lid back on and set the functions for a additional 20 min.
Lets Get to Shredding!
The carnitas once you open the lid will look like this, however as soon as you start to pull the meat apart everything will easily shred, even the chipotle peppers and oregano leave. So just pull everything apart with a fork or kitchen tongs. This can all be done in the pot.
Meat and Peppers easily shred apart.
At this point you can be done if you choose but if you want to crispy carnitas then read more!
Now for the traditional crispy carnitas that are so flavorful!
As you can see the carnitas are a bit crispy because we browned them first before letting them cook in the Instant Pot. However I like my carnitas super crispy! So I take it a step further.
The Trick to SUPER CRISPY CARNITAS.
Place the carnitas in a dutch oven, or safe baking dish. Set the oven to 400 degrees then place the dish in the oven for a additional 20-30 min (depending on your oven). Check that carnitas at 20 min and if you feel it needs to cook longer then go another 10 minutes. You will know the crispy chipotle carnitas are done when the tips of the meat are burnt a bit and some of the meat juices have simmered down into the meat.
You will love this recipe, its great for family gatherings, meal prepping, and potlucks. This recipe makes so much that you can make multiple meals out of it. such as; burritos, tacos, friattas, tostadas, Mexican style sandwiches called tortas!
Be sure to share this recipe, email to a friend, and comment below to let me know if you have any questions, or if you tried the recipe!