Make a batch of crispy “Mexican pulled pork” in half the time if you have an instant pot, or if not use your slow cooker! Either way, your house will smell AH-MAZING Bonus it’s freezer friendly!
Hi, friends! Back in June, I was trying to think of recipes I could stand to eat in June that would be appropriate to schedule to post in the fall. Between the food aversions and the heat, this was no easy task. Enter the instant pot, savior of the kitchen.
PS If you don’t have an Instant Pot, read this post: What I Want You To Know About The Instant Pot. I wrote that review after I owned one for six months post total impulse purchase. I share all the pros and cons you need to know!
I actually have another Instant Pot Carnitas recipe using beef. Mr. Hungry LOVES that recipe and requests it all the time, pretty much every time we get a new Butcher Box which is every month usually. I’ll be 100% honest; I’m not a huge fan.
Yep, I’m admitting I’m not a huge fan of one of my own recipes. If there is anything I’ve learned about food blogging it’s that people sometimes love recipes you don’t think are that great and that’s okay. And yes, the internet will sometimes despise a recipe that I legitimately love, and that’s okay too.
As a professor at the local community college, I do a tasting lab experiment with my class. Each student tastes the same pieces of paper and marks down what they think including bitter, salty, sour, and sweet. Without fail, the student’s responses are across the board even though they tasted the same chemical.
Then I always make a joke about “welcome to my life as a food blogger.” If one chemical doesn’t taste the same to everyone, then it’s no surprise recipes don’t’ tend to taste the same either.
Recipes are made up of hundreds of chemicals we can taste at once! So taste perception will vary from individual to individual.
That’s why Mr. Hungry loves that beef carnitas recipe, and I’m not as thrilled about it, totally normal.
My point of telling you this story? After doing some research, I found out that carnitas meat is traditionally made with EITHER orange juice or lime juice. So, I decided to switch up the meat and the type of juice to see if I found the result more appealing.
The answer? 100% YES! I love this recipe so much I’ve made it three times and froze some for my maternity leave! And because I know some of you will ask, Mr. Hungry likes BOTH recipes. However, he said he still prefers the beef version just a tad over this one. My “superior” taste buds say he is wrong. You be the judge!Make a batch of crispy 'Mexican pulled pork' in half the time if you have an #instantpot, or if not use your #slowcooker! Bonus it's #freezer friendly! #lowcarb #paleo #healthy Click To Tweet
Crispy Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
Make a batch of crispy "Mexican pulled pork" in half the time if you have an instant pot, or if not use your slow cooker! Either way, your house will smell AH-MAZING! Bonus it's freezer friendly!
Combine all ingredients for the rub (oregano, coconut sugar, basil, chipotle chile, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper) in a jar or ziplock bag (really whatever you want).
Rub the seasonings all over the pork shoulder. Make sure to get every crevice!
Instant Pot Directions:
Add avocado oil to the instant pot, turn on saute function and brown all sides of the pork shoulder. 1-2 minutes on each side should be plenty!
Shut off the instant pot and take the pork shoulder out. Place 12 small slits all over the pork shoulder, then stuff garlic chunks down in each slit.
Add water, followed by the pork and onion slices to the instant pot. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 limes over the top. (PS if your limes are big, stick with one, or it will be VERY limey.)
Close IP lid, switching the valve to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 60 -90 minutes. After it's done cooking, use the quick release option. (Mine took 60 minutes but depending on where you live it may take a bit longer. You can check doneness by trying to shred it. It should be EXTREMELY easy to shred. If it's not ready just repeat the cooking process for another 30 minutes.) For quick release: switch the valve to venting (be careful of the steam!) Open the IP once all the steam has been released and the pressure valve has dropped.
Shred the pork. You can do this in the IP and then drain, or you can just pull the pork shoulder out of the IP and do it on your cooking board. Keep the broth if you plan to freeze the meat!
You can crisp up the meat by sauteeing it in the instant pot. If you do this, do just a few batches at a time with avocado oil. You want to let it brown on one side before flipping and removing from the pan. Could take 4-6 batches. Or you can crank the oven to broil and spread the pork accross a foil-lined sheet pan for 3-6 minutes.
Slow Cooker Directions:
Add avocado oil to a large non stick pan on medium high and brown all sides of the pork shoulder. 1-2 minutes on each side should be plenty!
Once the pork is browned, place 12 small slits all over the pork shoulder, then stuff garlic chunks down in each slit.
Add 1/2 cup (not full cup) water, followed by the pork and onion slices to the slow cooker. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 limes over the top. (PS if your limes are big, stick with one or it will be VERY limey.)
Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours. You can check doneness by trying to shred it. It should be EXTREMELY easy to shred when done.
Shred the pork. You can do this in the slow cooker and then drain or just pull out the pork shoulder and do it on your cooking board. Keep the broth if you plan to freeze the meat!
Crank the oven to broil and spread the pork accross a foil-lined sheet pan for 3-6 minutes.
Shred the meat but do not brown it. Shredded meat tends to lose it's moisture when frozen or stored. To my hubby this is UNACCEPTABLE. If it was up to him we wouldn't brown the meat at all because he likes it' really juicy, but I NEED the crispiness. So, freeze the meat and juice in separate containers. You can freeze for up to 3 months. Let defrost under refrigeration then follow the steps to saute or broil the meat for crispiness. Add back in broth as needed!
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