Pressure Cooker Carnitas

Pressure Cooker Carnitas

This is not your traditional carnitas. It’s not fried, for one thing. There’s no added fat, which makes it extremely healthy. It’s incredibly tender, though, and delicious. It goes well with last week’s Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde and homemade guacamole. The key ingredient is achiote paste, which I easily found at a local mexican supermarket, though I’m sure you can easily find it online as well. I cooked this according to the Modernist Cuisine recipe, though it might also be interesting to try crisping it up under a broiler while you’re reducing down the cooking liquid in step 5. Whether you do so or not, this is some of the best carnitas I’ve ever had despite not being fried.

Start by combining water and pork shoulder (also known as boston butt or picnic ham) in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook at 15 psi for 30 minutes, starting timing once full pressure is reached.

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Strain the cooking liquid into a large pot, stir in achiote paste and chipotle chili powder, and cook over high heat until syrupy, about 40 minutes.

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Meanwhile, shred the pork.

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Add the pork to the reduced liquid, and simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is brown and the liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 6 minutes.

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Season the pork with salt, lime juice, cilantro, and chili powder if desired. Serve warm, or as tacos.

Pressure Cooker Carnitas

Pressure Cooker Carnitas
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Pressure Cooker Carnitas

Recipe adapted from Modernist Cuisine
Course Entree
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 -12
Author Cooking Madly

Ingredients

  • 7 lb . bone-in pork shoulder
  • 3 cups /690g water
  • 25 g achiote paste
  • 4 g chipotle chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • lime juice to taste
  • cilantro to taste
  • chili powder to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine the pork shoulder (also known as boston butt or picnic ham) and water in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook at 15 psi for 30 minutes, starting timing once full pressure is reached.
  2. Strain the cooking liquid into a large pot, stir in achiote paste and chipotle chili powder, and cook over high heat until syrupy, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the pork with two forks.
  3. Add the shredded pork to the reduced liquid, and simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is brown and the liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 6 minutes.
  4. Season the pork with salt, lime juice, cilantro, and chili powder if desired. Serve warm, or as tacos.

 

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  • Lyn Deardorff February 27, 2014, 2:32 am

    I’m intrigued by the addition of anchiote paste – will definitely give this a try!
    Also, for those who don’t have a pressure cooker, easily done in a slow cooker too, which I do with a similiar recipe and it turns out amazing. I think the cooking down the liquids as you suggest afterwards is a nice touch! FYI, the leftovers (if you end up with any!!!) are easily used in other recipes (think curry, for example!) so doing a big batch makes a lot of sense for the weekly menus.

    • Cooking Madly February 27, 2014, 8:29 am

      A slow cooker would definitely work for this. Great idea!