Cooking a pork roast in the Instant Pot using an exciting mix of citrus and Mexican spices makes for a mighty fine dinner. And a taco dinner that will feed a taco hungry crowd. Take a look at this recipe for Instant Pot Carnitas.
Our favorite foods around here are tacos, tacos and tacos. Not necessarily in that order.
And nothing elevates the taco experience like tender roasted and shredded fall-apart pork.
Pork that’s been seasoned with lime, orange juice and just enough red chile powder to make you feel all warm and cozy.
I made this pressure cooker Carnitas Tacos Recipe last week for our Super Bowl Party. This is truly perfect football, sit on the couch to eat party food.
And instead of the 3-4 hour roast in the oven, I opted to use my Instant Pot to cook that large pork shoulder roast. The whole process worked very well and I’ve been anxious to share it with you.
I’m giving this carnitas recipe a five-star rating. Here’s why:
- It gets one star just for the fact that it’s made with succulent pork shoulder roast.
- Another star for simply being a street-style taco.
- A third star for the flavor combination of citrus and New Mexico Red Chile Powder.
- And a 4th star for freezing well.
- What pushes this recipe over into the five-star category is it’s make-ahead qualities.
Grab your Instant Pot and let’s take a look.
Here’s what’s nice about this Instant Pot recipe. You’ll need to cut the pork roast into large chunks for it to fit well in your Instant Pot. Which also makes it much more manageable to sear before cooking.
Also, using the Instant Pot to cook pork roast guarantees a cooking time of less than one hour, compared to 3-4 hours in the oven.
Make ahead Pork Carnitas
Pork Carnitas is also a great make-ahead recipe to feed a crowd. Here’s why.
- The pork roast can be cooked, shredded and stored until ready to re-heat and broil. (you will need to broil to get that crispy element for carnitas).
- You can prep, chop and store all the toppings in advance. Radishes, cilantro, lime wedges, avocados and Pickled Red Onions come to mind.
When serving time has arrived, just reheat the meat in the microwave to get that chill off, spread it out on a sheet pan and then broil to give it that famous carnitas crisp.
All that’s left is to do is warm the corn tortillas and line up those toppings. Guests can build their own personal carnitas as you sit back and take in the compliments.
TIP: How to keep those corn and flour tortillas warm. I was recently introduced to these Imusa Tortilla Warmers. They work like magic. Just place the tortillas in the warmers and then use the microwave to heat them. They’ll stay warm for about an hour tucked inside. Check it out, they’re amazing.
I’ve provided an affiliate link for your convenience. I’m a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program, if you purchase these warmers using this link, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Instant Pot Carnitas Recipe
I hope you give this Instant Pot Carnitas recipe a try. Once that pork is cooked and shredded you’re bound to have plenty of left-overs. You can either freeze the carnitas for later, or enjoy the meat in burritos, enchiladas or even as a topping for a tossed green salad or nachos.
So brown that pork, close the lid on that Instant Pot and enjoy.
What to serve with Carnitas Tacos
Love tacos as much as we do? Here are some recipe you might want to take a look at:
This Instant Pot Carnitas recipe is quick and easy to make in the pressure cooker, perfectly flavored and juicy. So delicious!
- 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano preferably Mexican Oregano
- 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
- 1 tablespoon Achiote paste
- 1 teaspoon New Mexico red chile powder or ancho
- 1 large Sweet Onion chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic chopped
- 2 Limes juiced
- 2 large Oranges juiced
- 1/2 cup Beer
- 4-5 pounds Pork Shoulder Butt Cut into large pieces
- 3 teaspoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- Soft Corn or Flour Tortillas Look for 5 – 5 1/2" tortillas to make Street Style Tacos.
In a small bowl, whisk together oregano, cumin, achiote paste, chile powder, onion, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, and beer until combined.
Cut the pork into large pieces, removing any large chunks of fat. Season pork chunks with salt and pepper.
Heat a large fry pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add half of the pieces of pork. Sear on both sides and remove to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the pork. Or Set Instant Pot to Sauté. Add olive oil. Once hot, add half the pork and sear directly in the Instant Pot, turning every 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer pork to a separate plate and repeat with remaining pork pieces until browned. Press cancel to turn off the heat. (I find it easier to sear stove-top)
Place brown pieces of pork into the instant pot. Pour sauce on top of the pork. Close lid and set to pressure on high. Cook for 25 minutes. Let naturally release for about 15 minutes. Release the remaining steam before removing lid.
Remove pork to a large cutting board and when cool enough to handle, shred with two forks. Spread pork onto a large baking sheet. Spoon one third of the sauce from the Instant Pot on top of the pork, tossing to combine.
Set broiler temperature to 550. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, until the pork edges begin to crisp.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top with half of the remaining sauce in the Instant Pot. Toss again to combine. Broil for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and toss more sauce. Don't use too much sauce. You don't want that pork to be swimming.
To assemble the tacos, top warmed flour or corn tortillas with pork. Top with sliced red onion, diced avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, pickled onions, or diced sweet onions and cotija cheese. Serve with lime wedges.
This recipe is easily adaptable for crockpot or oven roasting. For Oven: Place seared pork chunks into a Dutch Oven and pour the sauce over the pork. Roast at 350 degrees until meat is fall apart tender. This should take about 2 – 3 hours.
For the crockpot: Place seared chunks of pork into the crockpot and pour in the sauce. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until tender enough to shred.
Pressure Cooker Carnitas Tacos … It’s Whats for Dinner