Tahoe recipe: Pressure cooker carnitas are fast, convenient | SierraSun.com

Tahoe recipe: Pressure cooker carnitas are fast, convenient

These carnitas cook in less than an hour, and the meat comes out so tender and juicy.
Courtesy / Arica Davis |

Did you know that the pressure cooker is of the most underrated appliances in your kitchen? It’s such a convenient, hands-off way to make dinner (or breakfast, or lunch, or dessert).

A meal that takes hours of cooking on the stove or in the oven can be ready in under an hour with the help of a pressure cooker.

This carnitas recipe is one of my favorite pressure cooker recipes. Not only does it cook in less than an hour, but (most importantly) the meat comes out so tender and juicy.

The pork practically shreds itself. You can use the carnitas in tacos with Cotija cheese, pico de gallo, and some guacamole, or on a baked potato with shredded pepper jack cheese and green chiles. The options are endless.

Pressure Cooker Carnitas

Makes 6-8 servings


3 pounds boneless pork shoulder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large orange, sliced

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeño, halved and seeded

1-2 cups chicken broth


Trim the fat off of the pork and chop into 2-inch cubes. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in the pressure cooker over medium heat. Sear the cubed meat until meat is browned on each side.

Add orange slices, cinnamon, ancho chili powder and cumin. Top with onion, garlic and jalapeño, then pour chicken broth into the cooking pot making sure not to go over the liquid fill line. Secure and lock the lid, and cook for 50 minutes at high pressure. Remove from heat and let the pressure release naturally. It should take about 15 minutes.

When pressure is released carefully remove lid. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a bowl and shred. Make sure to reserve the juices if you wish to crisp them in the oven (see steps below). Taste and add more seasoning as desired. You can serve the carnitas from this point or follow the steps below to crisp in the oven.

To crisp: Spread the shredded pork on a lightly oiled baking sheet in a thin layer. Place the baking sheet with pork under a high broiler and broil until brown and crisp on surface, about five minutes.

Ladle about ½ cup of the juices from the pressure cooker evenly over the pork, and toss well. Broil again for six more minutes until crisp. Serve immediately.

Chef Arica Davis is owner/operator of Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit http://www.yummyfixins.com to book your next dinner party.

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