Carnitas (Braised Pork bites)


2 kg of pork boston butt or picnic shoulder
* These two are good since both have good marbling without being too greasy but optionally you can include pork hocks, spare ribs, pork belly or even pork skin if you would like more variety. If you prefer lean meat use pork loin only.
1/4 cup of salt
1 medium size onion
4 garlic cloves
1 handful of cooking herbs (thyme, bay, marjoram or oregano)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
2 oranges
1 cup of evaporated milk *Optional
1 cup of pork lard or 1 cup of canola oil.

Cut your meat in 2-3 inch cubes, place them in a bowl and rub salt on all pieces, don’t over salt the meat but ensure all pieces have a nice coating of it.

Set the Instant Pot on Saute at high temperature and warm the lard or oil.
Once it is hot carefully start adding the pork meat.
Fry the meat for a few minutes moving the meat to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and get an homogeneous searing.
Once meat has a light searing, add the onion chopped in halves, the garlic cloves, the herbs (preferably tied with cooking string), spices, milk, the juice of 2 oranges and the two halves of one of the squeezed oranges.
Add enough water to fill half of the pot.

Set Instant pot to Pressure Cooking at high temperature, put the lid on and cook it for 45 minutes.
Once cooking is complete carefully remove and drain cooked meat (due pressure cooking it will be extra tender use a spoon to avoid breaking the pieces or you will end up with pulled pork).

To add that traditional crunchy texture of this dish, place the meat in a baking pan with some parchment paper and broil in the oven at 400F for 15 minutes.
If your Instant pot has an Air Fryer accessory place them in a clean and dry pot and broil them at 400F for 15 minutes.

Once Carnitas have a crunchy texture, in a cutting board cut them in small cubes.

Best way to eat them is with corn tortillas, garnish your tacos with finely cut onion, chopped cilantro, some lime juice, guacamole or your favorite mexican sauce.

Author: Aída Guerra

Foodie, Mexican-Canadian with a passion to share my favourite recipies.