Last updated on March 30th, 2023
Pork shoulder is braised in onion and spices, then shredded and served on a corn tortilla with sliced avocado and queso fresco for a delicious pulled pork carnitas recipe.
If you follow The Cooking Bride on Facebook, you may have seen my post last week about how The Husband has expressed an interest in learning how to cook. A couple weeks ago I got several new cooking magazines in the mail. Usually what I do when I flip through a new magazine is keep a pad of Post-It Notes handy so I can jot down the name and page number of any recipe I think looks interesting. Last week The Husband walks up, hands me my magazines, and says, “I added a few more recipes to your list that you didn’t have written down.”
Who is this man and what have you done with my husband?
This recipe in particular caught his eye. He asked if I would buy all the ingredients he needed and then he wanted to make it. The recipe instructs you do cook the pork shoulder in a pressure cooker. I was not comfortable with letting my husband use my pressure cooker on his own, so I offered to supervise.
If you are a man and reading this post, I know what you are thinking. Having your wife supervise you can never be a good thing.
I think I did a pretty good job of resisting the urge to push him out of the way and do it all myself. Actually, it was kind of nice having someone else do the cooking because it freed me up to take a few action shots. When it’s me doing the cooking, I’m usually too busy to stop what I’m doing or I have food all over my hands and I don’t want to get it all over my camera.
Of course, as soon as The Husband realized I was taking pictures of him, the first thing out of his mouth was, “Be sure to get my good side.”
No, not really. What he actually said was, “Don’t take my picture.” When I told him he didn’t have a choice, he made a deal with me. I had to include a photo of the
ridiculous awesome slippers he was wearing.
Yes, he really wears these around the house.
There must have been something lucky in those slippers, because the carnitas were PHENOMENAL! At first bite, the first thing out of my mouth was, “Oh wow! These are so good.” In fact, we didn’t even bother to fix a plate and sit down at the table. We stood over the kitchen counter.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can just brown all your ingredients in a sauté pan and finish it in a crock pot. You’ll get the same results. A pressure cooker just takes less time.
Bear claw slippers not required, though they do make for interesting conversation.
Pulled Pork Carnitas
- 1 3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion sliced into rings
- 3 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened orange juice
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
Pressure cooker method:
- Place pork shoulder pieces in a large resealable bag.
- In a small bowl, whisk together oil, salt, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper. Add spice mixture to the bag, seal, and toss until pork pieces are evenly coated.
- Heat the pressure cooker – without the lid – over medium high heat. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides. Once browned, set aside and add the next batch of pork. Once all the meat is browned, return everything to the pressure cooker.
- Add the onion, garlic, oregano, cinnamon stick, orange juice, and lime juice. Cover the pressure cooker and lock the lid. Is using dial gage, bring to high pressure over high heat. If using a weighted valve cooker, wait for steam to come out of the vent, then cook using 15 pounds of pressure. Cook pork for 25 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally.
Slow cooker method:
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides. Once browned, set aside and add the next batch of pork. Once all the meat is browned, place everything in the crock of a slow cooker.
- Add enough of the juice to deglaze the skillet. Scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the pan juices, along with the rest of the juice into the slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and cinnamon stick. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
- Once the meat is cooked, preheat the broiler. Transfer the meat to a baking sheet and shred with two forks. Strain any leftover juice from the pot. Pour 1 cup of the strained liquid over the pork.
- Place meat about six inches from the broiler and broil until it started to become crispy, about 15 minutes.
- Serve hot on corn tortillas with sliced avocado, salsa verde, crumbled queso fresco, and additional pan juices.