Classic Carnitas (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)


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Carnitas are a classic Mexican dish featuring juicy pork in a citrus marinade. While traditional recipes take hours, slow cooking or pressure-cooking the pork saves time and results in a similarly tender-yet-crispy texture. This recipe is just the thing you need for a flavorful weeknight dinner or a festive gathering with friends and family.
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Classic Carnitas (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)
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What you need:

  • 2 lbs boneless lean pork shoulder (regular or lighter blade roast, fat trimmed off)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
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Step 1 Cut the pork into 3-4 large pieces. Add to the instant pot or slow cooker with the remaining ingredients and toss until pork is well coated in the spices.
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Step 2 Instant Pot: Press the “Meat” setting and then press the “Pressure” button until the light on “High Pressure” turns on. Set the time to 40 minutes using the up and down arrows Cook and let the steam naturally release. Carefully remove the lid and shred using two forks. Crockpot: Cook on low for 8-9 hours until the pork is fork tender.
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Step 3 For crispy carnitas, cover a baking sheet with foil. Turn the broiler on high. Spread the meat out on the baking sheet. Broil for 4-6 minutes until crispy. Toss with some of the cooking juice after broiling to add moisture back to the pork, for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and shred using two forks.
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We hope you enjoy this delicious Classic Carnitas (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot) recipe.
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