This is the ultimate at home recipe for tender, juicy and golden brown pork carnitas. And the best part is, it’s ready in under 1 hour with an instant pot. Beer braised pork carnitas on a weeknight? Definitely.
What is Carnitas?
A traditional Mexican dish of slow cooked pork that is slowly cooked in its own fat with various spices. It’s essentially a Mexican pulled pork that makes an incredible Taco filling.
Instant Pot Magic
The flavour from cooking under pressure is way more intense and it shaves off tons of cooking time. My original recipe for beer-braised carnitas was almost 2 hours in total and this instant pot recipe is a little over 35 minutes! I love how I can throw all the ingredients in, fire up my pressure cooker and walk away. No more constant stirring and worrying about all the liquid evaporating. Here’s my instant pot recipe for beer-braised pork carnitas.
The Ultimate Taco
Pork carnitas is the ultimate Mexican meat filling for tacos. Traditionally, pork carnitas is made by cooking huge pieces of pork shoulder in its own fat (confit) and later frying the meat until golden brown and crispy. This way of cooking is the best but it’s difficult to replicate at home because of how much pork fat you need. In this recipe we pressure cook the pork with beer until soft and fry it after, resulting in crispy golden brown carnitas.
This recipe for carnitas is so good you don’t really need to add anything other than fresh herbs and hot sauce but here’s some ideas to keep it interesting:
- Pico de Gallo salsa
- Refried beans
- Guacamole 🥑 (this is a must-have in my house)
- Hot sauce
- Spicy mayo
- Fresh herbs
- Thinly slice red onion
- Fresh tomatoes
- Fresh cucumbers
- Crème Fraîche
You can also substitute the beer with orange juice for another tasty alternative.
- 700 g pork shoulder boneless, skinless
- 300 g pork belly or bacon
- 250 ml beer you can also use orange juice if you'd like
- 1 tbsp cumin ground
- 1 tbsp coriander seed ground
- 1 tbsp oregano dried or fresh
- 2 piece bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 whole fresh chili sliced in half
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ whole lime juiced
- Dice all the meat into 2cm/1inch pieces and place in the instant pot.
- Mix all the ingredients except the lime juice and mix with the meat in the instant pot.
- Close the lid and set the time to high pressure for 27 minutes.
- When the timer beeps let the instant pot naturally de-pressurize for 10 minutes. Manually let out the rest
- Strain the meat from the liquid, saving the liquid.
- Get a frying pan hot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Fry the meat in batches until nicely browned. Always be careful when adding wet ingredients to hot oil as it will splatter a bit.
- Add all the fried meat back in the pan and add the saved braising liquid. Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid is evaporated. Season with lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in your favourite taco with your favourite sides! Enjoy!