Kid#2 adores pork carnitas. Although she stays in hostel she would willingly come home just to have this dish. She loves the well flavored pork and I love making it too as it is pretty effortless. I usually serve the carnitas with lettuce as a wrap and a side of pico de gallo. It works for a simple lunch and doesn’t suffer from being kept and reheated as leftovers! This morning I discovered kid#2 topping some bread with pork carnitas and shredded cheddar cheese. And that was awesome too!
When I posted the original version of instant pot pork carnitas I was in my making yogurt phase as well and I couldn’t imagine throwing away all the whey, which was why I incorporated it into the braising liquid. But truth is I haven’t done it that way for a long time, which is why I decided to post what I actually do in real life.
Recipe remakes are the best – somehow the experience from making the same dish over and over again but tweaked along the way, the recipe gets so much better and deserves air time!
Pork carnitas - 1 kg pork shoulder - 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled and crushed - 1 medium white onion, quartered - 1 whole orange - 2 tsp salt - 2 tsp cumin - 1 tsp dried oregano - 1 tsp crushed red peppers - 1 bay leaf - 6 cups water - 2 tbsp goose fat - 1/4 cup home made yogurt or sour cream - 2 heads of butter lettuce - 2 large limes, cut into wedges
Pico de Gallo - 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, quartered - 1 medium red onion, finely chopped - 2 tbsp chopped coriander - 2 tbsp lime juice - 1 avocado, diced - 1 tbsp chopped jalapeño - 1/2 tsp sea salt
Method 1. Cut the pork shoulder into large 2-3 inch chunks. Place into a bowl with the crushed garlic cloves and pour the whey on top. Refrigerate overnight. (This is optional if you don’t have whey. The other alternative is to rub the salt and cumin over the pork pieces and marinate overnight.) Drain the pork and garlic and place into the Instant Pot. Peel the orange and put the large pieces of orange peel into the pot. Try to avoid removing too much of the white layer under the rind. Squeeze the orange and also add this to the pot. Add the water as well as the onions, bay leaf, salt, cumin, oregano into the pot. Put the pot into sealed position and do manual high pressure for 35 minutes, then allow natural pressure release. Remove the pork pieces and shred and set aside. Remove the orange rind and bay leaf and put the pot into sauté mode and reduce the sauce. With a hand blender, blend the sauce. Set the sauce aside. For the Pico de Gallo, mix the onions, cherry tomatoes, avocado and coriander together. Add the lime juice and salt and chopped jalapeño and mix well. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and refrigerate till ready to use. Just before serving, crisp up the pulled pork. Heat a cast iron pan and then add the goose fat and heat well. Add the pork into the pan and press down slightly. With a spatula, flip over the pork to be browned on the other side as well. Put in a large bowl for serving. To assemble, top a large butterhead lettuce leaf with the crispy pork, followed by the Pico de Gallo and a dollop of yogurt. Squeeze a little lemon juice over this and drizzle some gravy from the carnitas over this. Enjoy!