Instant Pot Carnitas + Weekly Menu

We all made it back to work and school this week. It felt good to get back in the groove. Hopefully we’re done with COVID for a bit as a family.

People laugh that my kids are begging for the vaccine in lieu of testing all the time. If we could stop with the exposures and household COVID, they’d have been fully vaccinated by now! But, we’re all excited for dose 1 this upcoming week. I’ve never could’ve dreamed EXCITEMENT over a shot after well-child visits for years 5 and 7. My how 4 months and a few COVID tests can change one’s tune…

We’re resuming a bit of normalcy – open gym at the gymnastics center with friends today, followed by a playdate. It was like normal life and it felt GOOD! That is until my kids misbehaved something horribly to end the time together, but hey, you can’t win them all. We were appreciative for the invite! And I appreciated the sunshine. Ahhh 🙂

Getting through these cold months is all about people. Lord knows you can’t rely on sunshine alone. Remember the time in February of 2020 that Mark and I had a million hockey players and their families to our home? I can hardly remember myself. That seems like half a lifetime ago. My girlfriend said it best today – a COVID year is like a dog year…it’s more like 7. Spittin’ facts.

I would’ve never dreamed of cooking for a literal house FULL of people (that’s a “let’s all pitch in effort), but the last time we hosted our friends and their 2 kiddos, I went to the recipe drawing board and found something I knew they’d love: MEAT. Who doesn’t love a killer taco? NO ONE. And if such an opinion were to ever exist, I must consider the source invalid.

The fresh ingredients and spices in this keep it simple. Pork shoulder pretty much needs nothing, but a little beer and a bit of citrus and spice? Heck to the yes! After an hour cooking away, the meat shreds just looking at it and is ideally served with the most basic of garnishes in onion and cilantro. Divine!

Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot Carnitas

Yield: 8 servings (2 tacos each)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Incredibly flavorful, this tender pork makes for a traditional, epic taco. Carnitas never disappoint!

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (12 oz) pilsner or lager beer
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 onion, diced

Instructions

  1. Season the chunked pork shoulder with the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil on HIGH sauté mode for 1-2 minutes or until hot. Add half the pork in a single layer and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until browned; transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining pork and again removing it to a plate.
  3. Pour the beer, orange juice, and lime juice into the pressure cooker. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any bits stuck to the bottom.
  4. Add the garlic, chili powder, onion powder, oregano, and cumin; stir well. Return the pork and any collected juices to the instant pot.
  5. Close the lid and make sure the valve is in the sealed position. Cook on HIGH pressure for 60 minutes.
  6. Perform a quick release before removing the lid. Remove the pork and shred between two forks, picking out any visible fat and place in a large bowl.
  7. Meanwhile, change the setting on the Instant Pot to HIGH sauté and simmer the liquid to reduce.
  8. Turn off the Instant Pot and ladle 1/2 to 1 cup of the liquid over the pork and toss well.
  9. Serve about 2.5 ounces of meat in each tortilla and top with cilantro and onion.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Lemon Blossoms

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 tacos
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 12.0gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 437mgCarbohydrates: 31.1gFiber: 3.8gSugar: 4.3gProtein: 48.5g

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Weekly Menu: January 16th – 20th

Be well,

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