Carnitas

“I wanted to make some carnitas and found this recipe. The cola idea was intriguing. I have lots of allergies that limit what i can have, so often times I lean towards items with less spice. This was very flavorful and the only thing I had to leave out was the pepper! I have heard that pork loin does not make good carnitas since it does not shred nicely due to lack of fat. With using my instapot, I did not have problems getting my pork loin to shred.” – Calla Ferre

Carnitas

Course: Main Courses – Pork
Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 4 Pounds Boneless Pork Butt, Shoulder or Loin
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Large Onion Cut Into Wedges
  • 8 Cloves Garlic Smashed or Minced
  • 2 Limes Juiced (1/4 Cup)
  • 2 Large Oranges Juiced (3/4 Cup Juice)
  • 3/4 Cup Coke Mexican Coke Preferred (See Note)
  • 2 Bay Leaves

Instructions

Slow cooker method:

  • Rinse and pat dry pork.
  • In the bowl of a 6-quart slow cooker, add pork, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, onion, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, coke, and bay leaves. Add pork. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-10 hours, or high heat for 5-6 hours (until the meat falls apart).
  • Remove pork to a large bowl and shred with two forks. Add back as much liquid as the meat will absorb. Crisp as described below.

Instapot method:

  • Add the lime juice, orange juice, coke, garlic and bay leaves and to the instapot.
  • Separate the onion wedges in individual slices to have them ready to wilt.
  • Combine salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture all over meat.
  • Sear the pork in a fry pan in a small amount of oil and then remove to a plate. Add the separated onions to the fry pan with the brownings and wilt or slightly brown.
  • Add onions to the instapot and place the seared pork on top. Cook on the meat setting with the more time setting. Start instapot. Allow to release naturally.
  • Remove meat; meat should shred nicely, if not cook longer. Put shredded meat into a bowl and add back as much liquid as the meat will absorb. Crisp as described below.

To crisp in the oven:

  • Transfer the pork to a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking oil spray (or lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper).
  • Broil for 5 to 10 minutes on high heat until the meat becomes golden browned and crispy on the edges.

To crisp on the stove top:

  • Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a non stick pan or cast iron skillet over high heat.
  • When pan is hot, add pork in batches of two or three, and sear until juices begin to reduce down and the meat is nice and crispy.

To serve:

  • Season with a little extra salt and pepper if desired.
  • Pour over more of the slow cooker juices once the meat has crisped for added flavor, just before serving.
  • Serve in tacos, burritos, or in a salad.

Notes

Mexican Coke contains cane sugar which helps with the caramelization during crisping and is ideal; however you can use any coke. If using regular coke, add 1 teaspoon sugar. Alternatively, substitute with chicken broth.

2021 Adapted Recipe – Calla Ferre – Adapted from Cafe Delights