There are a lot of Instant Pot Pork Carnitas recipes around, but I created the easiest Instant Pot Pulled Pork Carnitas recipe. It's based off this excellent one that my friend Prudence made and recommended. But since I can't follow a recipe to save my life, and her recipe had several ingredients high in sugars, I had to modify it quite a bit to keep these carnitas low carb.
Pulled Pork Carnitas | Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
If you, unlike me, do not collect chile powders for fun, I'm sure you could use just regular red chile powder in these Pulled Pork Carnitas and it will taste great. If you'd like to use orange juice or broth for the liquid, I'm sure you could. The orange juice will just increase the carbs per serving. I was just in a hurry (I was putting this together while on a work-related call, so I wasn't wanting to spend too much time on it). Herein my friends, lies the difference between those who blog for a living vs people like me who cook to feed the family while trying to make a living. Short cuts abound in my world.
I also cut the meat up into large bite-size chunks because I wanted it to cook relatively quickly, and since it was going to be shredded anyway, I didn't think it would matter.
Looking to kick the deliciousness up a notch? Whip up some of my Air Fried Tomatillo Salsa and put it on top of your pork carnitas! It'll add some great heat and flavor to really elevate the dish!
Another great way to dress your Instant Pot carnitas is with this creamy Avocado Tomatillo Salsa! It's easy, spicy, and delightfully low carb.
Let me tell you something: DO NOT SKIP the browning step in this pork carnitas recipe. I know it sounds like a pain, but it's the difference between delicious boiled meat and carnitas. If they're not crispy, they're not carnitas. Just notice the difference between the boiled pork and the finished product. That's all due to the crisping.
Are Carnitas Healthy?
This authentic carnitas recipe uses pork that is high in protein. I used low carb ingredients to keep it healthy for people watching their carb intake or living a Ketogenic lifestyle. If you add in delicious veggies to round out the recipe, you can bet it's a healthy carnitas recipe.
How To Make Carnitas
Don't be intimidated by this Pulled Pork Carnitas recipe! It's basically line the pot with veggies that release water. Cut the pork into large chunks. Season the pork, cook the pork and then crisp the pork. That's all!
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- 1 (1 ) Onion, sliced
- 4 cloves (4 cloves) Garlic, sliced
- 1 pound (453.59 g) pork butt, , cut into cubes and visible fat removed
- 1 (1 ) Lemon, juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) Ancho Chile Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) Chipotle Chile Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Dried Oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Ground Cumin
- 1-2 teaspoons (1 teaspoons) Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Ground Black Pepper
Add to Instant Pot
- 1/2 cup (125 g) Water
- 1-2 tablespoons (1 tablespoons) Coconut Oil
- Place sliced vegetables in the bottom of the pot to help them release water when the meat is cooking.
- In a bowl, mix together the pork with all the spices and the lemon juice.
- Place pork on top of the onions and garlic.
- Put 1/2 cup of water into your bowl and rinse it out to get the last of the spices, and pour this water onto the pork.
- Set your Instant Pot to Meat setting, or high pressure for 35 minutes.
- When it's done use natural release.
- Remove the pork, take it out of the water which may be somewhat salty.
- Leave the pot on Saute and reduce the remaining water/sauce in there while you finish the next steps.
- Put the coconut oil in a hot cast iron pan. If you wanted, you could also fish out the pork fat that is cooked, and set that to render. I did both and it was yummy.
- Lay the shredded meat in a flat layer and let it brown undisturbed.
- When it's partially brown, stir it and keep cooking until it's crispy in parts.
- Once it's well crisped, put in a little of the concentrated broth. Your skillet should be hot enough that most of it just dissolves, leaving behind the flavor. I used almost all of my broth, small portiojns at a time to flavor the meat.
- Serve with guacamole, salsa, sour cream or low carb tortillas, or eat plain.
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