Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Three Ways: Tacos, Burrito Bowls, Tamale Casserole

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

I’m slightly obsessed with my new instant pot. I love that I can brown my meat, slow cook, steam, or even pressure cook all in the same pot. It’s the perfect device to cook my favorite easy meal: instant pot pork carnitas. I love to cook pork shoulder until it’s fork tender and shred it up for tacos. The only problem is that it makes so much! I don’t want to  make myself sick of my favorite tacos, so instead I turn my pork shoulder meat into three different meals to change things up with the leftover meat and to keep my family happy. First, I make pork carnitas tacos, because of course I do. Then, I usually make rice bowls that rival any one of those chain Mexican restaurants. Finally, I love to turn the rest of my meat into a delicious baked tamale casserole, with cheese melted all over the top. Just writing that makes me drool. The best part is that after you’ve cooked the meat, the hard work is done for you. Assembling the rest of the meals is a snap.

Directions:

First things first, rub your pork shoulder all over with a some salt, chili powder, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, & onion powder and let it sit for a minute while you prep the rest.

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

Gather up a few whole cloves of garlic. Slice a whole onion into quarters and slice two oranges and two limes in half

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

Juice your oranges and limes

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

Using the saute function on the instant pot, brown the pork shoulder on all sides in some vegetable oil.

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

Take the pork shoulder out and add a quarter cup of water to the instant pot, using a flat-edged wooden spoon, scrape up all the browned bits to ensure that the instant pot will come to pressure (and to add delicious flavor to your meat).

Put the pork shoulder back in with the rest of the ingredients.

Pressure cook your pork shoulder on high. I followed the Instant Pot directions for a pork butt, which is 15 minutes per pound. My shoulder was 5 lbs, so I cooked it for 75 minutes

http://instantpot.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Cooking-Time-Tables-1.pdf

Do a natural pressure release. This helps the moisture return back into the meat.

Shred the meat up using a couple of forks. Taste and check for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.

***Alternatively, you can brown the meat in the instant pot and then use the slow cooker setting to cook the meat. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, depending on size. Sometimes, this is the easier option, especially if you’re going to be gone all day***

Pork Tacos: 

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

Brown 4-5 servings of meat in 1-2 tbs of vegetable oil. You can add one sliced onion as well if you like.  I use a non-stick skillet (the shredded meat tends to stick pretty bad on anything else). I like to use the un-cooked tortillas that you can find next to the cheese in the grocery store and cook them on the skillet while I brown the meat.

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

Top with your favorite toppings. My suggestions are shredded cheese (I like quesadilla), lettuce, tomato, radishes, guacamole, sliced onion, in any combinations. For salsa, I heartily recommend The Pioneer Woman’s Salsa: because it’s straight up, my favorite salsa ever and I will fight you for it: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/restaurant-style-salsa/

Burrito Bowls: 

Go ahead and cook your rice in the instant pot, if that’s how you roll. I have a pretty fool-proof method for stove-top rice, so that’s my method

Cooking Rice: Forget measuring. I just use a container (usually a mug). Just do 2-1 water to rice using the container, (one mugful of rice, two mugfuls of water). Add a tsp of salt, cook on high until bubbly, stir once, put on lid and cook on low for 18 minutes. Take it off the heat and don’t touch it for another ten minutes. Fluff it with a fork.

Brown some more shredded pork in a non-stick skillet.

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

 

Add rice to a bowl, add warmed beans of your choice (I like whole pinto beans), your meat, shredded cheese, and whatever veggies you like (sliced jalapeños, tomatoes, lettuce, sliced radishes, sliced turnips, sliced carrots). Seriously, it will be pretty amazing no matter which way you go. Add some salsa and/or guacamole and enjoy!

Baked Tamale Casserole:

I definitely save the best for last.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

Add your remaining meat to a skillet (about 4-5 servings) and add two chopped green peppers and two tomatoes, cut up or one 14.5 oz can of whole tomatoes. Add one can of pinto or black beans, drained, and one cup of frozen corn. Stir to combine. Heat to medium high until bubbly, then turn down to medium low and cook covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, prep your “tamale topping.” This is basically like a cornbread recipe, without the sugar

Combine one cup of cornmeal, a 1/2 cup of flour, one egg, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp of baking powder and 3/4 cup of milk. Add more milk if it’s too dry, more cornmeal if too runny

Put your meat mixture into a large casserole.

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

Top with tamale topping and cover with cheese.

Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder

Cook the casserole for 30-40 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Let rest for ten minutes and then slice into pieces. Serve dolloped with sour cream and salsa.

I hope you love these recipes! Cook all or one of these. Eat them all in a week or freeze your cooked meat and save for later. Enjoy!

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instant pot pork carnitas

Print Recipe
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas: Three Ways Yum
Instant pot pork shoulder carnitas shredded and used for three different meals. Cook one pork shoulder and turn it into delicious tacos, amazing rice bowls, and a tamale casserole that will knock your socks off!
Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 75 minutes
Passive Time 75 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
Tacos:
Tamale Pie
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 75 minutes
Passive Time 75 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
Tacos:
Tamale Pie
Instant Pot Mexican Pork Shoulder
Instructions
Shredded Pork
  1. First things first, rub your pork shoulder all over with a couple tsp of salt, chili powder, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, & onion powder and let it sit for a minute while you prep the rest.
  2. Gather up a few whole cloves of garlic. Slice a whole onion into quarters and slice two oranges and two limes in half
  3. Juice your oranges and limes
  4. Using the saute function on the instant pot, brown the pork shoulder on all sides in some vegetable oil.
  5. Take the pork shoulder out and add a quarter cup of water to the instant pot, using a flat-edged wooden spoon, scrape up all the browned bits to ensure that the instant pot will come to pressure (and to add delicious flavor to your meat).
  6. Put the pork shoulder back in with the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Pressure cook your pork shoulder on high. I followed the Instant Pot directions for a pork butt, which is 15 minutes per pound. My shoulder was 5 lbs, so I cooked it for 75 minutes 
  8. Do a natural pressure release. This helps the moisture return back into the meat.
  9. Shred the meat up using a couple of forks. Taste and check for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.
Shredded Pork Tacos:
  1. Brown 4-5 servings of meat and one sliced onion (optional) in a non-stick skillet in 1-2 tbs of vegetable oil.
  2. Top with your favorite toppings. My suggestions are shredded cheese (I like quesadilla), lettuce, tomato, radishes, guacamole, salsa, sliced onion, in any combinations.
Shredded Pork Burrito Bowls:
  1. Cook about a cup of rice in Instant Pot or on Stove-top. For stove-top use a 2-1 ratio. Fill a coffee mug with rice and add to pot. Add two more coffee mugs full of water. Add a tsp of salt. Heat to boiling. Stir once, cover, and turn heat to low. Cook for 18 minutes. Take off heat and let stand untouched for 10 minutes.
  2. Brown some more shredded pork in a non-stick skillet in vegetable oil.
  3. Add rice to a bowl, add warmed beans of your choice (I like whole pinto beans), your meat, shredded cheese, and your choice of veggies (sliced jalapeños, tomatoes, lettuce, sliced radishes). Top with salsa and/or guacamole and sour cream.
Tamale Pie:
  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Add remaining meat to a skillet and add two chopped green peppers and two tomatoes, cut up (or one 14.5 oz. can of whole tomatoes). Add one can of pinto or black beans, drained, and one cup of frozen corn. Stir to combine. Heat to medium high until bubbly, then turn down to medium low and cook covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. In a bowl, combine 1 cup of cornmeal, a 1/2 cup of flour, one egg, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp of baking powder and 3/4 cup of milk. Add more milk if it's too dry, more cornmeal if too runny
  4. Put your meat mixture into a large casserole. Top with tamale topping and shredded cheese.
  5. Cook the casserole for 30-40 minutes until browned and bubbly. Let rest for ten minutes and then slice into pieces. Serve dolloped with sour cream and salsa. 
Recipe Notes

***Alternatively, if you don't have an instant pot or prefer slow-cooking, you can brown the meat in the instant pot and then use the slow cooker setting to cook the meat. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, depending on size. Sometimes, this is the easier option, especially if you're going to be gone all day***

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