Carnitas under Pressure
Oh how I loved this meal! I mean, really, really loved it. I want to have it at least once a month because I loved it so much.
What is it? Citrus flavored Pork Carnitas cooked with the amazing, marvelous pressure cooker.
Here’s another view, just in case you don’t believe me. I’m telling you, as I was preparing to write this post, my mouth was watering. I told Yes!Chef! that he must make it again. He promised me that he would. You are now witness to this.
I added some store-bought salsa…yes, I did…because we had some in the fridge. But, of course, it would be better with fresh, homemade salsa. We served it with corn tortillas, refried beans and some fruit and avocado.
As usual, Yes!Chef! gets his Mis en Place done ahead of the actual cooking. I’ve said this before, but the cooking process goes so much better if all your ingredients are prepared and ready to go before you ever turn on the stove-top. I am so guilty of not fully prepping before I start cooking because I can’t wait to get the meal going. I always run into trouble that way.
Y!C! loves the process…I love the end product. His end product is better than mine because he takes his time with the process. Part of the process is making sure the knives are sharp. Yes!Chef! says to buy the best knives you can afford and keep them sharp. Using sharp knives helps you to work faster and safer.
Yes!Chef! works so efficiently that he even had time to make us a cocktail while we were waiting for the meat to cook.
The meat (pork) was cut into nice size chunks and then tossed around in oil and spices. You can brown up the meat in the pressure cooker, which makes this device quite convenient.
The pressure cooker is a marvelous cooking tool. However, if you do not have one, you probably could cook the meat in a pot on the stove for several hours. We use Magefesa Pressure Cooker and it worked great! Magefesa also has videos with instructions how to use and care for this device. Total cooking time for this dish in the Pressure Cooker was 25 minutes! TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES for luscious, fall-apart, citrus and spice infused meat. Yes!Chef! said this meat probably would have taken 2 1/2-3 hours in a more conventional way.
While we are waiting for the meat to cook, I will present my normal, totally unrelated photo adventure. This weekend three of my very good friends (and excellent photographers) went on our annual photo adventure. This year we hit one of my favorite spots: San Francisco. There are way too many things to see and photograph in SF, so we concentrated mainly on the Golden Gate Bridge, a true American Icon.
Our first stop was Baker Beach, which has a classic view of the bridge from the ocean side of the bridge, rather than the bay side. Baker Beach is also famous for…nudity. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a modest person and rather old-fashioned. So my sense of decency was warring with my sense of adventure photography and wanting to get this beautiful shot (above). (You need to know that I photoshopped a naked man out of this picture.) I guess we were lucky that there were only a few naked bodies parading around the beach this day because it was a beautiful day, although I would think it was a bit too chilly for nudity. (In my mind, any day is too chilly for nudity. But, I digress.) We also discovered that these nude men wait for the photographers to plant their tripods on the beach, pointed towards the bridge and the great surf crashing on the rocks. Then, they wade around in the surf in front of your perfect shot so that you cannot take a picture without one of them in the shot. So annoying.
I was quite surprised, then, to see a family with three young children venture down the beach. Some of these naked old coots immediately paraded themselves around so that this family could view them in all their naked glory. We photogs were fascinated with this whole circus and watched in stunned silence while the father set up shot after shot of the children with some of these naked men in the background. So, I thought I would put together a quick warning sign for any photogs who may be thinking of a family photoshoot at this beautiful beach.
After that we drove and hiked around for the rest of the day and into the evening looking for great angles and beautiful shots of this amazing bridge.
Being photographers, we can’t just use our DSLR’s for shooting. We also use our camera phones and point and shoots…just because. I love the little Instagram Photo ap (lower left picture) and frequently all four of us were busy sending pictures to instagram or Facebook while waiting for good light. (My handle is sierrasprings, in case you are interested in seeing some of my submissions.)
We waited around on the Headlands until after the sun set and we were not disappointed.
Then, we went back down to Fort Baker and did some night shots under the bridge. It was a great day. Unfortunately, Yes!Chef! did not come with us because 1.) he was catering a Valentine’s Dinner at a local winery and 2.) he would have been bored stiff.
After all that falderal, I’m sure you are ready to see the Carnitas.
What did I tell you? Look at that meat. Tender, juicy and amazing.
Yes!Chef! removed the meat from the Pressure Cooker and then strained all the solids from the juice at the bottom of the pan and then used a degreaser to remove the grease from the juice.
He poured the juices over the meat and stuck the pan in the oven to brown up for a bit.
This meal was a true “Wowsers!”
He also made up some refried beans and chopped up some great Mexican cheese, Cotija cheese.
My youngest son and his good friend were quite appreciative of the meal set up before them, which made Yes!Chef! very happy.
This is so easy, you will want to try it this weekend. How can you not? The meat is tender, juicy, citrus-y and nicely browned. I am swooning just trying to describe it.
Here’s the recipe that we got from a great bi-monthly publication called: Cuisine at Home. If you have not heard of this magazine or ever looked at it, you need to. There are no advertisements and it is designed to teach techniques using great tasting recipes. I would highly recommend this magazine.
Pressure Cooker Carnitas
Makes 8 servings
Total Time: about 1 1/2 hours
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ancho or chipotle chile powder
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat part of a knife
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inch)
- 1 1/2 cups strained fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup strained fresh lime juice
- Whisk together oil, salt, cumin, chile powder, and pepper.
- Toss pork in oil-spice mixture. Brown pork in pressure cooker over high heat.
- Stir in onion, garlic, oregano, and cinnamon stick. Add orange and lime juices.
- Cover pressure cooker, lock on lid and bring to high pressure over high heat. Cook pork at high pressure, 25 minutes. Remove cooker from heat. Allow pressure to release naturally. Remove lid and transfer pork to a baking sheet.
- Preheat broiler to high with rack 6 inches from element.
- Degrease liquids from cooker in a fat separator; discard fat. Shred pork with two forks on baking sheet. Pour 1 cup strained cooking liquid over pork.
- Broil pork until it starts to crisp, about 10 minutes. Stir and broil 5 minutes more.
- Serve pork with tortillas, avocado, salsa Verde, queso fresco and remaining cooking liquid.
That’s it! Invite 7 of your closest friends or relatives and dig in. Your friends will beg you to make this again next time they see you. You will not regret making this recipe. I promise.