Pork Carnitas

Carnitas — braised or roasted pork that is shredded — is a staple of Mexican cuisine and great to have on hand for eating in tacos and tamales or with rice and beans.


Makes four to six servings

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder roast
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, mashed with the side of a knife
  • 1 tbs. smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 tbs. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Cut slits into the pork shoulder every 2 inches. Mix together the onion, garlic, spices, and salt, and rub over the pork and into the slits. Drizzle the roast with the vinegar. Wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least several hours.

Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat, and sear the roast on all sides. Add water to cover the roast, cover the pressure cooker, and bring to high pressure. Turn the heat down and cook for 50 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow the pressure cooker to come down to normal pressure naturally, about 10 minutes, and uncover.

If the pork is not falling off the bone, return to high pressure for another 10 minutes. Remove the pork shoulder from the cooking liquid. Skim off as much fat as you can, and then simmer the cooking liquid in the pressure cooker, uncovered, until the volume is reduced by half. Shred the pork using two forks, and serve with the reduced cooking liquid poured over it.

Why No Numbers?

Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

Food photography by Terry Brennan; Food styling by Betsy Nelson

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Newsletter Signup
Weekly Newsletter
Special Promotions