Oh pressure cooker, how I love thee!
I have had the same pressure cooker since I’ve gotten married. I don’t know why, but I kept forgetting that I had one. Once in a while, I would take things out to the garage to store away and will find my pressure cooker sitting on the shelf, looking sad, bored, and begging to be used. Then, when I do use this awesome thing, it becomes a life changer all over again.
I don’t know about other states, but here in Texas, we have a hog problem. Since my husband and I are hunters, it’s a good thing for us. This also means, we have a lot of hog meat in the freezer and I need to do something with them. We love Mexican food and I have been craving street tacos, specifically carnitas for several days now. Hognita (hog carnita) it is!
If you’ve never had hog meat, you need to. There’s nothing to be afraid of hog meat. It’s just pork, wild pork. There’s a misconception that hog meat is tough and gamey. It can be, but if you dress the meat properly … the meat tastes great!
This hognita (hog carnita) recipe is AAAAAAAAWWWWWWEEEEEEESOME! It’s juicy, tender, and full of flavor. I also reserve the juice and made it into a sauce, which took the carnita to another level of awesomeness! It’s soooo good and easy that this will be on my weekly menu.
Pressure Cooker Hognitas (pork carnitas)
- approximately 4 lbs of pork shoulder
- 1 C orange juice
- 2 tbs dark brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper – I didn’t use a lot because my toddlers are eating this too
- 2 cloves of garlic – minced
- 1 tbs dry oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbs cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder – more if you like
- 2 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- sauce thickener (2 tbs cornstarch + 1 tbs water)
- 1 lime – sliced into wedges
- 1 bunch of cilantro – chopped
- 1 small onion – chopped
- 1 large avocado – chopped or sliced
Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Place it in the pressure cooker. Add bay leaf.
In a 4 cup measuring cup or large bowl, combine orange juice, brown sugar, salt, pepper, minced garlic, dry orgegano, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika.
Mix till all the sasonings are incorporated into the orange juice
Pour the juice mixture into the pressure cooker with the pork.
Cover, lock, and set the pressure cooker on high with the meat button.
Once it’s done, wait till all the pressure has been released.
- my pressure cooker sets high for 50 min. For hog meat, it was not fork tender enough, so I set the pressure cooker on medium for another 20 minutes
Turn the broiler on
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set it aside.
Remove the pork and place it in a large bowl. Shred the pork by using 2 forks.
Pour 1/4 C of the juice over the pork and toss.
Place the shredded pork on the lined baking sheet. Optional: drizzle some olive oil.
Place it under the boiler for 8-10 minutes or until you see the top of the meat is golden brown and crusty.
While the pork is under the broiler, make the sauce.
Remove bay leaf and pour the sauce into a sauce pan. Cook the sauce on med-high heat and let it reduce a little bit. approximately 5-10 minutes.
Half way, give the pork a toss.
Look at that!
Return back to the sauce: Salt and pepper to taste. Then pour half of the thickener into the sauce and stir. If you like the sauce to be thicker, add the rest of the sauce and stir. Pour the sauce into a ramekin or sauce bowl.
Now it’s time to assemble the tacos!
Place desired amount (a lot) of carnitas on the tortillas, add slices of avocado, and topped with onions and cilantro.
Serve the carnitas with the sauce on the side.
This recipe makes a lot of carnitas. Meal prep for the week, or use the left overs and turn them into breakfast tostadas the next morning.
I’m so over the moon about these carnitas and my belly thanks me. Let your belly thank you too and make these. NOW!