Spicy Pulled Pork Tacos? Carnitas? Tasty Meats?

While I’m not sure what to call this recipe I know one thing for sure is that it’s delicious no matter the name. I have adapted this recipe from several others that I’ve found over time (the original inspiration is from SkinnyTaste and this recipe is amazing). I have made this for several taco parties we’ve hosted and this tasty pork is in heavy rotation for weekly meals. I’ll be honest that I’m not sure how to adapt it if you don’t have an electric pressure cooker but I would assume you could do this in a slow cooker for 5-6 hours. The recipe below makes 8-10 (generous) tacos! This also freezes well!
 
Ingredients
4-5 lb. pork shoulder (leave the fat cap on)
1 can of chilies in adobo*
1 orange
1 lime
4-5 garlic cloves
1 tsp of Better than Bouillon roasted vegetable base
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs of cumin
1 Tbs of onion powder
½ tsp of oregano
8-10 cranks of black pepper (so like, a teaspoon?)
A pinch of salt to taste
Water**
 
*Here’s the deal, chilies in adobo is a wonderful culinary delight. Obviously I’m a house-renowned home non-celebrity chef so I have a lot of clout here.  But this little can packs so.much.flavor. But take my warning, they are volatile! If you want to go all in, pour the whole can in and call it a spicy night. This is what I do, so the spice factor of this recipe is based on that.  If you only add 1-2 peppers, you will need to adjust the water content below.
**if you use the whole can of chilies, then add 1 can full of water to the pressure cooker. If you use less, add more water to ensure you have enough water to pressurize the pork! The Better than Bouillon is two-fold in the recipe: it’s there to add awesome flavor but also to take the place of stock. If you prefer to use stock, do that in place of the water!
 
Mise in place:
  • peel and sliver garlic
  • wash, smash (roll around on the counter), and slice orange and lime
  • measure all dry ingredients into a bowl
Directions
  1. Piquer your pork with said garlic slivers. (what is piquer? It’s a fancy term for stabbing holes in the meat and shoving ingredients, such as garlic, into the holes)- set aside for a minute. Look. Some people would say to combine the dry ingredients and then rub them on the pork but I’m lazy and it just comes off so-you do you.
  2. Add all other ingredients into the pressure cooker (dried ingredients, chilies in adobo, water, half of the orange and lime slices, Better Than Bouillon) and set to sauté until bubbling- this will help your pressure cooker from up to temperature quicker. Turn off once bubbling.
  3. Add pork and roll around in the sauce, end with fat slab up
  4. Add the rest of the lime and orange slices on top of the pork
  5. Set on manual for 60 minutes and go do something else.
—60 minutes later—
  1. As the pressure cooker naturally releases, start phase two. You can totally skip this and allow the pork to naturally release, pull it out, let it cool enough to shred, add some of the left over sauce (you can remove the bay leaves and blend this for extra yum) and serve but here’s my part two:
  2. Turn on oven to ‘broil’
  3. Pull pork out once the pressure cooker releases set aside to cool
  4. Fish around for bay leaves and remove, remove some peppers if you’d like to control your heat level! And use immersion blender to blend sauce up. Yes, limes and oranges stay in. Lumps are okay (preferred for me).
  5. Shred your pork and put it on a rimmed jelly pan (this pan is about to get gross, sorry). You do remove the fat cap but, you can cut in some of this fat if you’d like because this step is basically frying your pork in the oven.
  6. Pour sauce over pork, moderately covered
  7. Slide pan into oven carefully (WARNING: DO NOT WALK AWAY. BROILERS ARE SNEAKY. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU BURN YOUR FOOD OR YOUR HOUSE!)
  8. Watch pan, you want to see brown crispy meats, but not burnt meats. You can flip meat once you see this happen to get as much texture as you want. This takes me about 5-10 minutes in my oven and depends how wet my pork is.
  9. Warm your tortillas while you watch the meats. (DO NOT STOP WATCHING THE MEATS.)
 
Serve with warm tortillas (I prefer corn), cilantro, sour cream, cojita cheese, and fresh lime wedges
 
Excuse me, I need to go eat all the tacos now. Let me know if you want to have a taco party!

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