Lets be honest, like most celebrations for me, cinco de mayo is all. about. the. food. And mexican based cooking is one of my absolute favorites because it always uses the same core group of spices and it is one of the most gluten-friendly cuisines to make at home for your family or for a crowd!
Enter these carnitas.
I first came across the inspiration for this recipe in a cookbook that my husband and I received as a wedding gift and it is one of the first things I ever made that I was genuinely sure my husband loved. I’ve made it dozens of times since that day and no matter which way you crack it, slow roasted meat is a force to be reckoned with. There is no denying it and there is no stopping it. Once you have a taste of these carnitas, you will never do taco tuesdays the same way again.
This recipe can feed our family of 5 for a couple days worth of dinner or it could feed a crowd for a night.
Get your tortillas ready.
Instant Pot (or slow cooker) Carnitas
1- 3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast/boston (or bone in pork sirloin roast works too)
10 cloves garlic, minced (see my tips for this at the bottom)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup broth (I use chicken but use whatever kind you have on hand)
Mix garlic and other spices and rub into meat making sure to cover all the surface area.
Pour beef broth around roast. Close the lid and set to “sealing.” Press the manual button and use the +/- buttons to set the timer for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Use less time if the roast is a little smaller and more if it is bigger.
Preheat your oven’s broiler. Quick release the pressure on the instant pot when the timer goes off, and using two forks, pull the meat apart to shred it. Then using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the meat onto a sheet pan big enough to fit the meat in a single layer. Broil for 5-7 minutes until the desired amount of caramelization on the meat is reached. You want a little bit of deep browning (almost char). You will not regret this step. While this is happening, prepare your tortillas. I definitely recommend soft corn tortillas for these, but use whatever you’d like.
Prepare your roast as directed in step 1. Place roast in slow cooker; add beef broth. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
To peel a lot of garlic at one time, place the cloves in a mason jar or cup or bowl with a lid and shake the dickens out of it for about a minute. Most, if not all of the cloves should be peeled for you or you could buy pre-peeled garlic cloves (note the minced stuff in the jar is not the same).
When using soft corn tortillas, always heat them in a skillet 30 seconds each side or 30 seconds each side over the open flame of a gas stove (my favorite way!). This will let the corn tortillas stay together instead of breaking when you try to roll them.