18, Jan 2010

This recipe was adapted from the one in David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris (this version is similar) for pressure cooker. The book is not explicit about braising with the lid off, like the online version is, and so I assumed it was lid on and would translate easily to the pressure cooker. It may be that what I ended up with is fairly different from his, but whatever. It came out very good. I let the pork get really crispy in the last step and it’s really good — crispy meat is far better than you might think at first. We had it with beans, rice, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and green onions. They would be great in soft tacos though. We also put the leftovers in posole, which was tasty.


4 lb boneless pork shoulder
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
kosher salt


Cut the pork in large flat pieces, about 1″ thick and 4″ square. Rub all over with salt. Heat the oil on medium high in the pressure cooker and brown the pieces of meat thoroughly, in two batches if necessary. Remove the meat and blot any excess oil. Add a cup of water to the pressure cooker, scraping the bottom to remove the brown bits. Add the pork back to the cooker, along with another cup of water and the garlic, chili powder, bay leaves, cumin, and cinnamon stick. Seal the pressure cooker, turn the heat to high, and bring the pressure up to 15 lbs psi (second red line on kuhn rikon cookers). Turn the heat down to maintain the pressure and cook for an hour. Remove the cooker from the heat and let the pressure dissipate. Remove the meat from the cooker and let it cool. Strain the liquid remaining in the cooker.

Heat the oven to 350. When the meat is cool, shred it into two-inch pieces (the smaller the pieces, the crispier they’ll get, so make them small if you like your carnitas crispy). Spread the meat out in a large baking tray (or two) in a single layer. Pour some of the strained liquid over the meat, enough to cover the meat about halfway. Put it in the oven and bake it until the liquid evaporates and the meat begins to turn crispy. Take it out when it’s how you like it (I left it in the oven about 1:45 for extra crispy meat). Blot with paper towels to get rid of any extra oil. Enjoy!

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