Sunday, July 31, 2016

Instant Pot Carnitas and Beans

This is a bit of a cheat since it just translates the carnitas section of the Chile Verde Stew recipe to the Instant Pot, but I know I wanted a dedicated Instant Pot version to return to again and again and, after all, this blog is really for me, and so there is no such thing as cheating.
The Instant Pot shaves a bunch of time from this recipe because, although you have to wait for it to come up to pressure, the original calls for you to heat to simmering on the stove before 2 hours in the oven.
My inspiration since getting the Instant Pot is to take half the cooking liquid from the pork and then use it to cook beans. Oh, is it good! And you stretch your meat because you can use a bunch of the meaty-tasting beans in your tacos.

3 1/2-4 lb boneless pork butt, well trimmed and cut into 2 inch chunks
Salt and pepper to taste (at least 2 tsp kosher salt)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander (Cook's didn't call for coriander, but I love it)
1 small onion halved and peeled
A few cloves garlic, peeled, optional
2 bay leaves
2 TBSP juice from one lime
1 medium orange halved and juiced (keep the halves)
2 c. water

2 c dry beans (pinto or black beans)
Cooking liquid from pork plus 1-2 c water as needed
1 tsp kosher salt or to taste


  1. Place all the braised pork ingredients into the Instant Pot. Make sure the vent is closed and use the Meat setting, adjusting so that the time is 60 minutes
  2. When the meat is done, let the pressure release naturally. Hip Pressure Cooking says you should do this with the keep warm setting off, but I had it on and it caused no issues
  3. Put a large colander over a large bowl and strain the meat
  4. Clean out your Instant Pot insert a bit
  5. Take half of the cooking liquid and put in a large saucepan. Reduce over medium-high until it becomes a syrupy glaze. Hold tight, you'll use it in a second
  6. Take the other half of the liquid and put it in the Instant Pot insert
  7. Rinse and pick over 2 c beans and add to the Instant Pot with the kosher salt, make sure the liquid level looks right (about an inch over the beans). Top up with water as needed
  8. Making sure the valve is closed, use the Bean/Chili setting and adjust so that the beans cook for 45 to 50 minutes
  9. Now shred your pork with two forks and once you're done, pour over the syrupy glaze. When I tasted the carnitas pre-glaze and they were fine, if a bit pot-roast-like, but post-glaze they are a thing of glory
  10. If you like, you can then fry up your carnitas or broil them to make them crispy. Our family has decided we like them soft to put into tacos with the beans
  11. When the beans are done, let the pressure release naturally (at least 10 minutes). Taste them and if you need to, cook them an additional 5-10 minutes. I like to mash half the beans to get a very thick liquid but you do it as you prefer

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