Instant Pot Carnitas – Nom Nom Paleo

So I really do try and cook completely paleo at home. Drake doesn’t eat healthy, but we are working on getting him back on track. That is a long exhausting story. lol he is still wayy too busy to eat so getting anything in him feels like a win in my book. Chris and I have had expanding waistbands for a while now. Steady growth until we finally hit this point of like.. ok, what on earth is happening??? Well we have an ice cream addiction and an awesome burger joint in town where kids eat free.. all day, everyday! And they brew their own beer, now how can you beat that?? Well that leads me to our next weakness… beer! Now I must say, we are not alcoholics, we do not over drink while driving OR around our child BUT when date night comes around we almost always have to stop here at least once.

This is Growler USA in Rogers AR and if you ever stop by you will never forgive yourself if you don’t try their sidewinders. Bonus: the bartenders are always super nice and friendly when you are super overwhelmed with selection like me! Mmmm! Ok back on track……

If you know me, you know I am not a super fancy person. I like red lipstick and heels like.. once a month! However, these little carnitas make me feel fancy! This is another prep and leave it to play a little more in the sunshine kind of meals.. It comes from Nom Nom Paleo and mm mmmm mmmm! so much flavor.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Carnitas





author michelle tam

yield 6 servings

I’ve perfected a porktastic Instant Pot Carnitas recipe that will rival what you’d order at your favorite taqueria!


  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoons crushed dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican
  • 1 medium orange (I like using Cara Cara)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, avocado oil, lard, or favorite high temperature cooking fat (optional)
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves removed, washed and spun dry (Siete’s grain-free tortillas are awesome as well.)
  • 2 Hass avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 limes, quartered


  1. Grab your boneless pork shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt) and cut it into 2-inch cubes.
  2. Plop the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle on the salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Toss well to coat. Then, transfer the seasoned pork to the Instant Pot insert.
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest off the orange. Stay close to the surface, making sure you don’t peel into the white pith, ’cause that stuff is bitter. Add the strips of orange zest to the Instant Pot, along with the garlic, quartered yellow onion, and bay leaf.
  4. Cut the bald orange in half and juice it. Pour the juice into the Instant Pot insert and stir to distribute.
  5. Place the insert into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Make sure the valve on the lid is pointed at the “Sealing” position. Press the  “Manual” button (or “Pressure Cook” if you have the new IP-DUO Plus60) and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. (Stovetop pressure cooker users should cook under high pressure for 30 minutes.) Then, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes).
  6. If the pressure hasn’t completely released after 20 minutes and you’re hungry, manually vent the pressure by turning the release valve on the lid. Open the lid and discard the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. You can shred and serve the pork as-is, or store it in the fridge (with all the liquid/fat) for up to 4 days (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).
  7. If you prefer crispy carnitas, heat up a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking fat.
  8. Grab the pork out of the fridge and dig out the pieces of carnitas. Shred the meat up with your fingers.
  9. Once the pan is hot, add the pork and fry, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired crispness.
  10. While the pork is getting crispy, combine the diced white onion and cilantro in a bowl. Also, wash some butter lettuce leaves, slice up the avocados, radishes, and jalapeños. Grab your favorite salsa, and cut up some lime wedges.
  11. Last but not least, grab your plate and assemble your own delicious tacos!


img_7702Now in her post she uses a bowl format and this was the original plan or I was going to make paleo tortillas, but I had corn tortillas in the pantry (I usually never buy corn) and that was just calling my name. I also added a little Feta Cheese and they were so good!

This is one of my favorite pulled pork recipes yet and I LOVE me some pork!


Hope you enjoy this one all week!

Cheers! – Cace


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