Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Salad Bowl (Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot)

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Carnitas (Pulled Pork) Salad

When I was doing strict GAPS it was a challenge if I ever had to eat out, which is actually rare, but occasionally the need arises. For example, if someone from work invites me to go out to lunch. And I'm the weirdo that can't eat ANYTHING.

But I could eat from Chipotle's, and most people enjoy eating there as well. I would always choose the salad bowl, with the carnitas (pulled pork) which is the meat of choice if you are on GAPS. I would have salsa and of course, guacamole. They have the best guacamole, it is delicious.

On Saturday night my youngest son came over for dinner. He's on a diet right now: Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman and one of his mainstay foods is hummus. And he discovered that my Vitamix makes  super smooth hummus, so he's been out two weekends in a row. Yay Vitamix for bringing my boy home to visit!

The first weekend he brought barbecued pulled pork. We decided to have the same meal on Saturday night, which is basically salad with pulled pork, Chipotle style. And I had a pork shoulder butt in the fridge. At first I was going to slow cook but then I decided I wanted to try my Instant Pot again.

I bought it back in November, and I have only used it a couple of times. The first time I used it to pressure cook meat, it was a disaster. The meat was tough and I was so disappointed. I did some research and found a site that explained what went wrong. You can read it here for yourself: Common Mistakes in Pressure Cookery from Miss Vickie. I suspect what happened for me was that I brought the pressure down quickly, instead of allowing it to occur naturally.

However, since that disappointing experience, I've been a little scared to try meat in the Instant Pot. So I went looking for recipes, and found this one to try: Skinny Taste's Instant Pot Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork).

Being true to my  nature, I cannot follow a recipe exactly… well, I can… but only if I really apply myself. Plus, I was missing a few ingredients that Gina's recipe called for, so here is my version of pork carnitas.

Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Salad Bowl

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder butt (7 pound shoulder on the bone)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil or other GAPS approved fat (like bacon fat or chicken grease)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch of dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Remove the rind from the meat.

Cut the meat from the bone in large chunks. Trim fat as desired (but don't worry too much about this because you will be amazed at how the fat just dissolves away while cooking).

Plug in the Instant Pot and press the Saute button. The pot will stay on for 30 minutes, which is about how long it will take to brown the chunks of meat.

Place oil or grease into Instant Pot and let it get nice and hot. Place chunks of meat in a layer on the bottom of the pan, and allow to saute for several minutes. Ideally when you turn the chunks of meat over they will have some nice brown spots.

Sauteing Pork in the Instant Pot

While the meat is sauteing, peel the garlic and cut into small chunks.

As the meat browns, remove it and place into a large bowl.

Browned Carnitas

Eventually you will find that there will be browned bits on the bottom of the Instant Pot. After removing a layer of meat, pour in a couple of tablespoons of chicken stock and scrape the bottom with a straight edged metal spatula. This will prevent the bits from burning. You can remove them if you wish, and place in the bowl withe meat, or just continue to saute. Go ahead and place more raw meat into the Instant Pot to saute and brown.

It should take about 30 minutes to brown the meat, but if it takes longer, just press the Saute button again. You can also brown the meat using a regular skillet on your stove top.

Add the garlic, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano leaves and smoked paprika to the meat.

When all the meat is browned, add the chicken stock to the Instant Pot and make sure all the browned bits are freed from the bottom. Allow the stock to begin simmering.

Put the meat into the Instant Pot. Mix the meat around in the chicken stock. In the next image you can see the meat is piled up, go ahead and press it down so that it is uniformly even.

Carnitas in Instant Pot

Engage the lid onto the pot, and press the Meat button.

Extend the cooking time to 42 minutes.

When 42 minutes is up, now you just wait. The Instant Pot will automatically set itself to Keep Warm and the pressure will come down naturally after about 25 minutes.

Remove the meat from the broth and separate with two forks.

Shredded Pork Meat

Place meat in a bowl, pour in some of the broth from the Instant Pot.

If desired, you may remove some of the grease from the broth before pouring over the meat.

Save the broth! You'll be able to use it again or to add to soup or stew.

Serve over lettuce, and top with salsa and Lime Guacamole. Super delicious!

Carnitas (Pulled Pork) Salad

Copycat Chipotle Carnitas Salad Bowl (Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder butt (7 pound shoulder on the bone)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil or other GAPS approved fat (like bacon fat or chicken grease)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch of dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Remove the rind from the meat.
  2. Cut the meat from the bone in large chunks. Trim fat as desired (but don't worry too much about this because you will be amazed at how the fat just dissolves away while cooking).
  3. Plug in the Instant Pot and press the Saute button. The pot will stay on for 30 minutes, which is about how long it will take to brown the chunks of meat.
  4. Place oil or grease into Instant Pot and let it get nice and hot. Place chunks of meat in a layer on the bottom of the pan, and allow to saute for several minutes. Ideally when you turn the chunks of meat over they will have some nice brown spots.
  5. While the meat is sauteing, peel the garlic and cut into small chunks.
  6. As the meat browns, remove it and place into a large bowl.
  7. Eventually you will find that there will be browned bits on the bottom of the Instant Pot. After removing a layer of meat, pour in a couple of tablespoons of chicken stock and scrape the bottom with a straight edged metal spatula. This will prevent the bits from burning. You can remove them if you wish, and place in the bowl withe meat, or just continue to saute. Go ahead and place more raw meat into the Instant Pot to saute and brown.
  8. It should take about 30 minutes to brown the meat, but if it takes longer, just press the Saute button again.
  9. Add the garlic, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano leaves and smoked paprika to the meat.
  10. When all the meat is browned, add the chicken stock to the Instant Pot and make sure all the browned bits are freed from the bottom. Allow the stock to begin simmering.
  11. Put the meat into the Instant Pot. Mix the meat around in the chicken stock.
  12. Engage the lid onto the pot, and press the Meat button., and press the Meat button.
  13. Extend the cooking time to 42 minutes.
  14. When 42 minutes is up, do nothing at all. The Instant Pot will automatically set itself to Keep Warm and the pressure will come down naturally after about 25 minutes.
  15. Remove the meat from the broth and separate with two forks.
  16. Place meat in a bowl, pour in some of the broth from the Instant Pot.
  17. If desired, you may remove some of the grease from the broth before pouring over the meat.
  18. Save the broth! You'll be able to use it again or to add to soup or stew.
  19. Top with Salsa and Lime Guacamole (recipes at blog)

Save

If you love recipes like this, I have two cookbooks you really need to check out ASAP! Beyond Grain and Dairy for gluten-free recipes and Winter Soups

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