Kick-Butt Carnitas
There are a million different sauces and glazes for carnitas, a Mexican staple. After a trip eating our way through Texas last year, we became enamored of the mix of lime and basil, a sort of nouveau Southwestern tweak on the classic. The lime marmalade will not only provide the essentially sour pop but offer some sugar which will be crucial in the next step: frying the pieces of cooked pork to render them irresistibly crunchy.
Servings Prep Time
6servings 10minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
6servings 10minutes
Cook Time
  • 1 1/2cups chicken broth
  • 1/2cup lime marmalade
  • 1/4cup packed fresh basil leaveschopped
  • 6medium garlic clovespeeled and minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp table salt
  • 3lbs boneless skinless pork buttany large hunks of fat removed, the meat cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2tbsp vegetable, corn, or canola oil; lard; or rendered bacon fat
  1. Whisk the broth, marmalade, basil, garlic, cumin, and salt in the cooker until the marmalade dissolves. Add the pork pieces and stir until uniform. Lock the lid onto the pot.
  2. Optional 1 Max Pressure Cooker
    Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 30 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  3. Optional 2 All Pressure Cookers
    Press Meat/Stew or Pressure cook (Manual) on High pressure for 40 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  4. When the machine has finished cooking, turn it off and let its pressure return to normal naturally, about 20 minutes. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Use kitchen tongs to transfer the pieces of pork to a large cutting board. Use a flatware tablespoon to skim any excess surface fat from the sauce in the pot.
  5. Press Saute, set time for 10 minutes.
  6. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook, stirring very often, until reduced to the consistency of a barbecue sauce, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn off the SAUTÉ function and pour the sauce into a small, heat-safe serving bowl.
  7. Heat the oil or melt the fat in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add about a third of the pork pieces (maybe more — but no crowding!) and cook, turning occasionally, until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and continue browning more of the pork. When done, ladle the thickened sauce over the pieces to serve.
Recipe Notes

• You must halve the recipe for a 3-quart cooker.
• You can fry the pork right in the Instant Pot, using the SAUTÉ function on HIGH or MORE. Because the surface area of the pot is smaller than that of a skillet, you’ll need to work with a greater number of batches.
• For a more savory dish, reduce the lime marmalade to 1/3 cup and add 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
• For a sweeter dish, substitute orange marmalade for the lime.
• Serve with lots of corn or flour tortillas, sour cream, and purchased pico de gallo.