Pulled Pork Adobo
Pork shoulder recipes are abundant in the world of pressure cooking for a reason: they make fantastic use of the Instant Pot’s quick-cooking powers, which turn this tough braising cut tender and easy to shred in less than an hour. Flavorful, saucy pork adobo makes a great taco, burrito, or tamale filling or a good main course with sides of rice and beans. The sauce recipe yields twice as much as you need for pork, but the extra batch freezes well. Any leftover pork will keep too, for up to a couple of days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Servings Prep Time
6-8servings 20minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
6-8servings 20minutes
Cook Time
adobo sauce 
  • 4 ancho chiles
  • 4 guajillo chiles
  • 4cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow onioncut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 pork shoulder roastboneless, about 3 pounds
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2teaspoon black pepperfreshly ground
  • 2tablespoons avocado oilor other neutral oil with high smoke point
  • 2 yellow onionssliced
  • 1/2cup chicken brothlow sodium, or water
To Make the Sauce:
  1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil on the stove top. Place the ancho and guajillo chiles in a heatproof bowl, add boiling water to cover, and let soak for 20 minutes, until softened.
  2. Remove the chiles from the water, remove their stems, split them in half lengthwise, and scrape out their seeds and ribs. Discard the soaking water. 
  3. In a blender, combine the chiles, garlic, onion, salt, cumin, oregano, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne, and orange juice and process until a smooth puree forms. You should have about 2 cups.
  4. Measure 1 cup for this recipe and set aside. Transfer the remainder to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. 
To Cook the Pork
  1. Cut the roast into 4-inch cubes—it is fine if they are a bit irregular—and season them with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and all of the pepper. 
  2. Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot, adjust the heat level to More, and heat the oil.
  3. Using tongs, place the pork cubes in the pot. Sear the pork for about 6 minutes, until well browned on the first side. Flip the pieces over and sear for about 6 minutes longer, until well browned on the second side. Using the tongs, transfer the pork to a plate. 
  4. Add the onions and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions have softened. Stir in the broth and the 1 cup adobo sauce, then return the seared pork to the pot and stir to coat it with the sauce. Arrange the pork pieces in a single layer. 
  5. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Meat/Stew setting and set the cooking time for 50 minutes at high pressure. Perform a quick release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting. Open the pot and, using the tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a carving board or large dish. 
  6. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Sauté setting. Let the sauce simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, use a pair of forks to shred the pork. 
  7. When the sauce is ready, return the shredded pork to the pot and stir to combine. At this point, you can select the Keep Warm setting to keep the sauce and meat warm for up to 10 hours before serving.
  8. Serve the pork right away, refrigerate it for up to 48 hours, or freeze it in ziplock bags for up to 4 months. 
Recipe Notes
  1. If you are pressed for time, substitute 1 cup of your favorite store-bought simmering sauce for the adobo sauce.
  2. To make a smooth, thicker sauce, before adding the meat, use an immersion blender to blend the sauce. To prevent splattering and to blend the sauce evenly, wearing heat-resistant mitts, lift the inner pot out of the housing, then tilt the pot to make sure the immersion blender head is fully submerged in the sauce.
  3. To make pork adobo tacos, warm corn tortillas and top them with the pork, sliced or pickled red onions, and fresh cilantro.