Easy Instant Pot Carnitas

By now, y’all probably know that I just love bargain shopping! Saving money and eating healthier? That’s a literal win-win! If you read my weekly January meal plans this year, then you know I try and spend as little as possible at the store each week. Basically, I can’t pass up a good deal and/or coupon! There was recently a buy one, get one for a penny deal for pork shoulders at the store. So you already know I got two of those pork shoulders and we ate some delicious carnitas tacos/taco salads two weeks in a row!

After my first time making this succulent pork in the Instant Pot I knew I needed to write it down to share with you. It is flavorful (but not too spicy for kids), juicy, fall apart tender, and ready in less than an hour thanks to the pressure cooking powers of the Instant Pot! My suggestions for serving as a salad are to top with habanero ranch, crumbled plantain chips, guacamole, fresh cilantro, and a hefty squeeze of lime juice. My suggestions for serving as a taco are on a fresh, warm tortilla topped with salsa, cilantro, and, again, a hefty squeeze of lime juice. I hope you can enjoy this delicious, healthy pork recipe for a Taco Tuesday real soon!

Easy Instant Pot Carnitas

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pound pork shoulder
  • 3 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup of salsa
  • Juice of half a lime

Directions

  1. Season pork shoulder with all seasonings chili powder through cayenne
  2. Turn Instant Pot to sauté feature (or sauté on the stove in a pot if yours does not have this feature)
  3. Cook for two minutes on each side, until brown. Your Instant Pot might give you the “hot” signal (mine did), but it is okay – it won’t burn!
  4. Remove pork shoulder and set aside.
  5. Add chicken stock, salsa, and lime juice, scraping up brown bits.
  6. Put pork shoulder back in with the liquids, close lid and set to “pressure cook” feature.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes per pound (add 5 minutes per pound extra if your shoulder is frozen) and allow for a 20 minute natural pressure release.
  8. Shred meat and serve with desired fixings!
  9. Store leftovers covered in fridge for up to a week.

The Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to get a flavorFULL meal on the table in no time! For more Instant Pot recipes check out my Instant Pot Black Beans and my Instant Pot Mushroom Pot Roast. It took me a long time to actually utilize my Instant Pot so if you would rather use a slow cooker check out some of my slow cooker recipes like Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos or Slow Cooker Potato and Kale Soup. I hope whatever you decide to cook that you love both the process and the outcome, have a family meal…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

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Instant Pot Mushroom Pot Roast

It is getting seriously hot out here in Dallas, Texas! We blew up the little pool and hooked the splash pad up to the sprinkler this week for some outdoor summer fun, and nice cream and no bake treats are on repeat in the kitchen lately. But what about dinner? Turning on the oven just turns our little house into an oven! We can’t have chicken salad or sandwiches every night, right? This is when the Instant Pot saves the day! Well, this and when I forget to defrost the meat, of course.

Anyways, when it’s too hot to turn the oven on, the Instant Pot or the slow cooker is a great option! I have plenty of slow cooker recipes on the blog, but this is only my second Instant Pot recipe. Like most trends, I was late to the game (literally just set up my iPhone 7… only about five generations behind), but now that I’m on the Instant Pot bandwagon, I may never get off!

Now I am a fan of all pot roasts because I’m a big red meat lover, and anything that is flavorful and cut-with-a-fork tender is alright in my book. This pot roast, though, is extra special because it is covered in mushrooms and onions, which are beautifully caramelized by the end of the cook time, and is cooked in red wine which compliments the richness of the meat so perfectly. So if you want shreddably (pretty sure it’s a word) tender pot roast that took a wine bath then got dressed in meaty mushrooms and sweet onions, keep reading for the recipe!

Instant Pot Mushroom Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pound chuck roast
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • One yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of sliced white or baby Bella mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon, but Merlot would be good, too)
  • 1/4 cup of water

Directions

  1. Turn the Instant Pot to “sauté”
  2. Add olive oil when the IP is hot
  3. Sauté onions and mushrooms for about 3 minutes, until tender, then add garlic, stirring for about 1 minute.
  4. Season the pot roast with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  5. With the IP still on “sauté” mode, push the mushroom mixture aside and sear the roast for about 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Next pour in the wine, and allow it to cook (still on “sauté”) for about one minute.
  7. Turn off “sauté” mode, add the water, cover, and put the IP on “pressure cook” mode.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes per pound, and allow a 20 minute natural pressure release.
  9. Shred and serve covered with mushrooms and onions.

You can serve this fantastic pot roast as is, but it is delicious with mashed potatoes and carrots on the side. A classic! This recipe, although simple, really takes classic pot roast and intensifies the flavors, making it like a whole new dish; I hope you give it a try! Check out my other Instant Pot recipe here, and plenty of slow cooker recipes here, here, and here. Keep the oven off, beat the heat…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!

Instant Pot Black Beans

Well, it’s mid-March and the year is just running by, full speed ahead. After our wild snow storm in Texas last month, I’ve never been so relieved to see Spring. My second baby is about to turn one in a few weeks *cue the ugly crying*, spring break is here, the time change is looming, and our red bud tree in the backyard is starting to blossom. Even though I’m relieved that spring has sprung, and I’m enjoying seeing the “rebirth” of nature, I am sad that time is moving so quickly – it’s like each day slips through my fingers like sand. These days are filled with equally precious and hard moments of motherhood that I won’t get back.

Part of the reason time is moving so quickly is that we have been extra busy over here. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen that we have Selah (our baby) in physical therapy right now. She has both low and high muscle tone and is struggling with gross motor development. For the last three weeks or so we have had about 3-4 appointments a week between the chiropractor, PT, and other meetings with the therapists. However, after seeing improvement after just two PT sessions, I am encouraged that this busy season won’t last too long. But, wow! 3-4 appointments a week, on top of regular mom life, on top of two part time jobs, I just feel like I don’t have much extra time. Especially for cooking.

Enter: the Instant Pot. This little kitchen gadget has become all the rage in years past, and after receiving one for a Christmas present in 2019 I can see why! To be honest, I was a little terrified of it blowing up, and was hesitant to get started using it, but once I did, I started with beans, and I was sold! The first bean recipe I made in the Instant Pot was red beans, and even with the time it takes to get to pressure, then cook, then release (side note: I hate that Instant Pot recipes don’t account for that time – I learned quickly not to trust the “15 minutes” marking on a recipe), what would normally be an all day venture only took 90 minutes, and the beans came out the perfect creamy texture! Next I tackled black beans. We eat black beans and rice often for a cheap, plant-based meal; then I get to use the leftover black beans throughout the week to top fajitas, tacos, salads, and even scrambled eggs. So if you want to save time and money with this quick and easy dinner and/or side, keep reading for the recipe!

Instant Pot Black Beans

Ingredients

  • One medium bell pepper, chopped
  • One half of a yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 pound of
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder
  • Optional for serving: rice
  • Optional toppings: avocado, lime, cilantro, jalapenos, scallions/red onions

Directions

  1. Cover beans with water and soak for at least three hours, or up to overnight. This is optional, but I find that it helps with digestion and less “tootie booties” as we say in our house hehe!
  2. Once beans are done soaking, drain and toss remaining water.
  3. Turn on “sauté” feature and cook bell pepper and onion in olive oil until tender and beginning to brown.
  4. Turn off Instant Pot and add garlic, stirring to get the garlic warm but not toasty.
  5. Add broth and water, scraping the bottom of the pot to get up any browned bits.
  6. Add in beans and seasonings.
  7. Select “pressure cook” and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, allowing a 20 minute natural release at the end.
  8. Serve warm with rice and toppings, or as a side dish.
  9. Keep leftover beans in remaining liquid, cover and refrigerate for up to five days.

If you haven’t yet boarded the Instant Pot train, I hope you’ll check out my slow cooker recipes here, here, and here. Save some time in the kitchen…and enjoy your Pinch of Crazy!

This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase using the links, it is of no extra cost to you, just a small commission for me. Thank you for supporting A Pinch of Crazy!