Mexican Grand Prix - Carnitas Tacos
Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico has two fabulous things about it. The people and the stadium esses. The drivers clearly love the atmosphere in Mexico City and seem to let loose and joke around a bit more than usual which is so fun to see. The track itself goes through the grand stands in what they call the "stadium" and every time a Mexican driver goes through, the crowd goes WILD. The commentators also seem to love this section of track and get all giddy whenever a driver does an overtake through the esses.
Also a third, and for me, most important thing: the food.
This year, and every year if I have anything to say about it, we made tacos.
Carnitas are an all day affair, unless you have an Instant Pot, the most magical of kitchen appliances. I realize I sound like a housewife from the 1950's, "I used to slave away in the kitchen for hours, until the invention of (fill in the blank)", also because that "fill in the blank" is a pressure cooker. My father used to use a pressure cooker to make lentil stews. That is my only memory of this appliance. Also that the little top rattled and hissed and I always expected it to spew hot water at me as I crept passed it in the kitchen trying not to make it explode.
That was my only memory until now. Until the day my husband came home and told me he was "pressured into buying a pressure cooker" because it was on sale on Amazon and everyone in his office was buying one. What... are we being serious right now?
Yes, he was serious. And now I have to learn how to use a pressure cooker. Which so far has been... AWESOME.
Carnitas usually means either slow oven or slow cooker for 3-4 hours. Pressure Cooker: 50 minutes (plus 30 heat up/ cool down), so under an hour and a half. UNDER an hour and a half. Yes please.
At this point I have to thank the internets, and pinterest in particular for the many, many, many ideas for Instant Pot recipes. Including the gem below for Carnitas (though really this is a mash up of two- three recipes).
1 (6 pound) pork butt roast
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1- 1 1/2 cups orange juice (fresh or bottled)
juice of 1 lime (1-2 tablespoons)
1-2 onions, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic
Trim excess fat from pork butt (leaving some on for flavor); cut pork into large cubes.
Combine salt, oregano, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, and paprika together in a bowl. Rub pork cubes with spice mixture.
Place pork in pressure cooker. Top with orange juice, lime juice, onion, and garlic.
Close lid of Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker) and cook using the high pressure setting with the meat button for 60 minutes.
When the pressure releases, remove pork from pressure cooker and shred meat, mix with juices in pot. Let rest.
Preheat oven to broil.
Place carnitas onto a baking sheet and broil until crisp and crusted, about 3-4 minutes, stir once.
Serve with corn tortillas, chopped cilantro, chopped white onions and hot sauce. Optional additional sides: salsa, chopped tomatoes, cotija cheese.
And of course Margaritas!
6 parts silver tequila
2 parts fresh lime juice
2 parts triple sec
1 part agave nectar
Stir all ingredients together, serve over ice in a salt rimmed glass.