Alejandra’s Carnitas

Alejandra’s Carnitas


  • 3 lbs Pork shoulder, cut in approx. 2” cubes
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 2 bottles dark ale beer**

Special Equipment

Pressure cooker (I use the 8L capacity)


In a large bowl, whisk together cayenne pepper, coriander, paprika, ancho chili, cumin, salt, ground pepper, and olive oil; form a paste. Add pork cubes and toss to coat. Let sit  with seasonings for a few minutes.

Heat canola oil on a pressure cooker over medium-high heat. When it starts to smoke, use thongs to add pork and sear on each side until brown. Add celery, carrots, onion, garlic, tomato, bay leafs and stir. Add beer, bring it to a boil and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Cover and lock; once it begins to steam (or button comes up), set heat to medium-low and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

When time is up, release steam and open pressure cooker.  The pork should be tender and shred with a fork. Using slotted spoon, remove large pieces of fat sitting on top of the stew. Transfer to a bowl and set aside, skimming with slotted spoon as necessary. Complete breaking apart and shredding to desire consistency.


For better results, do this before serving. Using a cast iron flat pan, sear portions of meat as they are served. This will help burn extra fat and add crispiness to the shredded pork. Enjoy!

One thought on “Alejandra’s Carnitas

  1. I don’t have a pressure cooker, but this will definitely be on my next item to cook. I’ve never cooked carnitas- and have never seen them cooked any other way than in a ‘cazo’ in our backyward, so I’d love to try this out one day!!!!! Thank you hermana!

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