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Pressure-Cooker Beef Carnitas

I came up with this recipe while cleaning out my refrigerator and trying to figure out what I could do with a pot roast that had been in the freezer. I LOVE how easy this is.—Ann Piscitelli, Nokomis, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Cook: 40 min. + releasing
  • Makes
    16 servings plus 1/4 cup leftover spice mixture


  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (3 pounds) boneless beef chuck roast
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
  • 16 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • 3 cups crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Optional toppings: Cubed avocado, sour cream and minced fresh cilantro


  • Mix the first 9 ingredients. Cut roast in half; rub with 1/4 cup spice mixture. Cover remaining mixture and store in a cool dry place. (Mix will keep for up to 1 year.)
  • Select saute setting on a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker and adjust for high heat; add oil. Brown roast on all sides. Place onions and peppers on meat. Top with salsa. Lock lid; close pressure-release valve. Adjust to pressure-cook on high for 40 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick-release any remaining pressure .
  • Remove roast; shred with 2 forks. Skim fat from cooking juices. Return meat to pressure cooker; heat through. Using a slotted spoon, place 1/2 cup meat mixture on each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Add toppings of your choice.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 415 calories, 18g fat (6g saturated fat), 70mg cholesterol, 830mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 1g fiber), 27g protein.

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  • susanrnc
    Jun 2, 2020

    I made this exactly as written. My family loved it. I did not have any problem with burning. It was very good. A keeper for sure!

  • Marycarol
    Nov 18, 2019

    Great recipe!! I did mine in the 8qt Instant Pot. I was worried about not adding liquid, plus throwing salsa on top. I got the dreaded burn message right away even after scraping the bottom after browning. But I was able to just open the lid, scrape the contents off the bottom, and reset. Still skeptical, I watched carefully as the timer ticked away for the first five minutes, then i was comfortable it was working. After letting it NPR 10 min, I shredded the meat and put it under the broiler to crisp up. Then I spooned the sauce on top and served with tortillas, cubed avocado, sour cream, cilantro and chopped green onion. This recipe will make it into our rotation!