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Feed a crowd
I love having people over, but I hate being stuck in the kitchen while my guests are having all the fun at the party. This recipe for Lime Cilantro Carnitas is GREAT for a crowd…and can be made ahead.
I like to dump all my spices into a giant ziploc bag and give them a good mix. Then I put my bone in pork shoulder from Butcher Box right into the bag. I let the pork sit in that dry rub for at least 20 minutes, but sometimes I’ll do the prep work the night before.
I cut the pork shoulder up in a few large hunks to enable them fitting in the Instant pot. Just dodge the bone and trim some of the fat. You want there to be some fat left on the hunks to add a ton of flavor and fat to your meal.
On occasion I will season the pork and put it right in the freezer until I am ready to use. Of course you would have to adjust your cooking time for the Lime Cilantro Carnitas if the meat is starting from frozen.
One of the greatest conveniences of the Instant Pot is that you can saute the meat in the same pot. You can sear the meat on all sides BEFORE you start cooking. In the past with a slow cooker you basically had a few steps before you could start. First to brown the meat in a skillet first and then transfer to a crockpot.
The Lime Cilantro Carnitas get the flavor from the browning with the seasonings. Once things are all browned you just switch over to pressure cook and seal the lid.
Let it sit
Even after your timer has sounded on the Instant Pot you need to let your pork sit still. About another hour of letting the meat just sit in the juices and heat. The pork is actually cooking and doing it’s thing. You want the meat to be falling apart and the fats to be melting. So let the Instant Pot alone and closed for about another hour.
Once you release the lid of your Instant Pot you will uncover your gorgeous hunks of meat. I usually have a few bites right then and there because I just can’t help myself. I use some tongs to gently remove all the pork from the liner.
If you used bone in shoulder this is the time to pull that right out and discard. I know we love our fat in a keto and low carb lifestyle. However, this is also the time that I pull out any huge chunks of fat. It’s just my preference, but I’m not fond of literally chewing the fat.
I use two forks to gently shred the pork. Bigger chunks of pork are so delicious as you bite into them. Feel free to shred as much or as little as you like.
The Keto Slaw
There is a great recipe for my Keto Tri Colored Slaw. Cole slaw goes hand in hand with the Lime Cilantro Carnitas. So much so that I don’t need tortillas like most of my carb eating friends. I call this tri colored slaw, but it’s really a rainbow in a bowl. So delicious and I’m happy to share the recipe soon here on my website.
Using a crockpot
This recipe is specifically for use with an instant pot. I highly recommend getting one as they are cheap and can replace your crockpot. However, if all you have is a crockpot you can still make these…they just take a lot longer.
An Instant Pot actually has a slow cooker function. Consider sending your old crockpot to Goodwill and investing less than $100 in a new Instant Pot.
Simply season your meat as suggested. Saute your hunks of meat in a skillet with olive oil on all sides. Then transfer all browned pork to a crockpot and set on low for 8 hours. Once the 8 hours is done let them sit there covered for another hour or 2.
The crockpot would work well with these Lime Cilantro Carnitas if you wanted to cook them overnight. Start the crockpot just before you go to bed and in the morning they will almost be finished. Then you will have batch cooked for a few meals later in the week.
- 4-5 lbs pork shoulder I use bone in
- 2 tsp cumin
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ yellow onion chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 2 limes
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ⅓ cup cilantro chopped
Combine cumin, salt, chili powder and oregano. Rub into pork shoulder and set aside. Set instant pot to sauté and add olive oil to the pot. Working in batches brown the pork on all sides, about 3 minutes each side. This step should take about 10-15 minutes.
When pork has been seared take out of instant pot and set aside. Add onion, garlic, juice of one of the limes, bay leaf and chicken broth to the instant pot. Place seared pork on top of the onion mixture in the pot.
Seal the instant pot lid and vent, and then set instant pot to MEAT for 35 minutes. When the instant pot is finished let it slow release for at least 30 minutes but up to an hour. This is an important part of the cooking process, so I do not recommend skipping the slow release part.
Carefully remove the lid and take pork out of juices, leaving the bones, fat and bay leaf. Place pork on a plate.
If your pork had a bone then remove the bone and shred. If no bone then just shred with two forks and place on a serving dish. As a side note I tend to pick out the few large chunks of fat as it is my preference to not chew the fat, however this is simply a preference.
Add cilantro, squeeze juice of second lime, toss and serve.
Serve with my keto tortillas, cotija or feta cheese, keto slaw, and definitely avocado.
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To calculate Net Carb count with sugar alcohols, we simply subtract grams of sugar alcohols (including glycerin), as well as fiber, from total grams of carbs.