Experiments in Cooking

Mexican meal Part 2: Carnitas x Pibil Pork in IP

I love the carnitas recipe I’ve been making, but I wanted something slightly different to serve with rice. I read up a few puerco pibil recipes, and settled on this delicious hybrid between citrusy carnitas and pibil.

Despite having all the ingredients to make my own spice paste, I chose to go the route of store bought achiote paste. [Have I mentioned I can be lazy?] Since I was using citrusy carnitas as my base recipe, it was easy to replace half the orange juice with grapefruit juice. I reduced the lime recommended in pibil, and finished the dish with a few splashes of white vinegar, inspired by the Serious Eats version of smoked pibil.

This dish made a wonderful main course, served with fajita spiced veggies (red & orange bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms, snow peas) and Spanish Rice made in the IP.



  • 3 lbs boneless pork butt
  • 2-3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp mexican oregano
  • 1 tbsp achiote paste, crumbled
  • Half an orange- 1 tbsp zest and juice of half orange
  • Half a grapefuit- juice only
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 medium purple onion, quartered
  • 3 large cloves garlic – crushed
  • Dash of red pepper flakes, if desired
  • 3-4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  1. Chop the pork into cubes, removing only any massive fat lumps and leaving the rest in place. Put all the pieces in your IP.
  2. Mix together the salt, cumin, oregano and achiote paste. Sprinkle over the pork and rub thoroughly.
  3. Add the orange zest, and juice of half orange, half grapefruit and the 2 tbsp lime juice.
  4. Add in the onions, garlic and option pepper flakes.
  5. Mix roughly with your hand
  6. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Natural release.
  7. Skim as much fat as possible. Mix the liquid and drain out about half of it.
  8. Pull the pork apart and add the white vinegar. Add any additional salt to taste. Mix well and serve.
  9. I tend to get rid of the extra liquid, but it can be made into a sauce for another meal if you like.

The flavor of this dish was so complex and pleasing, I may never make regular carnitas or pibil again!


  1. Serious Eats:  Cochinita Pibil
  2. Simply Recipes:  Cochinita Pibil
  3. Nom Nom Paleo: Instant Pot Carnitas