Pork Carnitas with Baked Sunchokes

Pork Carnitas with Baked Sunchokes (Serves 4-5)

Melissa Joulwan came up with an excellent recipe for Stovetop Pork Carnitas that I adapted to the pressure cooker. You can enjoy this wonderful food my way in about 50 minutes or Melissa’s classic way in 2 to 3 hours. I’ve never had the patience to cook it her way, but I am sure it is fabulous.

Sunchokes, otherwise known as Jerusalem Artichokes, are a root vegetable that look like fresh ginger on the outside, white potatoes on the inside, and have a very pleasant nutty flavor. I heard they were bad about producing gas, but decided to bake a batch anyway. The good news is they taste wonderful and are easy to prepare. The bad news is they produce so much gas you should eat them in small portions. Me? I ate the whole batch and that’s how I know that small portions of sunchokes are the way to go!

Prep and Cook Time: 50 minutes


2-3 pounds of boneless pork shoulder country style ribs
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
Ground cumin
Garlic powder
Coriander powder
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper

1/2 pound of sunchokes
Extra virgin olive oil


Cut the pork into 3-4 inches chunks if it did not come from the butcher that way. Dust each side generously with salt, cumin, garlic and coriander powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add 1/4 cup each of water, lemon juice, and lime juice to pressure cooker. Arrange pork in the pot. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure (about 10 minutes), reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 20 minutes. Turn off heat under pressure cooker, use the slow-release method to bring pressure down (about 10 minutes), and remove top. Heat a non-stick grill pan over high heat. Remove pork from pressure cooker with tongs and sear the cooked pork for about 2 minutes per side in the hot grill pan.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sunchokes and brush off any small sprouts. Slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Cover a baking pan with aluminum foil and lay the sliced sunchokes in the pan. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and dust with salt. Turn pieces and salt the other side. Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Transfer pork carnitas and sunchokes to plates and enjoy!

Notes: I don’t recommend eating your fill of sunchokes like I did. Eat a small portion and supplement the meal with another dish. Pickled beets or pickled asparagus would be good.

I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from Amazon.com. After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three!

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3 Responses to “Pork Carnitas with Baked Sunchokes”

  1. Thanks, again, for experimenting with the pressure cooker version of the recipe. We should team up on other stuff!

    Also, I challenge you to try the joy of having a pot bubbling on the stove for a few hours some afternoon. Trust me: it’s a fun cooking experience.

  2. I made the stove-top version of the Carnitas about a year ago and it didn’t come out well for me. But the recipe has gotten so many rave reviews that I kept thinking of trying it again. Well, I decided to give your pressure cooker version a go.

    Made it tonight using a pork shoulder. I use an electric pressure cooker. The meat was a little too firm when I opened the cooker so I turned the meat over, sat the lid back on, and let it sit another 10-15 mins while I pondered whether to put it under pressure again. Well, that’s all it needed. When I poked it again it was tender so I just took it out. Blotted on paper towels before browning.

    Browned the meat in a hot skillet with some avocado oil. Got a nice crust on it. I don’t use non-stick cookware so it did stick to the pan. I just scraped those wonderful bits out of the pan and onto my plate.

    Really delicious and wonderfully tender. I’ve already put in my order for another pork shoulder roast from the farmer so I can make it again next week.

  3. I’ve made this the original way several times with great success. Today, I used my new Instant Pot pressure cooker and they turned out great! I admit I was surprised that the big chunks of pork were fully cooked in 20 minutes.

    I love having two methods.



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