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Thursday, March 27, 2014

pressure cooker pulled pork

Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork is just about the fastest way to make pulled pork. Surprisingly, it tastes just as good as the 12 hour version -- at least, to me. I discovered this by accident today. Well, intentional accident. Mistake? I have been working on a new post for you all, a tutorial on making herbal infused oils in the crock pot, and I forgot that the 3 days of oil infusing overlapped with the day I am expected to bring pulled pork to bible study...which I usually make in the crock pot, slow cooking it all day. Well! Instant bother, to which my husband calmly commented, "just make it in the pressure cooker." Oh! Can I? I looked it up. Yes, there are many recipes online for pressure cooker pulled pork. It certainly won't dry out the meat, and it will cut down on cooking time quite dramatically. Try this and let me know what you think.

You need:
  • one medium white onion, diced
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tb brown sugar 
  • about 6 lbs pork shoulder roast or pork loin 
  • 24 oz can light (color not calorie) beer 
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger root 
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seed 
  • 2 tsp ground paprika 
  • a good HFC-free BBQ sauce -- alternatively, this recipe is great if you don't have sauce handy
  • 2 1/2 hours before serving

Start by tossing the diced onion and the butter in the pressure cooker. Cook it up over medium heat until the onion starts to soften. Add the brown sugar, reduce heat to a very gentle simmer, and let caramelize for about 10 minutes.

While that is doing it's thing, have a look at your meat. Chop it up into three or four portions that fit into the pot. That large lump you see had a bone running through it so I couldn't lop it up any more.

Once onions are ready, add pork to the pot. Add ginger, coriander and paprika. Pour beer all over the top.

Pop on the lid and bring to 15 lbs of pressure -- when the knobbly thing on the top of the lid starts rocking violently and making a lot of noise, reduce heat just until it finds a steady, rhythmic rocking. That's approximately 15 lbs. My gas mark is usually between 4 and 5 on the hob for 15 lbs pressure.

Now, cooking time. You need to cook at 15 lbs pressure for about 15 minutes per pound of meat. So, a whole 4 lb roast will take approximately an hour. I didn't cook my 6 lb roast for 1 1/2 hours, though, because I had chopped it up a bit smaller, so I felt comfortable reducing the time just a bit and kept it at pressure for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Oh, and make sure you gap a window and turn on the extractor fan! The smell of beer will permeate your entire house otherwise.

Once the timer beeps, or dings, or whatever yours does, turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker release naturally. In other words, wait for it to cool and release the pressure enough to take off the lid, rather than cooling it under running water. This gives time for the pork to absorb as much delicious moisture back into it's fibers as possible before you shred it up. It will take about 30 minutes.

Okay, you've taken off the lid. Here's what it looks like. Pour off all that liquid. There is a fair amount of melted fat floating on the top that I like to get rid of, and not all that liquid is needed.

Get out two forks and start shredding. Set aside any fatty bits you don't want to eat. See how cleanly the meat fell off the bone?

It's all shredded up! Throw on your BBQ sauce. The liquid I poured off and reserved has let all the fat float to the top. Skim off the fat, and use about a cup of the beer juice to mix in the BBQ sauce and make a gorgeously sloppy, messy, flavorful covering over everything.


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