I just received an InstantPot pressure cooker for my birthday! I have previously professed that I am a KITCHEN GADGET FREAK. I am not exaggerating, I love kitchen appliances. I am the “what was I thinking, forehead slap” owner of donut hole pans, a strawberry corer, spiralizer, brownie squares pan, sous vide thingy, ebelskiver pan, bread machine, the list goes on and on… When I was a kid I went to Woolworth’s with my mom (yes baby boomers, Woolworth’s, remember?) in anticipation of a slice of their delicious gooey cheese pizza. Instead I found myself in front of a demonstration booth, entranced. A voice boomed “it slices, it dices, it does it all. This is going to revolutionize cooking, and help you escape from the kitchen” I watched as he deftly created mountains of julienned squash, chopped onions, sliced carrots, even waffle cut potatoes. How I convinced my mom to buy this new fangled tool I will never know. But we walked out of Woolworth’s, a slice of cheese pizza in one hand and a Slice-o-matic with a bonus Chop-o-matic in the other! These days if I go to the mall with my kids they know there will be the prerequisite stop at Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma to peruse because YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY KITCHEN GADGETS.
The Instant Pot is the latest, hippest iteration of a pressure cooker. There are blogs, Facebook pages and books devoted to the Instapot. It is a slow cooker, saute’pan, rice cooker, yogurt maker all in one. For you tech geeks you can download the app and program it using your phone. Crazy huh.
A few weeks ago NYT Cooking published Melissa Clark’s recipe for Pressure Cooker Spicy Pork Shoulder along with a video of her using the Instant Pot. It’s easy and delicious and best of all cuts cooking time by at least half.
The liberal use of Korean chili flakes and Kochuchang, a sweet chili pepper paste in the sauce adds an Asian flair. If you are a pulled pork fan you will absolutely love this version. I marinated the pork in a mixture of chili flakes, honey, salt and garlic overnight and then browned it the next day. I saute’ the pork in the Instapot which surprisingly took less time than I imagined. I added a bit of water, twisted and clamped the lid shut, set the timer for 70 minutes and chilled out for a bit before making the sauce. Easy peasy.
The sauce is made with chili paste, ketchup, garlic, fish sauce, honey and ginger. As delicious as this sauce is it packs a punch in heat and flavor. A little goes a long way so add the sauce in small increments to taste.
The first day we shredded the pork, mixed in bbq sauce and juice (from the Instant Pot) and broiled the pork to crisp the edges. We served it on a bed of rice with sliced cucumbers and carrots, a Porki Bowl (get it?).
The quietness, nods and hmmmms as we ate confirmed we had a winner.
This makes a more than generous amount of pulled pork. Luckily the kids were home for springbreak and made quick work of the pork. Beyond our rice bowls, we had it with scrambled eggs for breakfast and in Hawaiian sweet rolls with a cabbage slaw for lunch. So good! This is a definite keeper.
The maiden voyage of my Instant Pot was a resounding success. Can’t wait for another opportunity to use it.
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker Spicy Pork Shoulder
- This dish is really versatile so use your imagination. Sandwiches, rice bowls, eggs, biscuits, salads-the sky's the limit.
Addendum: St. Patrick’s Day, a week later was the perfect time to use the Instant Pot. Literally threw corned beef, pickling spices, an onion, and some garlic in the pot. An hour and a half later I had a platter of tender melt in your mouth corned beef with cabbage, potatoes and carrots (ok I slightly mis-timed the vegys so a bit on soft side) on the table. It’s a good thing.