Instant Pot or pressure cooker = a fast, delicious dish!
While I am a huge fan of the low-and-slow method of making authentic Carolina-style pulled pork on a smoker, I also like my hybrid method using a regular barbeque and conventional oven. Having made a lot of pulled pork over the years, I have to say this new speedy method is a very acceptable substitute. I was very impressed at how the meat turned out to be super tender when cooked this way and shredding it in the stand mixer was a time-saving stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. I’ll be serving up even more pulled pork now that I’ve found a way to prepare it so quickly without sacrificing a lot of flavour. Because pulled pork freezes well, I’ve scaled this recipe to a larger quantity, but you can easily prepare a smaller batch (while respecting the cooking times given) if you prefer.
5 pound (2.5 kg) pork loin roast or equivalent weight of boneless pork chops
3 – 4 tablespoons (45 – 60 mL) olive or canola oil
2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt
1 tablespoon (15 mL) brown sugar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) ground cumin
1 teaspoon (5 mL) chili powder
2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60 ml) paprika
3/4 cup (185 mL) Worcestershire sauce
1 cup (250 mL) cider vinegar
3/4 cup (185 mL) brown sugar
3/4 cup (185 mL) ketchup
1 cup (250 mL) water
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL) cayenne
few drops liquid smoke
- If using a pork roast, slice crossways into 3/4 inch thick pieces (they’ll resemble pork chops). Place the pork pieces or chops on a baking tray and rub all sides of the meat liberally with the dry rub. Set aside.
- Make sauce by combining all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking occasionally. Let cook 2 minutes then remove from heat.
- Heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of oil in an Instant Pot set to sauté or a pressure cooker place over / set to medium heat. Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, sear all the pork chops on both sides.
- Return all the pork to the Instant Pot or pressure cooker and add 1 cup (250 mL) each of water and the prepared sauce, being sure not overfill your pot, per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set to manual high pressure for 40 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to bring the mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce heat, maintaining pressure, and cook for 40 minutes.
- Allow the pot to slowly depressurize for 10 minutes then safely finish depressurizing the cooker completely and remove the lid. Remove the pork to a clean plate or baking tray and discard the liquid in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
- To shred the meat, place it in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the regular paddle, stir the meat on a slow speed until it begins to fall apart, then increase speed and beat for 1 minute more until uniformly shredded. Alternatively, shred the cooked meat on a cutting board using two forks.
- Place the shredded meat in a heatproof bowl or casserole dish and drizzle the reserved sauce over top; stir to combine.
- Note that you can prepare pulled pork in advance and reheat it gently in microwave when ready to serve. It also freezes and reheats beautifully.
- Serve on buns with your favourite side dishes (mine are coleslaw and potato salad).
Serves 12 – 14