Hello friends! I'm back from my self-imposed little vacation from my blog. To my world of invisible internet friends, one might think that every meal I make is blog worthy. I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but that's just not true.
I'm always delighted when my readers write to tell me that they have finally taken the plunge into using a pressure cooker. Pressure cooking has an undeserved level of fear that it really doesn't deserve. If more people, who swear that their slow cooker is one of their most beloved cooking method, would try pressure cooking--they would quickly change their minds! (However, if you want to make this recipe, you could do it in a slow cooker. Just increase the cooking time from one hour to 8 hours.) See what I mean? Pressure cooking is a real time saver, and my slow cooker gets a little lonely-- though I still use it on occasion.
I have shared several recipes from America's Test Kitchen's cookbook, "Pressure Cooking Perfection". When I downloaded the book into my kindle, I wasn't sure if I'd make a lot of their recipes.
If you've ever had genuine Hawaiian barbecued pork, this traditionally involves roasting a suckling pig in a pit with hot rocks, banana leaves and kiawe wood (the Hawaiian version of mesquite). I don't know about most of you, but this is a lot more work than I'm willing to invest! In the tradition of America's Test Kitchen, they figured out a way to adapt this recipe so that you can make it at home.
Using a boneless pork butt and a pressure cooker is a perfect solution to achieve really tender meat. From start to finish, this dinner was ready with about 15 minutes of prep work, and 60 minutes of letting the pressure cooker do the rest of the work. On a work night, this is a blessing!
My butcher tied my pork butt roast, which was rubbed with the rub mixture.
To mimic the smoky flavor, I bought a bottle of liquid smoke.
To 2 cups water, I added 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke. Then I set the pork into the pressure cooker, locked the lid and set it to HIGH for 60 minutes. That's it! (Note: the pressure cooker said to cook for 90 minutes, but I gambled and reduced the time to 60 minutes.)
While the pressure cooker was doing the work, I decided to make a quick fresh pineapple-mango salsa, with my own tried-and-true recipe.
Once the pressure cooker beeped, I did a natural pressure release, and carefully opened the lid. I let the pork roast rest, loosely covered in foil, for 15 minutes. I was relieved to see that my gamble paid off. Sixty minutes of pressure cooking was sufficient. Whew!
I served the pork over sticky rice with the pineapple-mango salsa. As you can see, the pork is fork tender. Yay!
TASTING NOTES: You can't truly compare this recipe to genuine Hawaiian Kalua pork. There is nothing eating dinner on a warm Hawaiian evening, hearing the sound of the tradewinds rustling through palm trees, Hawaiian slack key music and the beautiful ocean in the background (which we have been blessed to experience). However, this recipe stands on its own for a few reasons. For one, it's about as unfussy to make as you could want. The pork is super tender, and the flavors are reminiscent of Hawaii.
Cook's Country" has this recipe developed for grill. Since I subscribe to all of their magazines (Cook's Illustrated, included), I will try this version during our summer months. On a rainy, cold day-- this is just a little piece of the Hawaiian Islands at your fingertips.
A printable recipe cards is at the very end of this post.