Friday, 24 January 2014

Ode to the Pressure Cooker

One of the most useful things in my kitchen is the pressure cooker - I use it at least once a week. As mentioned before, I am always on the lookout for cheap cuts of meat and they invariably need to cook for a long time. And as much as I love the lingering smells of a four hour roast cooking away in the oven, I also like being able to cook these meats in as little as 45 minutes or an hour.

This week, my pressure cooker has already made three appearances, to make braised lamb shanks (, stock and pulled pork.

Pulled pork is a favourite in our household, luckily it is really easy. This is how I make mine:

1.5 kg free range pork shoulder
Ghee or fat of choice

Dry rub:
1 chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 tbs salt
1 tbs unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp black pepper

Combine all the dry rub ingredients in a large bowl.

Cut off the crackling with a sharp knife and cook it separately for a yummy crunchy treat. Cut the meat into smaller, more manageable pieces (6 to 8). Toss the meat in the dry rub. At this stage, you can leave your meat covered in the fridge over night for more flavour.

Shake off some of the excess dry rub and fry the meat on all sides in small batches, either in your pressure cooker or in a separate frying pan. Pack the meat tightly in the pressure cooker. If you fried it separately, you can deglaze the pan and add that liquid to the pressure cooker. Then add any remaining dry rub and enough water to cover the meat 2/3. Lock your lid in place and bring to high pressure. Turn the heat down to a minimum to retain pressure. Cook for 1 hour then turn the heat off and let the pressure release naturally. Finally, spoon out succulent pork onto a platter and shred with two forks.
Serve with vegetables and some of the liquid from the pan. Make sure you keep the rest of the liquid to make some delicious soup!

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