Active Time: 15 Mins
Total Time: 1 Hour 35 Mins
Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: 3/4 cup shredded pork, 1/4 cup sauce)
Super tender pulled pork that falls apart with the brush of a fork and melts in your mouth is possible even on a weeknight, thanks to the Instant Pot. Pair it with Carolina-style barbecue sauce, which offers the perfect balance of sweetness, vinegar and spicy heat to perfectly complement the shredded meat. Make sure to brown the pork pieces well, as that give the meat a better flavor, color, and appearance. Serve with the classics: buns, slaw, pickles, onions, and any other side dishes you want. If you’ve got leftovers, incorporate them into your meal prep routine.
- 1(3- to 4-lb.) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 equal pieces
- 8garlic cloves, cut in halves lengthwise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
How to Make It
Using a small knife, make small cuts in the pork pieces. Stuff garlic clove halves into cuts, using 4 pieces of garlic per pork piece. Stir together paprika, chili powder, 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture evenly over pork pieces, coating all sides.
Press “Saute” on an Instant Pot, and allow to heat 2 to 3 minutes. Add olive oil to hot insert of the Instant Pot, and place 2 pieces of coated pork to pot; cook, turning to brown all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer browned pieces to a plate, and repeat with remaining 2 pieces of prepared pork. Combine water and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Add all pieces of browned pork back to Instant Pot, and add water-brown sugar mixture to pot. Press “Cancel” on Instant Pot. Place top on Instant Pot, locking into place, and setting the release valve to “Sealing” position. Set to “High Pressure” for 65 minutes. While pork cooks, stir together apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, crushed red pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 cup brown sugar until salt and sugar dissolve.
Carefully release the pressure release valve, and let steam escape from pot. Open top, and remove pork pieces from liquid in Instant Pot, discarding liquid. Transfer pork to cutting board or plate, and shred with a fork or hands. Serve pork with vinegar sauce.
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