Several years ago, we had a planned trip to Kansas City, and Joey announced that he really wanted to do his own “Kansas City barbecue tour.” I was game for an adventure, so I agreed.
Little did I know just how much Joey loves barbecue. He managed to find a barbecue joint for every lunch and dinner we had during our time in Kansas City. I’m still convinced that if he could have figured out how to include a barbecue breakfast, that would’ve happened, too.
While I do love some good, slow-cooked barbecue, I didn’t make it as long as Joey did during the excursion. For our last meal, I ended up eating a salad—with barbecued meat on top, of course—because I just couldn’t do another big plate of meat and beans.
We haven’t tried for another barbecue tour since then, although Joey can normally twist my arm into eating it at least once when we’re up in K.C. I’m also always game to try whatever barbecue experiments he tries on his smoker if he has the time to play with it.
This past weekend, we had no time to get the smoker set up. There was just way too much to do, but I did find some great pork roasts on sale at my local grocery store, so I decided to try the next best thing to real barbecue and break out my pressure cooker for some pulled pork.
I found this recipe on the website “Recipe Teacher.” You can find it at https://recipeteacher.com/best-damn-instant-pot-pulled-pork/. I didn’t change a lot, but I did double the garlic powder and the Worcestershire, eliminated liquid smoke and changed the cooking time.
Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork
- 4 pounds pork roast
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- serve with barbecue sauce
- Trim any excess fat from the pork and cut it into four pieces of roughly equal size.
- Add the olive oil to the pressure cooker and turn to saute.
- While the pot is coming up to temperature, combine all of the dry spices into a large bowl and roll each piece of roast in the spice rub to coat them.
- Once the pot is hot, add two pieces of roast and saute for about two minutes on each side to get a good sear on the meat.
- Remove the roast from the pot and repeat with the other two pieces. Remove the last two pieces and set aside.
- Add the chicken broth to the pot and scrape the bottom to get any cooked-on bits off the pot.
- Add the Worcestershire. Give the mixture a little stir and then place all four pieces of pork into the pot, spacing them evenly.
- Seal the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 50 minutes. Let the pressure cooker release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release the rest.
- Remove the pork from the pot and shred it using two forks.
- Serve with barbecue sauce and/or the liquid from the pot as an au jus.
- To keep the pork moist when reheating, dump some of the liquid from the pan into any leftovers before refrigerating.
Clearly my pressure cooked pulled pork was nowhere near as delicious as the stuff you get off the smoker, but it was tender and had great flavor and was done quickly, which was also a bonus.
Plus, it reheats well out of the fridge, so we have plenty of great leftovers for our lunches this week.
Someday I may be willing to go on Joey’s barbecue tour again, but I honestly think I’m still recovering, even though it was years ago. An old episode of “Friends” references a character getting the “meat sweats” from too much consumption, and while I’m not 100-percent sure that’s a medically recognized condition, I do believe it’s real.
This piece first appeared in print on May 16, 2019.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.