For Labor Day, I promised myself I would find the time and energy to get some quality cooking in. Thanks to rediscovering Final Fantasy VII and having spent the weekend being social with an old friend in town, this energy and effort was gonna have to be minimal, so slow cooking pulled pork seemed like the natural way to go. But when hunger (and Kevin) came calling, slow cooking just wouldn't suffice. We were gonna have to brave the feared pressure cooker.
Would we end up with melt in your mouth BBQ sandwiches, or would our day be ruined by something resembling baby food and a giant hole in my kitchen?
Root Beer Pulled Pork
Modified from Food Network
Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 8-10 sandwiches
|Soon you will be delicious|
3 lb pork tenderloin, cut into large pieces
1-2 tbsp salt
Ground black pepper
Red chili flakes
12-16 oz root beer (I used Barq's)
4 oz liquid smoke (I used mesquite)
1 small onion, diced
Whole garlic cloves
Oil for browning
|Sauce and soda: together at last|
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup molasses
1-2 tsp garlic powder
4-8 oz root beer
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp liquid smoke
Ground pepper to taste
Salt to test
Cayenne pepper to taste
Onions- regular or pickled, sliced
Buns (I used these baguette buns)
|The pork is so tender that you won't work up a sweat getting it this perfectly pulled.|
|The right bread is key.|
- Get really sad that you were lazy to start your day, and now won't be able to eat until 9 pm.
- Have your cooking buddy come to your rescue by suggesting you try using a pressure cooker, and then trick him into buying one.
- Learn how to use your pressure cooker so as not to have it explode. I highly recommend getting an electric one that does pretty much everything for you. There are several kinds of pressure cookers, so be sure you know how yours works.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat, and use it to brown the pork and saute the onions until a nice color and crust start to form on the pork.
- Add the pork, onions, red chili flakes, salt, pepper, liquid smoke, garlic and root beer to your pressure cooker (Note: levels of liquid required may vary by size of the pressure cooker but this worked well for our 6 quart one. Also, never start a pressure cooker without liquid).
- Set your cooker to high pressure for 60 minutes (again be sure to follow whatever safety measures yours requires). When time has finished, allow the pressure to fully release before opening (I let it slow release for ~ 10 minutes then used the quick release valve to finish it off).
- Remove the pork and pull apart with two forks. Reserve the remaining cooking juice.
- Prepare the sauce by simmering all the ingredients together until smooth and all carbonation bubbles have been removed.
- Prepare your sandwich by loading up a bun with pulled pork, onions, pickles, sauce and reserved cooking juice.
- Bow before the awesome power of the pressure cooker.
- Note: if you just want to do this with a slow cooker, let it cook covered over low heat for 8 hours and be careful not to let the anticipation build up to unsafe levels.
|The sandwich would still be amazing bare bones like so.|
|I'm a little disappointed that I didn't stack the pulled pork all the way to the heavens, but I was worried about dropping it on the ground.|