All together now… B-r-r-r-r! If there was ever a month for comfort food, this is it! The problem with most comfort food, however, is that it takes a long time to prepare. The good news, though, is that dishes often use inexpensive cuts of meat, albeit tough ones! That’s why in our house we have recently discovered the pressure cooker and I can’t rave about it enough. Like many of you, the first time my husband turned it on, I removed myself from the kitchen! My mother’s stories of the top blowing off her pressure cooker are still fresh in my mind. (In fact, in our house, it blew off so many times that the pressure cooker became a simply popcorn cooker – great because of its heavy bottom, but not exactly its intended use!)
If you still have an old one, throw it out and get a new one. Really. Pressure cookers today are very different and are much, much safer. They are easy to use, to clean, and allow you to save money on groceries by using those tougher, cheaper cuts of meat. You can get one for about $100. There are plenty of great recipes on line and even the ones that come in the little book with the cooker are fabulous. That’s because a perfectly tenderized meat is unbeatable. They also cook so much faster that you will save a lot of time. And last but not least, cleanup is much easier because you can make a one pot meal. They sauté, brown, simmer, warm and cook at both low and high pressure. Amazing machines they are – really!
Here’s one of my favorite recipes for pork BBQ: Serves 4 to 6
2 pounds pork loin, cut into large, bite-sized pieces
2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into large, bite-sized pieces
¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 large yellow onions, cut into strips
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
1 jar of your favorite Barbecue Sauce (I like Cattlemen’s or LEGENDS Apple Cider BBQ Sauce)
1 pound extra-wide noodles (if desired), mixed with 2 Tablespoons butter OR soft buns
- Preheat your pressure cooker.
- Sprinkle the pork pieces with salt and pepper and brown them in batches. Then brown the onions (Optional).
- Sprinkle with the brown sugar and pour the cider vinegar over the whole thing. Put the top on the pressure cooker according to the instructions in the manual. Cook for 50 minutes under high pressure.
- Release the pressure according to the instructions in the manual and stir in the BBQ sauce.
- Serve over wide, cooked noodles or on soft buns.
I promise you this will be a hit with your family!