One of the best parts about testing out keto and low carb recipes is that I get to use some of my cooking equipment on new things. Normally I run for my Le Creuset when I make pulled pork or carnitas, but this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo calls for a pressure cooker/Instant Pot. It not only cuts the cooking time significantly, but it also doesn’t overcook the pork like a dutch oven can sometimes do. Another reason why I wanted to try this recipe was the fact that the first step of the recipe instructs you to, “Sauté 3 slices of bacon!” 😊😊 SOLD! I also got to use my red rock salts from Hawaii for the first time ever and it definitely added a depth of flavor to the pork! This was the best Kalua pulled pork I’ve ever made. The recipe I had been using in the past called for liquid smoke, which tends to leave me with a bitter aftertaste. The 3 slices of bacon acts as the “smokey” flavor in this recipe so there was no need to use the liquid smoke.
Whether you use a stove-top pressure cooker or an electric one, the process is pretty much the same. As noted above, the only difference is that the cooking time will be slightly shorter with a stove top cooker than with an electric cooker (e.g., 75 minutes vs. 90 minutes).
1. Drape three pieces of bacon on the bottom of your Instant Pot. Press the “Sauté “button and in about a minute, your bacon will start sizzling. (If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker instead, line it with three pieces of bacon, crank the burner to medium, and start frying your bacon.)
2. Grab the pork roast and slice it into three equal pieces. With a sharp paring knife, stab a few slits in each piece of pork, and tuck in the garlic cloves.
3. Sprinkle the Alaea coarse salt evenly over the pork. No Alaea salt? Replace it with pink Himalayan sea salt or kosher salt. If you're using finely ground salt, cut it to only 1 tablespoon instead of 1 1/2 tablespoons.
4. Place the salted pork on top of the bacon, keeping the meat in a single layer.
(Please note: as you’re prepping the pork, you’ll hear the bacon sputtering in the pressure cooker. Don’t forget to flip the slices, and turn off the heat when the bacon is browned on both sides.)
5. Pour in the water. Cover and lock the lid.
If you’re using an Instant Pot, select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button and press the “+” button until you hit 90 minutes under high pressure. Once the pot is programmed, walk away.
If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, you won’t have to worry about pressing all those fancy buttons. Just cook on high heat until high pressure is reached. Then, reduce the heat to low to maintain high pressure for about 75 minutes.
When it is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to its “Keep Warm” mode. If you’re at home, press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to turn off the cooker and let the pressure come down naturally quicker.
***IMPORTANT*** If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, remove the pot from the heat. In either case, let the pressure release naturally (which will take about 15 minutes).
6. Once the cooker is depressurized, check that the pork is fork-tender. If the meat’s not yet fall-apart tender, you can always cook the pork under pressure for another 5-10 minutes to get the right texture.
7. Shred the pork and serve with green onions for garnish.