So, I am relatively new to this Instant Pot thing. My mom gave us one for Christmas, and I must admit, I was a tad apprehensive of this thing.
The “Oh no, it’s a pressure cooker and I’m scared” thing never really crossed my mind, as I’ve been canning things for several years now and have grown somewhat accustomed to a pressure cooker.
Let’s be honest though, pressure cookers/canners (Instant Pot or not) are powerful pieces of kitchen equipment, and no matter how many times you’ve used one, you should be a little afraid of it. Haven’t we all seen that photo that floats around Facebook of the pressure canner lid up in a hole in the ceiling and a mess all over the kitchen? I have nightmares about that photo.
Seriously though … several years ago when I was interested in starting to can things, my mom gave me my grandpa’s old pressure cooker/canner. It is a Co-op brand and when they say, “They don’t make things like they used to,” let me tell you they are right. This thing is so tough. I’ve been drooling over a brand new All-American canner for a few years now, and I just can’t do it. It isn’t even the money – it’s that if I buy a brand new one, this old one of my Grandpa’s will get stuck in a closet or basement somewhere and likely never used again, and that hurts my heart. I do need to go get the pressure gauge checked though to make sure it’s accurate – that is so very important. It’s on my list of things to do!
Anyway – back to this Instant Pot business. We have only used it a few times in the last 5 months, but each time we have made successful things. My husband does a lot of hunting, so we cooked some rabbit in it (don’t knock it til’ you try it, it is so good.) We do a Greek version of it with tomatoes and Greek seasoning and I’m pretty sure it ranks right up there as one of the most delicious meals ever.
We also made the Skinnytaste Chicken Tikka Masala recipe in it, which was fabulous. Neither my husband or I are picky eaters, thank goodness because it makes things SO much easier. Except I hate beets. I hate beets so much that it may warrant its own blog post someday. But anyway, Indian food consists of a combination of flavors that I love to eat – but just once in awhile. We usually make some sort of curry meal about once a year or so. This recipe was so good! I wasn’t sure about the peas but they ended up being my favorite part of it, go figure.
So, back to the current topic at hand – my sister also got an Instant Pot for Christmas, because to keep things fair and equal, we each got one. She found, tried, liked and then sent me this recipe from Gimme Some Oven for Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas.
I followed the recipe for the meat exactly, and it turned out great! (Except I never got the “crispy” part from the broiler process and had way more broth leftover than what the recipe suggested I would. I actually saved the leftover liquid and froze it, I’m thinking we can make some sort of quick/easy stew at some point soon. Maybe when we start getting some vegetables in the garden this summer!)
For the salsa though, I went with their pineapple salsa idea, but I did my own thing. We had Faux Pineapple (which is cubed zucchini canned in pineapple juice, sounds strange but you honestly can’t tell it isn’t pineapple) and Green Tomato Salsa both canned in the pantry. and I used 1 pint of each. I put the Faux Pineapple and its juice in the food processor and pureed it, and then dumped it in a saucepan with the pint of Green Tomato Salsa and cooked it a together to thicken while the meat was cooking in the Instant Pot.
We had avocado, fresh cilantro, queso for toppings on the carnitas with the pork. We had seasoned brown rice, black beans and sweet corn on the cob on the side. Oh, and Modelo of course!
Thanks to my mom for the Instant Pot, my sister for sharing the recipe with me, and Gimme Some Oven for the recipe!