When I think about comfort food, a warm and tender, falling apart mass of roasted meat is high on the list. Chuck roasts are great, but pork shoulders have recently been starring in my dreams. Due to the amount of time needed to braise a big chunk of fatty meat, roasts of this nature are not usually considered weeknight fare, but applying a little pressure with an Instant Pot or slow cooker gets this thing on the table in a little over an hour.
Like the Mississippi Roast, this has a lot of flavour and few ingredients. Besides the Instant Pot, our secret weapon in this recipe is a jar of kimchi. The fermented, tangy, salty cabbage mixture gives the roast its character, so you only need three other ingredients to make this crazy tasty pile of falling-apart pork with a sweet and salty, slightly funky sauce. To make it tonight, you will need:
One 1.5-2kg pork shoulder
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar for a slightly different flavour profile)
1 400g jar of kimchi
1 cup brown sugar
Cut the shoulder, going against the grain, into two equal pieces and season them with salt. Turn the Instant Pot or slow cooker on by pressing “Sauté,” then use the “Adjust” button to change the setting to “More.” Once the display reads “Hot,” sear the pieces of pork, one at a time, until they are browned all over. Remove all meat from the insert, press “Cancel,” then add the soy sauce and vinegar, scraping up all those lovely burnt bits with a wooden spoon.
Place the pork back in the insert, then cover with the kimchi and brown sugar. Close the pot, make sure the release valve is set to “Sealing,” then press “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” and select a cooking time of 20 minutes per pound. (For my three and a half pound roast, I went with 70 minutes.) Use this free time to make a side dish, or have a warming bath.
Once the cooking time has elapsed, press “Cancel,” manually release the pressure, open the Instant Pot, and remove all the meat and cabbage with tongs. (This will be a challenge because the meat will fall apart with a mere glance.) If you wish to make a sauce, press the “Sauté” button and let the pan juices reduce into a thick and shiny glaze. Pile the meat high on potatoes or rice, use it in tacos or lettuce wraps, or throw it in some ramen. Drizzle on the glaze, and consume in your most comfortable, cosy clothing.