On Applying What We’ve Learned February 21, 2013Posted by Toy Lady in Cook's Illustrated, Cooking, Homemade, random stuff.
Just in case you’re worried that I’m all hung up on that whole veggie thing – I’m not. Believe me, I am now, and always will be, a big fan of pork!
Remember a loooong time ago, when I made the Chinese BBQ’ed pork chops? You may also remember that the marinade I used there was originally designed by Cook’s Illustrated to be used, not for pork chops, but for boneless ribs.
Yes, I know, ribs ARE bones. I hate that they make them boneless. Kind of like boneless chicken wings, huh?
But I digress.
See, here’s the thing.
I feel most confident in the kitchen when I’m following a recipe. Not just any recipe, mind you, but a good recipe.
Something I’ve done before, or something that’s from a trusted source.
And after years of taking direction from trusted sources, you know what happens?
Technique. That’s what happens. You learn things – you learn what works, and sometimes you even learn why.
So. Back to the Chinese pork.
The original recipe for this Chinese pork called for marinating boneless ribs (actually, pork shoulder) and then baking them low and slow. first covered, then uncovered.
So then I thought about how Peeps likes to do the Mexican carnitas in the pressure cooker – using that same hunk of pork shoulder.
And then I thought about the pork vindaloo that is in Cook’s Illustrated’s upcoming pressure cooker cookbook (which is IN my Amazon cart even as we speak!). We did get hold of that recipe, Peeps made it the same day I made this, and he’ll be sharing that soon.
And once more, I said “huh.”
You can see where this is going, right?
I wondered if there was any reason I couldn’t take this hunk of pork, marinate it overnight, dump the works into the pressure cooker, and end up with Chinese barbecued pork in half an hour or so.
I think it sounds perfectly reasonable, don’t you?
So that’s what I did – I dumped the pork, along with the marinating liquid, into the pressure cooker, cooked it for about 40 minutes, and then pulled the meat out of the cooking liquid.
Of course, being pork shoulder, no matter how well I’d trimmed it ahead of time, there was plenty of fat, so I strained and de-greased the liquid, using the gravy separator.
It’s sort of going to be gravy, right?
And then – honestly, this probably took as long as anything else – I reduced the DAYLIGHTS out of the strained, de-fatted cooking liquid. I mean, I boiled that stuff down until it was about half of what it had been.
Then we added some ketchup and honey, and we reduced it some more!
Technically, what we wanted was more a “glaze” than a “gravy” or even a “sauce.”
See, here’s what we did.
I lined a sheet pan with foil – this is VERY important! – then laid all the hunks of meat out on the pan, then brushed them generously with half the glaze.
Under the broiler for, oh, 10-15 minutes, until they were starting to get kind of crispy and, well, grill-ish looking. Then we flipped them over and did the same on the other side.
You see now why we lined the pan with foil, don’t you?
And that was it – barbecue in the pressure cooker. Leftovers are going into some Asian noodle soup, and further leftovers will be perfect in fried rice.
Don’t tell anyone though, but I served the barbecued pork with rice in our new pasta bowls.
I’m a rebel like that.
I wrote out the recipe right here for you.