If you’re looking for a way to cut down on energy usage, a pressure cooker is the way to go!
Today’s Sustainable Sunday title may be a bit misleading: Hubs is the chef in the family and he actually loves to cook, so I never have to pressure him into cooking. In this instance, all I had to do was open up the box to tempt him. He was more than willing to try out a new cooking method!
It’s Not That Complicated
We were a bit leery to jump right in. It seems like every time I see a cooking competition, they make the pressure cooker look so complicated! However, after trying out Ikea’s VARDESATTA pressure cooker we discovered it’s anything but!
Not only is the VARDESATTA easy to use but addictive too! We’ve used it so many times since we first opened the box. We may never get an opportunity to actually put it away!
We found it helpful to get a few pressure cooker cookbooks from the library to get the feel for how to use it with different dishes – and of course, we also read the instructions that came with it!
You’re Pulling My Pork – Pressure Cooker Recipe
We’re not pulling your leg when it comes to loving our pressure cooker, but we are pulling something: the first dish we tried out in our new pressure cooker was pulled pork. Our pulled pork recipe cooks up tender and moist in only one hour! See below this post for instructions and a printable version of our pulled pork recipe.
We finally organized a dedicated spice drawer (which you’ll read about next week). Now we can easily see what we have in stock to prevent spices from going to waste and quickly mix up a dry rub for recipes like this!
After rubbing the spice onto the pieces, we nestled the pork into the liquid ingredients, closed the lid, turned on the stove and then waited 45 minutes.
If we were cooking this dish our usual way, it would have taken 4 – 6 hours in the slow cooker. Not only do we save time and energy, but we also save money when you take into account that the slow cooker runs on electricity (we recently upgraded to an Ikea NUTID gas range with a gas cooktop). It’s a win-win for sustainability all around!
After only just an hour, the pork came out fork tender and ready to shred into porky deliciousness!
Store leftovers in a glass container in fridge for lunch the next day. You may want to add some additional BBQ sauce if you find the sauce has soaked into the meat when reheating.
Other Uses for the Pressure Cooker
Remember all those herbs we’ve been growing indoors? Well we’ve been busy using them in various other recipes using the VARDESATTA pressure cooker. Here, we’re using our sage as a flavour enhancer for Butternut Squash soup:
We also used some of our rosemary for Rosemary Chicken with Lemon Sauce. We didn’t quite know how much to cut for the two teaspoons called for in the recipe so we ended up cutting twice as much as we actually needed.
Now we know that only one stalk will yield two teaspoons of fresh herbs!
The PLASTIS ice cube tray came to the rescue for the extra rosemary! We put the leftovers in the PLASTIS, topped it up with filtered water and then popped it into the freezer for future use. Even if you’re not growing your own herbs like we are, the PLASTIS is ideal to freeze any grocery-bought herbs you can’t use up before they spoil! Try it out!
The VARDESATTA cooked the rosemary chicken to perfection; it turned out so moist and flavourful. It’s hard to believe a meal like this was achieved in only 30 minutes!
We used a glass container to store the leftover chicken so we could make hot chicken sandwiches the next day.
We’re loving using the herbs from our indoor garden and, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, Hubs has used the VARDESATTA so much that it has become a regular fixture in our kitchen. We love that the VARDESATTA saves us both time and money that I think it may have found a permanent place on our stove top!
Hubs and I debated whether the VARDESATTA would produce a chicken soup as good as my grandmother used to make. What else could we do but challenge each other to a chicken soup cook-off! Using my grandmother’s recipe vs. a modern day recipe specifically for the pressure cooker, we tested each one out. Which recipe won? You’ll find out in the future post!
If you’re interested in trying out the VARDESATTA for yourself, I’ve provided links to both the American and Canadian Ikea sites.
Don’t forget to check out our pulled pork recipe below. You can print it out or pin it for later!
Now that we’ve got faster, more energy efficient cooking options figured out, it’s time to get our meal planning organized and under control too! Join us next week on Sustainable Sunday to find how we’re reducing our food waste.
You're Pulling My Pork! Pressure Cooker Recipe
- 4 pounds pork shoulder
- 2 TBL paprika
- 2 TBL chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 3 tsp honey Optional. If you don't like your pulled pork too sweet, you can reduce or eliminate the honey.
- Cut the pork into four pieces. Use a glass dish to contain the spice mix and rubbed the spices all over each piece coating every side.
- Add liquid ingredients to pressure cooker and nestle pork into bottom of pot.
- Seal cooker, turn heat to med-high. Reduce to med-low once up to pressure (the red ball will drop and steam will start to escape). Cook for 45 minutes.
- Remove the VARDESATTA from the burner, let it naturally reduce in pressure for 15 minutes (slow release method), then removed the lid. It's always a good idea to wear an oven mitt when releasing the lid, regardless of whether you use the slow or quick release method in your recipes. The steam can be extremely hot!
- After only just an hour, the pork comes out fork tender and ready to shred into porky deliciousness! Remove the pieces to a clean glass dish, leaving the liquid behind (you don't want to reuse the dish that had raw meat in it). Shred the pork with two forks.
- Put the VARDESATTA back onto the burner and use it just like a regular pot allowing the liquid to reduce. Reduce sauce for 15 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Pour reduced sauce over pork, mix well and serve on buns.