Of course I love barbecue sauce pulled pork, but sometimes I want something a little bit less pedestrian, if you know what I mean. A flavor that doesn’t ask for bread. That doesn’t remind me of fast food. A flavor that goes well with a salad and simple dressing. Or just a spoon of sour cream, or Dijon mustard. Or some stir-fried buttered greens. Or just by itself. Pure protein pleasure.
I don’t have a fancy electric pressure cooker, or instant pot. I make do with a cheap, old style analogical pressure cooker. I used to be afraid of them and took me a long time of waiting a long time for food to cook to finally get one. When I was little, whenever the pressure cooker was on in the kitchen, whistling away – which happened almost daily, for black beans or condensed milk cans – I couldn’t get near it or it would EXPLODE ON MY FACE. Yes, it’s what I was told. Gently, like that.
No wonder it took me almost 40 years go find the courage to buy one. But not for beans or dulce de leche, of course. Instead, the call of quick pulled pork and beef brisket was too strong to ignore.
Dry white wine is a heavenly keto friendly beverage that can be used in your cookery for amazing results. White wine is great for cheese and butter based white sauces, and fish. And pork.
What’s the best wine to cook with
You don’t need expensive white wine for cooking. Even the boxed stuff will do. But make sure you get a crisp wine – for drinking on keto these are the best as well. Crisp white wines are dry and acidic, and that’s the feature that really brings the best out of your ingredients (besides the taste, of course). Crisp white wines are Sauvignon Blanc, dry Pinot Grigio or Gris, Pinot Blanc, Albariño, Torrontes and young Riesling. Getting a cheapo white from a milk box on the lower shelf? No worries! Just make sure it says “dry” somewhere and you’re gold.
The crisp white wine doesn’t serve only as a flavor booster. We need the wine with acidic characteristic because acids help soften the meat fibers. It is the same reason why vinegar, pineapple juice or lemon juice are always seen as an ingredient for pulled pork, or any meat that is cooked with the intention of shredding. Tomato paste, the main ingredient in BBQ sauce, can be used this way as well.
Avoid using aluminum pans when cooking with acid. My mom’s old pressure cooker was made of aluminum, and if you have one of these old style pressure cookers there’s a good chance yours is also. The acidic liquid makes aluminum leech into the food, and there are increasing suspicions that dietary aluminum poisoning might be a contributing cause to brain degenerative diseases in the elderly.
After combining the wine’s acid tenderizing action and the high psi for only 30 minutes, you’re gonna open the pan to find a pork with its fibers literally melted away. You need no effort to pull the pork apart. Really, no effort all. You know those plastic claws people buy to pull pork? No? Check it out. People actually spend money on this stuff. I won’t deny it looks cool, but if you cook the pork right it’s completely unnecessary.
If you follow this recipe to the letter, I promise that you can “pull” your pork by just pressing down on the meat with a wooden spoon. Yes, that’s how I did it. No Wolverine claws, no working around it with a couple of forks. Just take one wooden spoon, and smash the pork with it. Smash is too strong a word, actually, because you need to exert barely any strength at all. The pork might shred itself if you look at it wrong. You’ll see.
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- 1.5 kilo pork tenderloin (or shoulder, see Notes)
- 50 grams lard
- 50 grams butter
- 300 grams dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons fenugreek powder
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- Water, if necessary to reach “minimum” level of pressure cooker pan
- Cut the pork in manageable, even fist-sized chunks, so that they will cook uniformly and you can move them easily around the pan.
- Melt the butter and lard together in the pan.
- With the heat on high, add the pork in batches, moving the pieces around to brown them up on all sides.
- Remove the pork from the pan. Add a small amount of the white wine and deglaze the bits of browned pork from the bottom of the pan.
- Add all the pork back to the pan, the remaining wine and the spices. Arrange the pieces so that they are at the same level.
- If your pressure cooker has a minimum level mark and it hasn’t been reached, complete with water up to this level. Close the pressure cooker lid, and choose the highest pressure setting.
- Put it on high heat until the pressure starts. When it starts whistling, turn the heat down to low. Start counting the 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes under high pressure, if you can smell the cooked
pork, turn off the stove. Let the pressure release naturally.
- When you open the pan, the pork should be so tender as to be easily smashed with a wooden spoon.
I used pork tenderloin because it’s easier to find at a reasonable price in the country I live, where all pork is imported. It's a very tender and lean cut that shreds easily. If you want to use pork loin or shoulder, increase the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.
If the pork is not easily shredded after the cooking time, you can add more water, if the liquid has dried up, close the pan and leave it for a few more minutes under pressure.
These directions are for a stove-top pressure cooker. If you have an electric one, follow the directions of the manufacturer.
Check the size of your pressure cooker: for safety and performance reasons, it’s not advisable to fill up by more than two-thirds.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 625mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 39g
Nutritional information is provided as a guideline only. Different brands of ingredients may have different nutrition facts. If you are doing a very strict form of keto, such as for medical purposes, please do remake the calculations using the nutrition facts from the labels of the ingredients you selected. Net carbs calculated exclude carbs from insoluble fiber and the sugar alcohol erythritol.