Thanksgiving is on Thursday and we are preparing for our festive dishes and shared laughs around the table. While it’s fun to sit and plan on what we will make, I got to thinking about what I plan on making for the week to get by in the meantime. I really wanted something easy, preferably a slow-cooker or pressure cooker kind of meal that wouldn’t take much effort on my part. So I went to my freezer to see what I had that I could spread over a couple days that I could also impart a lot of flavor in as well. Luckily I still had half a pork shoulder stashed away. I tend to split one pork shoulder and freeze half since I am eating for just one here. I grabbed my pork shoulder and threw it in a luke warm bath to thaw while I looked through the cupboard and spice rack to see what jumped out at me. I came across a bottle of Teriyaki Coconut Aminos that I had grabbed a while back at the store. It sounded good, and I hadn’t tried it yet and this was a perfect opportunity.
For this recipe, I used my Instant Pot. The Instant Pot if you don’t know is a multi-use cooker that makes life as a single person (and a not single person) so much easier. The Instant Pot has several presets for pressure cooking things like soup, stew, poultry and meat. In addition to the pressure cooking feature, it can also slow-cook, saute and steam. There is practically nothing that this amazing little device can’t do.
And now for my amazingly simple, yet tasty recipe!
1.5 lb Pork Shoulder
1/2 cup Teriyaki Coconut Aminos
1/4 cup Water, more if needed
1/4 cup Date Sugar
Pink Himalayan Salt
Pressure Cooker Instructions
Keep in mind that I used half a pork shoulder weighing approximately 1.5 lbs. Most pork shoulders weigh around 3 lbs or more.
You will need the rack that came with the Instant Pot for the first part of the process.
Rub the pork shoulder with as much salt as you like, in addition to the date sugar.
Place the pork shoulder into the cooker.
Add your Teriyaki Coconut Aminos and water.
Using the Meat preset, the pressure cooker will cook for 35 minutes. Make sure your steam vent is closed before you let it go.
Once the timer goes off, release the pressure.
When the pressure has released take the pork shoulder out. You will want to dice up the shoulder before adding it back to the cooker.
(NOTE – When my pork shoulder had finished cooking for the 35 minutes, I started to cut into it and found that the meat had not been cooked all the way through. In addition to that, the meat had not cooked directly in the teriyaki mixture and had not absorbed any of the flavor yet. When I slow-cook things like pork shoulder I always have to turn the meat half-way through the process to make sure it absorbs the flavors and cooks enough to become pull-apart tender.)
Once you have cut up your pork shoulder, remove the rack from the cooker and add your meat back in. Make sure you submerge the meat in the Teriyaki mixture so it can absorb all the good flavors.
Set the pressure cooker manually this time for 15 minutes and seal the vent.
When the meat has finished cooking the second time, it should be nice and pull-apart tender.
Rub your pork shoulder with as much as salt as you prefer in addition to the date sugar.
Add the pork shoulder to the slow-cooker along with the Teriyaki Coconut Aminos and water.
(NOTE – When I have slow-cooked pork shoulder in the past, I always had an issue with getting it pull-apart tender. I discovered that if the meat is not mostly submerged in whatever liquid mixture you are using, then you will not get pull-apart tender meat. Just the half that was submerged will come out pull-apart tender. So you may need to increase the amount of Teriyaki Coconut Amino / Water mixture to ensure you get that pull-apart tender pork that you desire. You could also cut the cut the shoulder in half to take up more space in the slow-cooker getting the meat to submerge more in the liquid.)
Set the slow-cooker for 6 hours on low and let it go. Set it for 8 hours if you are cooking a larger pork shoulder.