Pressure Cooker Carnitas: Because Science Makes Awesome Food

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Yeah, I know: almost all cooking has something to do with science. However, the pressure cooker just kicks it up a notch. You’re cooking. Under Pressure. It’s like making stew on Venus!

The science is simple: Pressure cookers heat food quickly because the internal steam pressure from the boiling liquid causes saturated steam (or “wet steam”) to bombard and permeate the food. Thus, higher temperature water vapour (i.e., increased energy), which transfers heat more rapidly compared to dry air, cooks food very quickly. (h/t Wikipedia)

What that allows to you do is make dishes, that would usually take hours and hours by other methods, very quickly. For example, if you want fall-off-the-bone ribs, just cook them in a bit of broth and spices for 20 minutes in the cooker, and then broil them with your favorite bbq sauce for another 5-10 minutes. You’ll never visit Dickey’s (or the better local outfit) again.

So, just last night, I tried making carnitas. It’s SO simple. Cube up some pork shoulder (2-3lbs). Brown the cubes in some oil (something I can do in my Cuisinart electric pressure cooker quite easily). Add garlic, onion, cumin, cardamom, salt, pepper, and whatever level of spicy peppers you like, plus 1-1/2 cups of beef broth. Cook at high pressure for 30-40 minutes, and what comes out is a succulent joy. I served mine with Spanish rice, refried beans, and some mole sauce. It was amazing.

If you’re interested in seeing what other amazing foods you can cook WITH SCIENCE, check out one of my favorite pressure cooker sites: Hip Pressure Cooking.

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