This is one of those recipes I sorta pulled out of my, um, refrigerator.
We’ve been so very, very busy with work this week and I’d taken a small pork shoulder roast out of the freezer with the intention of putting in the crock pot Monday morning for barbecue pulled pork that evening. Insomnia and our morning schedule conspired against me and I forgot all about the roast and the crock pot. I was kicking myself over it when Beloved suggested I throw it in the pressure cooker.
That made sense, so I did. Then I started a quick version of my Maple Barbecue Sauce and wondered what the heck I was going to serve it all with. Well, The Young One would eat barbecue pork-stuffed baked potatoes every day of the week if I made them, but I was more in the mood for something like…soup. So I compromised and made baked potato soup. Then I piled the pork in the middle of the soup, topped it with bacon and cheese and called it good.
Actually, it was better than good – it was incredibly, amazingly delicious. The Young One, who tends to be lukewarm about soup, and Beloved, who tends to be lukewarm about white potatoes, both inhaled this, then went back for seconds and inhaled those, too. It was declared “the best thing you’ve ever made, Mom!” and Beloved didn’t really say anything because he was too busy eating it.
I have to admit – I really liked it too. So much so that I ate the little that was left for breakfast the next morning.
The list of ingredients and instructions are long, but it really was simple and came together in just over an hour. Of course, if you have leftover barbecue pulled pork, it will come together in about 20 minutes, since all you’d have to do is make the soup and the microwave really comes in handy in that regard; I’m of the opinion that if you have a tool, you should use it. Mostly we use it to heat up leftovers, so it’s nice when I can use it for a more “legitimate” purpose.
This would be good with just about any meat that is chopped and mixed with a delicious barbecue sauce, so if you don’t do pork, try it with chicken thighs.
- 2 pounds pork shoulder or picnic roast
- 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
- 1 tablespoon tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup dried onion
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 large baking potatoes
- 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 cup whole milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces bacon, diced
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook the diced bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat.
- Rub the pork shoulder with the salt, pepper and Chinese 5 spice. Heat the reserved bacon fat in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder on all sides. Add the chicken stock, tamari and onion to the shoulder.
- Lock the lid of the pressure cooker in place and increase the heat to high until the cooker reaches full pressure (15 psi). Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and allow the pressure to decrease naturally.
- Combine the sauce ingredients in a large, heavy sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened into a sauce, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Scrub the potatoes well and prick them all over with the tip of a knife. Microwave them for 5 to 6 minutes, or until soft and cooked through, turning the potatoes every 2 minutes.
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh out of three of the halves into a large saucepan with the chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low; add the milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the soup mixture until smooth. Stir in the flesh from the remaining potato half; season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.
- Remove the pork shoulder from the pressure cooker and trim away any excess fat if necessary. Using two forks, shred the meat and transfer to a large bowl with the barbecue sauce, mixing it well.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls and carefully mound the barbecue pork in the center of each. Top with the cheese and bacon and serve immediately.
- Nutrition (per serving): 504 calories, 20.6g total fat, 100.1mg cholesterol, 1404.3mg sodium, 1237.3mg potassium, 45.4g carbohydrates, 2.9g fiber, 25.8g sugar, 34.3g protein