Recipe: I can take the pressure (cooking), by Amanda Long

If you read my column regularly, you know I’m in love with my Instant Pot (pressure cooking). It makes my life easier, and to be honest I like it way better than the slow cooker.

I think the flavors of slow cooking come out flat if I start it in the morning and come home at night. And it’s difficult to use my slow cooker any differently. But I can create the same recipes in my instant pot when I come home from work. So the Instant Pot (electric slow cooker) is my go to.

If you love your slow cooker I’ll give you some instructions for that below too.

Weeknights are busy for all us working adults and parents. If you’re like our family and you have kids in after-school activities and sports, cooking home cooked meals becomes even more of a challenge. The Instant Pot makes it easy to come home, load the pressure cooker, set the time and pressure and go pick up kids, or get homework done while dinner is cooking without need for my attention! The last part is key.

And another upside is I like to cook homemade as much as possible. The pressure cooker allows me to do just that in the midst of chaos.

I use the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Cooker (that does the job of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and warming pot all in one). You can adjust just about any stove-top, oven or slow cooker recipe to be cooked on the pressure cooker setting. I’m not even kidding, you can cook one pot meals faster than you would ever think. I chose a recipe for this post that does take more time than most things, but that’s because I’m taking a 3 hour recipe and reducing the time by half. Cool, right?

The other reason I chose this recipe is because you cook once and get more than one dinner out of it, That makes me feel like I’ve won a gold star for momming when I cook once and eat twice or more, all you parents probably know what I mean.

Slow cooker instructions at the end, in case you don’t have a pressure cooker (yet).


5lb pork shoulder or sirloin (whatever is on sale) Cut in two equal halves.

1 cup broth (chicken, vegetable or beef)

Seasoning Salt (below)

All Purpose Seasoning Salt (I use this on everything from chicken, meat, vegetables and salad dressings).

3 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

Mix together store in a small jar with spices.

Set the Pressure Cooker to Sauté on Highest setting, on the Instant Pot: Press the “Sauté” button, then the “Adjust” button, until the “More” is selected.

Heat until the screen says HOT, add the oil and then place the pork in the pot and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Flip and add the broth.

For an Instant Pot press “Cancel” (to turn to off) Then Press “Pressure” it should default to “High” if not press “Pressure” until the light is on “High.” Adjust the Time with the + button and set the time for 90 minutes. Make sure the Steam Release knob is set to “Sealing.”

In 10 seconds, the Instant Pot will turn to ON.

Once it comes to pressure you’ll see the cook time display and begin to count down.

When the cooking cycle is done it’ll sound a series of beeps to indicate the time is done. Once the cooking cycle is done, the display begins to count minutes.

For larger cuts of meat, I do a Natural Pressure Release (NPR) for 10 minutes. This means don’t do anything until the display time reaches 10 minutes, then move the pressure release knob to “Vent” to release any remaining pressure. (The Instant Pot will naturally release pressure once the cooking cycle is done. Some recipes call for Quick Pressure Release (QPR) and this means once the cooking cycle is done move the pressure release knob to vent right away and release all the pressure.


2-3 cups All Purpose Pork (shredded)

2 tablespoons grapeseed or other high heat oil

2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning

• Heat a pan for 1 minute on the stove over medium-high heat

• Toss the pork with a few tablespoons of taco seasoning

• Add the oil to the pan and then cook the pork until it starts to get crispy pieces. Flip to crisp up both sides.

• Serve with your favorite taco fixings and tortillas.


2-3 cups All Purpose Pork (shredded)

1 pita (get thicker softer not the split pitas)

1 cucumber

1 roma tomato

1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced

Tzatziki Sauce

8 oz plain Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt strained for a few hours in a sieve)

1 teaspoon dill

1/2 lemon juice

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Grate 1/2 the cucumber and then slice the rest of the cucumber in half, remove the seeds and cut into half-moons.

Tzatziki Sauce: Mix the grated cucumber with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let it drain for 30 minutes. Squeeze out the cucumber, then add it to the yogurt with dill, lemon juice, red wine vinegar salt and pepper. (this is best overnight but let sit at least 30 minutes).

Top a pita with shredded pork. Layer on some Tzatziki sauce, onion, tomato, and cucumber slices.


2 cups All Purpose Pork (shredded)

Tortilla Chips

1 cup Shredded mild cheddar cheese (or shredded pepper jack)

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup evaporated milk

Toppings: pinto, refried or black beans, Pico de Gallo, avocado or guacamole, black olives, sour cream, cilantro, cotija cheese or pickled jalapenos.

Toss cheese with cornstarch in a pan over medium heat. Pour in 1 cup evaporated milk. (reserve the rest of the can to thin out the sauce as necessary.

Stir until the cheese melts and the mixture begins to thicken.

Remove from heat and add as much evaporated milk as you need to make it the consistency you want.

Layer the chips filling a baking sheet. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle the pork with the cheese sauce and a little more shredded cheese, and the beans.

Bake for 5-7 minutes until the chips start to toast and the shredded cheese melts.

Top with your favorite toppings and serve.

(You can also skip the cheese sauce and use all shredded cheese, in this case use about 2 cups of cheese).


Follow the instructions for the pressure cooker version. Once the roast is browned add it to the slow cooker with 1 cup of broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 8-10 hours. Shred and serve per one of the recipes!

Amanda Long is passionate about cooking and posts her favorite recipes at She is also the owner of Chive Cooking.


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