Monday, October 29, 2018

Instant Pot Pork and Hominy Soup

Yet another cheat in which I convert a regular recipe into an Instant Pot recipe. I write it down because I want to remember how I did it and what success I had. The original version of this soup doesn’t really take that long if you’ve got your carnitas ready to go, but the IP version only takes 10 minutes at high pressure, which is definitely a savings. The time savings of doing the carnitas in the Instant Pot combined with the shorter cooking time of the soup makes it overall a faster dish to get on the table.

The major difference this time with the soup is that I threw in 2/3 of a large head of cauliflower I had from the farmers’ market that I didn’t have another plan for. I always want to make our more food vegetable-forward. In the past I’ve added ground kale to this soup, which is good, but as I had the cauliflower I had a hunch that small florets of cauliflower would nicely echo the texture and color of the white hominy and indeed it did. I think I will always do this in future.

My mother-in-law makes this soup with pork tenderloin, which is way less fatty, of course, but pork butt is easier to come by at the farmers’ market (at a reasonable price) and it’s nice to be able to use some of the meat for tacos and the rest in a soup.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 recipe carnitas, liquid defatted and reduced by 1/2 to 1/3 (freeze the rest of the meat and glaze to use for tacos. I am freezing some of the cooking liquor to use for beans, as well)
1 medium onion, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced or put through a press
1 can tomatillos with liquid, chopped (optional)
2 large cans hominy, drained and rinsed
1/2 to 2/3 large head cauliflower, washed and cut into florets roughly equivalent in size to the hominy
8 cups low sodium or homemade chicken stock or water or a combination
12 oz green salsa or to taste (we use Trader Joe’s salsa verde these days)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)
More lime juice as needed for brightness
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS
  1. Heat the olive oil in the same base of the Instant Pot on sauté mode (use the Adjust button to make it go to the Less setting so the onion won’t burn) add the onion. Cook over until very soft and golden
  2.  Add the pork to the pot and turn the heat up to medium high. Cook for a few minutes so that the pork is lightly browned in spots
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant
  4. Add the tomatillos (if using), hominy, cauliflower, bay leaves, remaining stock/water. 
  5. Use the Soup mode or Manual and set to 10 minutes at high pressure
  6. Release the pressure carefully using quick release (you don’t want to overcook the cauliflower)
  7. Add the jar of salsa (it is already cooked so will taste fresher if you don’t cook it again; feel free to add earlier if using raw salsa), stir and taste to adjust seasonings. Serve. Freezes very well and adds comfort to a cold or rainy night

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