Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs

Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 rack St. Louis style or spare pork ribs, membrane removed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsps chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp hickory smoke powder (optional if hard to find)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup beer (alternatives: pineapple juice, cola or chicken broth)
  • 1.5 cups BBQ sauce

Directions

Mix together all the herbs, spices with the salt, cornstarch and sugar. Rub this powder into the ribs. Set the rack into the Instant Pot, pour the beer into the bottom. Roll the ribs into a spiral and set onto the rack of the pot, bones vertical. Close and seal, cooking on “Meat” setting for 25 minutes. Remove and slather with BBQ sauce and either place on high temp grill or under a broiler for 3-5 minutes per side to caramelize. Serve with extra sauce.

And now for the details…

Okay, so this is another one of those recipes that almost seems too easy to share. The Instant Pot has changed my life when it comes to cooking ribs. Remember that previous method of boiling or baking the ribs for several hours to try and get them tender? NO MORE! The Instant Pot makes this SO EASY, and so fast, that ribs on a weekday are not only a possibility, but a preferred option because of how simple it makes your evening meal.

If you want to make these even faster, you can do what I do and mix up a large batch of the rub and store it in a Tupperware container, so you can even skip measuring out spices when it’s time to make these.

Speaking of the rub, that’s where we start out recipe. In a bowl (or Tupperware), mix together the garlic powder, chilli powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle powder, hickory smoke powder, salt, cornstarch and sugar. If you cannot find hickory smoke powder, just skip that part. I know it took me a long time to hunt it down, and I’ve been treating that stuff like it’s powdered gold. Again, you double, triple, quadruple, or more the amount of those measurements, and just have the rest sitting in a container for the next time you make the ribs.

Next, it’s time to get those ribs ready for cooking! Before you rub everything in, tear off the membrane, also known as the silver skin, on the back of the ribs. It’s not the end of world if you forget this step, but the ribs will have this membrane on them when you eat, and it’s a little chewy and ropy. There are plenty of videos and info out there showing you how to do this, I found this video has great info on how and why to remove the membrane (skip to 1:30 to see the technique ;P).

Next we’ll take that rub and… well… rub… it into the rack of ribs (if you’re storing extra, make sure to set that aside so that you don’t cross-contaminate the spare rub with those ribby fingies). Get right in there and massage the rub into the meat on both sides. To save on using extra dishes, I actually do this right on the packaging the ribs came in 😛

Next, it’s time to cook! Pour the beer into the bottom of the Instant Pot. If you’re not a fan or don’t want to cook with alcohol, you can replace the beer with juice (I recommend pineapple, but orange or apple would work too), broth, or even cola or root beer.

Next, curl the ribs into a spiral and place them so the bones are vertical in the pot. In my case, unfortunately the rack was cut in half in order to fit the packaging, so I just kinda half-circled them around the outside of the pot. I have tried doubling the recipe, and a spiralled double rack JUST fits into the pot. Cover the pot up and set the lid to “Sealed” position. We are going to pressure cook these on the “Meat” setting for 25 minutes.

Once you have that set, we wait. You basically have 25 minutes of your life back. So many options on what to do here. You could make some pretty impressive sides to go with those ribs. OR. You could kick up your heels and enjoy the rest of the can of beer, since there’s more that 1 cup in a can 😉

Once the ribs are done, unseal the lid and let the pressure come back down, then open up that lid and expose the gloriousness that is the cooked ribs. Lay them on a tray and slather them with your favourite BBQ sauce (both sides).

Now you have two options here: you can either finish these off on the grill or in the oven. On the grill, set your heat to medium-high, or in the oven, set your broiler to medium-hi. Either place the ribs right on the grill or under the broiler, and cook them for a few minutes on either side, just long enough to get some darkened, caramelized bits.

Remove from the heat, and either serve up directly with your extra BBQ sauce on the side, or slather on a bit more sauce just before serving.

Happy eating.

Instant Pot Tonkotsu Ramen

Instant Pot Ramen

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

  • 2 pork trotters, split
  • 2 chicken backs
  • 2 leeks, whites only, cut into chunks
  • 2 shallots, cut into chunks
  • 3″ piece of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 baby king oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 600g pork belly, rolled and tied tightly
  • 4 eggs, soft boiled
  • 400g package fresh ramen noodles
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 4 baby bok choy, leaves separated
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 4 eggs, soft boiled
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsps mirin

Directions

Place pig trotters and chicken backs in pot of boiling water, reduce temperature to simmer. Simmer for a minimum of 10 minutes, skimming off foam as it cooks. Remove trotters and backs, set aside, discard liquid. Pick out any dark or bloody bits from trotters and backs. Place trotters, backs, leeks, shallots, ginger, mushrooms, and pot belly in instant pot. Close pot and cook on “soup/broth” setting for 2.5 hours. Place soy sauce, mirin and 4 Tbsps water in ziplock bag, place eggs in bag, and place in refrigerator, turn occasionally (can be done night before). After 2.5 hours, release pressure and open. Remove belly, wrap tightly in cling film wrap and place in refrigerator. Close back up, set for another 60 minutes. Once done, release pressure, then strain broth and throw out solids. In pot, boil water. Using a small mesh strainer, cook ramen in water until done, remove and strain, and place in bowls. Using same mesh strainer, cook bok choy leaves for 30-60 seconds, strain. Take pork belly from refrigerator, remove cling film and slice thinly. Arrange pork belly, bok choy, corn and green onions in bowl over ramen noodles. Ladle hot broth over other ingredients, top with halved eggs and serve.

And now for the details…

Ramen. Delicious, delicious ramen. Until about a decade ago, I had no idea what real ramen was or could be. Before that, my brain associated the word ramen with Mr. Noodles or Ichiban, and I had no idea that there was so much more that ramen had to offer than instant noodles.

Since then, I have sought out ramen wherever I may roam. My favourite that I have tried so far is from the chain Tenkaippin in Japan. We made return trips to the same restaurant in Kyoto, several years ago. The broth is super flavourful, thick and rich. I have dreams about it even still. This recipe… is not that soup unfortunately. But, it is a nice rich broth that is pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. Cooking for an extended period of time in the Instant Pot is allowing the collagen to release from trotters and chicken backs, providing a thick mouth feel.

Let’s get started. We will start by “cleaning” the pig trotters and chicken backs. Bring a pot to a rolling boil and add the trotters and backs. Reduce to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes, skimming off any gunky foam off the top. Once that’s done, dump the liquid. Using a fork, knife, or chopstick, we are going to pick at the trotters and back, removing any darkened bits or pieces that obviously have blood. We are doing this to clean out any bloody bits so we have a nice clear broth, rather than a skanky, cloudy, dark broth.

That icky looking foam is what you skim off and dispose of…

Once cleaned, place the trotters and backs in your instant pot. Stack in the leeks, shallots, ginger, and mushrooms. We are also going to roll the pork belly pieces and tie them tight with butchers twine, and place that in the pot with everything else.

Fill the pot with water up to the “MAX” line, and then close the pot, ensuring it is in the “Sealing” position and set for 2.5 hours on the “Soup/Broth” setting.

While the broth is cooking, we’ll set the eggs to marinating. We are making ajitsuke tamago, or seasoned eggs, to add to the ramen later. Mix the soy sauce, mirin, and 4 tablespoons of water in a ziplock bag, and then place your soft boiled eggs inside (need a refresher on how to soft boil an egg? Directions are included in this recipe). Close the ziplock up tight so as little air as possible is left inside, and then place in the fridge. Turn them around after an hour or two so they marinate evenly on all sides.

After 2.5 hours of cooking, release the pressure from the pot, and open ‘er up. Remove the pork belly, then close the pot back up, including resetting to “Sealing” position and set the pot back to “Soup/Broth” setting and cook again for 60 minutes. Wrap the pork belly tightly in cling wrap, and place in the refrigerator. The pork belly is more than cooked by now, and chilling the belly will allow us to cut it nice and thin to place in the bowl later.

Once the broth is done, strain it into a container, and discard any solids. I like using cheese cloth to help with the straining to get rid of any small, gritty bits.

Time to get everything ready. Boil water in a pot, and place the ramen noodles in a wire mesh strainer. Dip the strainer into the pot to cook the noodles, and when done, drain the noodles and place in the bottom of a large bowl.

Using the same strainer and boiling water, cook the bok choy until the leave just turn vibrant green. Place the boy choy, green onions, and corn into the bowl. Remove the pork belly from the fridge, and take out of the cling wrap. Slice the pork belly thinly and place in the ramen bowl.

Finish the soup off by taking the eggs out of the marinating liquid, cutting in half, and placing in the bowl. Ladle the still-hot broth over the soup contents, and serve immediately. Enjoy immediately!

Happy eating.

Chilli con Carne

Chilli con Carne

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Ingredients

  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 680 g (1.5 lbs) very lean ground beef
  • 450 g (1 lbs) ground pork
  • 800 ml (28 oz) diced canned tomatoes
  • 400 ml (1 2/3 c.) beef broth
  • 540 ml (19 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 540 ml (19 oz) can white kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1.5 Tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 250 ml (1 cup) beer

Directions

On stove: Using a heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat, then add the shallots and garlic, sautéing until softened. Add the beef and pork, stirring regularly, and breaking apart large chunks, until cooked through. Add the rest of the ingredients, turn the temperature down and simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the corn within the last 5 minutes.

In Instant Pot: Set the pot to Sauté, add the oil and sauté the shallots and garlic until softened. Add the beef and pork,stirring regularly, and breaking apart large chunks, until cooked through. Add the rest of the ingredients, set the pot to Meat/Stew, and close under sealing for 15-25 minutes. Flip back to Sauté and add the corn, stirring for a few minutes until the corn is cooked.

Once done, serve with preferred toppings, like avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


And now for the details…

Even though it’s already May, we have been hit up with some pretty chilly weather. And so I figured what better meal for chilly than… chilli. Oh I am soooo witty *rolling eyes*.

This recipe was interesting to measure and document for me, since chilli is something I have been making sans recipe since I was kid. When I was little, I would be so insistent on “helping” while my mom cooked. When she cooked chilli, it was never off a recipe card, and it has become the same for me. A bit of an eyeball on quantities, cook a little longer, taste, adjust.

The bit of research I did on chilli was interesting. There is a lot of debate on the origins of the well known stew. Whether the true origin of chilli was as a pack meal, the angelic vision of Sister Mary Ágreda, or the preparation of defeated conquistadors by the Aztecs (ewwwwwwww), it seems as though the debate will continue. After learning more, I also apologize to the hardcores on the addition of beans, which I understand is also a matter of huge debate. But the simple fact that I am spelling it “chilli”, not “chili” is probably a clear indication that we are pretty far north from the origin (which has been determined as northern Mexico/southern Texas), and since I am Canadian, of course I have to apologize at some point here! All in all, chilli has become a staple for many, with chilli competitions across the globe, canned chilli being readily available in most grocery stores, and several pop culture chilli references (El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer, anyone?), it is a popular dish that will likely never be agreed upon, but readily enjoyed by all.

For this version, I have given instructions for both on the stove or in an Instant Pot. It is typically a stove dish for me, but I wanted to see how this did in the Instant Pot to see if I could get that “long simmer” flavour in a short period of time. It seems to have worked out quite well! For the purpose of these detailed instructions, I used the Instant Pot, but following the instruction on the stove would work just as well, it will just need a bit more simmering time.

Let’s start by sautĂ©ing the shallots and garlic in our pot (either SautĂ© setting for Instant, or medium-high heat on the stove). Once the shallots have softened, add the meats, sautĂ©ing until they are mostly cooked through, and stirring regularly to break the ground meat apart so it does not form into large chunks.

Next, we add the tomatoes, beans (drain and rinse them first!), spices, and Worcestershire sauce. Give it all a good stir and make sure everyone in there are close, personal friends. If in the Instant Pot, close it up on Sealing, set it to Meat/Stew and cook for 15-25 minutes. If on the stove, turn the heat down to a simmer, and let it cook for 45-60 minutes, and stir occasionally so that the meat does not burn on the bottom of the pot.

If you are using the Instant Pot, once the pressure cook is done, set the pot back to Sauté. Add the corn and cook until the corn is cooked. This should only take 3-5 minutes. I found this corn and jalapeño mix at my grocery store and thought it would be a great add to chilli! The jalapeños added their slight heat and flavour, which probably would have been lost if added at the beginning and stewed. If you are cooking on the stove, this step would happen in the last 5-ish minutes of cooking.

Now that your chilli is ready, ladle into a bowl, top with your toppings of choice (cheese, avocado and sour cream (or crĂšme fraĂźche!) are the preferred options in our house) and enjoy!

Happy eating.