Pork Roast (in the Instant Pot)

This recipe is basically the Kalua Pig recipe from Nom Nom Paleo, though I never have the right salt. The pork is really versatile: it’s good simply out of the pot or add bbq sauce or use in soup (pozole, for example) or tacos.


  • 3 slices bacon
  • 3–5-pound bone-in or boneless pork shoulder roast (or pork butt roast, a butcher once told me they are the same thing)
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt per pound (half that amount for fine salt)


  1. Set the Instant Pot on sauté and brown the bacon while you are preparing the pork.
  2. Slice pork roast into 3 equal chunks.
  3. Slit the pork and tuck in the garlic (just kind of spread it out 2 in each piece of meat).
  4. Salt the pork all over.
  5. Flip the bacon over (if you haven’t already) and add the pork then the water to the Instant Pot.
  6. Select Pressure Cook, and cook at 90 minutes high pressure. Let depressurize naturally.

Carnitas Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

I’m all about recipe books with great pictures and layouts these days and I pick up a new one from the library each time I go in. This recipe comes from Kelsey Nixon’s Kitchen Confidence and it’s a keeper. These carnitas are incredibly flavorful! (It comes with a recipe for pickled red onions, which I did not make, but will do so in the future. That recipe follows the carnitas.)

1 3lb boneless pork shoulder (butt), trimmed of excess fat
Juice of 4 limes
1 C orange juice
4 garlic cloves, smashed
3 T chili powder
1 t ground coriander
1 t ground cumin
1 T kosher salt

Cut the pork shoulder into 1.5-2 inch pieces and put them in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the lime juice, orange juice, garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, and salt. Add just enough water to cover the pork and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking at a gentle simmer for at least 1.5 hours but no longer than 2 hours, stirring occaisonally and taking care that there is still liquid in the pot.

Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until all the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking, carefully turning the pork pieces, until they develop brown, crispy edges, about 5 minutes.

Serve the pork with picked onions (instructions below), warmed tortillas, and, if desired, avocado, cilantro, cabbage, cheese, and lime wedges for squeezing.



1/3 C fresh lime juice
1/3 C red wine vinegar
1/3 C sugar
1 T kosher salt
1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into rings
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, combine the lime juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and jalapeño. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.

Place the onion slices in a bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over them. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool for about 20 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 days.

Black Beans & Rice with Sausage


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked white rice

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2-3 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 t paprika
cilantro, to taste
3 cooked black beans
1lb cooked sausage of your choice

In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes.

Cut sausage into approx. quarter inch discs, saute in pan until heated through.

To rice, add the spices, black beans, and sausage. Mix and serve.

Pork Shoulder Ragu


I tried this recipe after a recommendation from our friends Lindsey and Bethany. It’s a good one! Getting it in the oven on time was my biggest challenge, but after that, it’s SO SO simple. Great flavor & hard to mess up, this one’s a winner.

2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small pat butter
1 large can whole tomatoes, with juice
1 cup red wine
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh oregano
Small handful of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness (I used Trader Joe’s Hot Chili Sauce)
Freshly grated Parmesean

Preheat oven to 325°F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all.

Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.) Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir. Cook 1 to 2 pounds pasta according to package directions. When it’s is ready, put into individual bowls and top with ragu and lots of Parm.

**I try to always include the recipe as its creator intended, and then share my own changes below. I used sriracha for the hot sauce (and estimated rather than measured), and replaced pappardelle with egg noodles. No fresh herbs, used dried instead. Other thoughts are recorded at www.tredways.org.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

This was recently prepared at one of my company’s lunches and is a great autumn dish.


  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 2 lbs. pork tenderloin
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rub minced garlic into the pork.
  3. In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, and thyme.
  4. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the tenderloin and rub it into all sides. Make sure you cover all sides.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tenderloin.
  6. Fill roasting pan with about 1 inch of warm water.
  7. Place pork tenderloin in roasting pan.
  8. Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes per pound or until tenderloin reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. Pork will still be a bit pink at this temperature. If you want it more well-done, cook to an internal temperature of 150-160 degrees.
  9. Remove pork from oven and let it stand for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Transfer to cutting board and slice into smaller pieces.

Hard Cider Braised Pork Roast

Tonight was the second time I’ve made a pork roast using this recipe. And while the recipe was quite good as written, this time we made a substitution that changed it enough (in a good way) that I think it deserves its own post. Since Jason doesn’t love beer, I swapped out the beer for hard cider (I used Woodchuck), and the result was, in my opinion, markedly more delicious, even though I really like the beer version too. (I also used regular paprika, since smoked paprika isn’t my favorite. I really don’t know if it makes a difference or not.)


  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 3 pounds pork butt roast, cut into 3– to 4–inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into quarters
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into big chunks
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2 12-ounce bottles Woodchuck or other hard cider
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) beef broth


  1. Combine the brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, oregano, and seasoned salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Rub the dry spice mixture over the pork pieces until well coated and refrigerate 4–24 hours.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Sear the meat on each side and add to a large slow cooker.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, hard cider, and beef broth to the slow cooker.
  5. Stir all of the ingredients and cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Ham and Cheese Sliders



These are a surprise hit with the kids. In fact, they’ve lately become my go-to thing for something easy I know they’ll eat. I usually make 6 to 8 sandwiches.


  • Rolls of some kind (we usually use hamburger buns, but you could also use cocktail buns)
  • 1/2 pound (ish) sliced ham (I have used deli ham as well as leftover Easter ham)
  • Swiss cheese (one slice for each sandwich)
  • mayonaise (a little for each sandwich; optional)
  • honey mustard sauce (recipe follows)

for the sauce

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (yellow or Dijon, as you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried minced onion (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with foil (for easy cleanup)
  2. Assemble the sandwiches (minus the honey mustard sauce) on the cookie sheet
  3. Mix all the sauce ingredients together and brush on top of each bun (if I have extra sauce, and I usually do, I just lift up the top of each bun and brush some sauce on top of the cheese)
  4. Bake, covered with foil, for 10 min; remove the foil and bake another 2 minutes