I had planned in advance to marinate a pork tenderloin in Goya Mojo Criollo marinade this weekend and cook it until it fell apart for soft tacos. Mainly in honor of Cinco de Mayo, but also because I had three tenderloins in the chest freezer. Of course, I forgot to take one out to thaw in time to allow for a lengthy bath in the marninade as well as a lengthy slow-cooking process.
Instead, I decided to break out my pressure cooker. I had just been thinking about pressure cookers a few days before while watching an episode of “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” (which, by the way, is on ALL the time now. Have you noticed it’s on infinity marathon?). In that episode, a guy was pressure cooking his boliche, and I thought, I really need to try making boliche in the pressure cooker next time. If you have never had boliche, or stuffed eye of round roast, you are seriously missing out. Click here to see the recipe my friend Natalee’s Cuban mother’s recipe. It’s “off the hook,” as Guy would say.
But back to the pork tenderloin. I figured I’d marinate it all day yesterday and then pressure cook it until I could shred it with a fork. I went to the Internet to see how long I should let it pressure cook and found that recipes varied from 35 minutes to 80 minutes for a 2-3 lb. roast. OK, that’s helpful.
Well, the great thing about modern pressure cookers is that you can quickly release the pressure and check your dish and, if it isn’t done, bring it back up to pressure and continue cooking without losing too much time. So I set the timer for 35 minutes as my first check time. I didn’t have to cook it any longer – 35 minutes was perfect. I shredded it, put it back in the juices of pork and the beer I cooked it in, added some diced green chiles and a few additional seasonings, and voila! We had a great dinner. Good thing I didn’t cook it for 80 minutes.
On the side, I made a very quick corn salad with a can of Mexicorn, some chopped plum tomatoes, a little of my fresh garlic chives from the garden and a few splashes of my homemade chile-garlic vinegar.
When I have more time to research I usually go to Miss Vickie for pressure cooker recipes and tips. Do any of you routinely cook meats in the pressure cooker? If so, I would love to hear some of your tips and techniques, as well. I’ve heard pot roast can be especially good if done correctly.
Here are the specifics on my easy pork tenderloin, in case anybody wants the details:
Pulled Pork Tacos
1 (2 lb.) pork tenderloin
1 cup Goya Mojo marinade (available in Latino foods section at grocery store)
1 cup beer or water
1 small can diced green chiles
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Poke pork roast all over with a fork. Place in a gallon zipper-lock bag with the marinade. Seal and squish it around to distribute marinade. Refrigerate all day or overnight. Massage bag once or twice, if you have the time, to redistribute marinade.
2. Place pork roast and marinade in a pressure cooker with one cup of beer or water. Lock it down, bring it up to pressure and turn the burner down as low as you can to keep the pressure. Cook for 35 minutes. Place cooker in the sink and run cold water over it to release the pressure (or do it the old-fashioned way). Remove pork roast to a cutting board and let cool enough to shred it with two forks. Skim any fat or scud out of the pressure cooker, then put the shredded pork back in the juices.
3. Stir in the chiles and seasonings. You can really put in any seasonings you want at this point, to taste. If the pork and juices are not hot by the time you are ready to eat, put the cooker with the lid off over a low flame to warm back up. Scoop meat out with a slotted spoon.