This is succulent pulled pork with an Indian twist. The pork is swimming in a fragrant coconut sauce rich with spices like garam masala, turmeric, coriander, and cinnamon (plus, lots of onion, garlic, and ginger).
This recipe is made in two parts. First, cook the pork shoulder. Then, simmer the coconut curry sauce. Using one pot, the Instant Pot, for both steps keeps the cooking time and the dirty dishes to a minimum.
Typically, pork shoulder is cut into small stew pieces for curries. On some days though this step can feel like too much time and effort. So, for this recipe, the pork is cooked in large pieces instead and then shredded into the sauce.
Serve Instant Pot Pulled Pork Coconut Curry with sweet potatoes or roasted squash. It’s also great with sautéed greens on the side.
Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour of hands-on cooking time, plus 80 minutes in the pressure cooker
Servings: 6 to 8
3 to 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces (1.4 to 1.8 kg)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup/60 ml)
2 tablespoons avocado oil (30 ml)
1 tablespoon garam masala (15 ml)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (5 ml)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (1.2 ml)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (10 ml)
Coconut Sauce Ingredients
2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided (30 ml)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee (15 ml)
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (411 g)
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
2-inches/50 mm peeled ginger root, grated
1 teaspoon garam masala (5 ml)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (2.5 ml)
1/2 teaspoon cumin (2.5 ml)
1/2 teaspoon coriander (2.5 ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (2.5 ml)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (2.5 ml)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (1.2 ml)
Recipe Tip: The pork can be made a day head, or be made on the same day as the coconut curry sauce.
For the pork, mix together lemon juice, avocado oil, garam masala, garlic powder, cinnamon, and salt. Pour marinade over the pork pieces. Marinate 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature (while prepping the rest of the ingredients) or several hours in the refrigerator.
Using the sauté function of an electric pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot) set on medium, heat one tablespoon of coconut oil. Lift each piece of pork out of the marinade, shaking excess marinade off (save the marinade). Cook the pieces of pork until browned on all sides; about 8 minutes total for each piece. If the pot gets too hot and the spices on the pork start to burn, turn down the heat, and/or add more oil.
When the pork is browned, pour the remaining marinade into the pot. Add 1/4 cup (180 ml) water. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen any bits of meat that have stuck to the bottom of the pot.
With all the pork in the pot, cover and lock the lid. Set the pressure cooker to cook for 80 minutes under high pressure. Make sure the valve is in the “sealed” position. When 80 minutes has passed, let the pressure release naturally (about 15 minutes).
Take the pork out of the broth; shred when cooled. Reserve ¼ cup of the broth; the rest can be refrigerated for another use (add to soups or stews for extra flavor, or use the broth to flavor meat or roasted vegetables.)
Using the pressure cooker’s sauté function on medium, heat the unsalted butter or ghee, plus the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil. Add onion, cook until soft and nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful that the onion doesn’t burn; turn heat to low if necessary. When the onion is nicely browned, add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute more. Add turmeric, garam masala, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cardamom. Add tomatoes, ½ cup coconut milk and ¼ cup of the broth left from cooking the pork.
Bring sauce to a simmer. Simmer five minutes, then stir in the pork. Simmer 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Before serving, taste and add salt or more coconut milk if desired. Garnish with cilantro or parsley, and an optional dollop of whole milk yogurt.
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Coconut Curry is a recipe that tastes good the first day, and even better the next day, when the spices and flavors have time to meld.