Here’s our porky version of the beef stew that’s been making the rounds on social media. (It’s sometimes called a “stir-fry” online, but we can’t understand how it’s anything but a braise— nor even what truly makes it “Mongolian.”) We think our version is better because 1) it uses pork (which is a sweeter meat), and 2) the bone adds a great deal of flavor to the sauce for a more satisfying meal. Notice that this recipe calls for cut-up bone-in pork shoulder. It’s easy to find in the South; it’s a bit more difficult to track down elsewhere. If you can’t, select a fresh pork shoulder and have the butcher cut it into 1 1/2- to 2-inch chunks before freezing these in a sealed plastic bag. Or substitute bone-in country-style pork ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces and frozen in a bag. Or use regular pork stew meat (although you’ll then miss out on the flavor of that bony goodness in the sauce). Steps 6 and 7 ask you to thicken the sauce with cornstarch. In truth, you needn’t. You can skip those steps and just serve the much “looser” sauce with the pork.
3/4cupunsweetened apple juice or cider
1/4cupregular or reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1tbsppeeled and minced fresh gingeror 1 tsp ground dried ginger
1frozen cut‑up bone‑in pork shoulder2 1/2-pound
1lbfrozen unseasoned mixed vegetablespreferably an Asian-style blend (any seasoning packet discarded), 4 to 5 cups
Stir the juice or cider, soy sauce or tamari, honey, and ginger in an Instant Pot. Set the block of frozen pork meat in the liquids (it may rest against the side of the pot’s insert). Lock the lid onto the pot.
Option 1Max Pressure Cooker
Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 35 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
Option 2All Pressure Cookers
Press Meat/Stew or Pressure cook (Manual) on High pressure for 40 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
Use the quick-release method to bring the pot’s pressure back to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Stir the pork until it breaks into chunks (it may have already), then stir in the vegetables. Lock the lid back onto the pot.
Press Meat/Stew or Pressure cook (Manual) on High pressure for 1 minute with the Keep Warm setting off. The vent must be closed.
Use the quick-release method to bring the pot’s pressure back to normal. Again, unlatch the lid and open the cooker.
Press the button for SAUTÉ. Set it for MEDIUM, NORMAL, or CUSTOM 300°F and set the timer for 5 minutes.
If you like, bring the liquid in the pot to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk the water and cornstarch in a small bowl or teacup until smooth. When the liquid is simmering in the pot, stir in this slurry and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened somewhat, about 1 minute. Turn off the SAUTÉ function and set the pot aside for a couple of minutes so that the sauce continues to set up.
• For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you must increase the cider or juice to 1 1/4 cups and increase the bone-in pork shoulder to 3 pounds.
• Serve the stew over cooked rice, white or brown. We prefer a medium-grain rice, like Arborio (again, either white or brown).
• Or try it over cooked and drained rice noodles.
• Garnish the servings with minced scallions or chives, cilantro leaves, and/or chopped, salted peanuts.
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