This recipe for Gingerbread Spiced Instant Pot Pulled Pork is a unique twist on traditional pulled pork. With less than 10 ingredients and ready in just under an hour, it's the perfect dish for your next holiday party or potluck!
This Gingerbread Spiced Instant Pot Pulled Pork, ya'll. I can't even.
I'll admit it - I was wary. I couldn't tell beforehand if it was going to taste like you were eating a cinnamon broom, or if it was going to be the perfect blend of warm winter spices on your traditional pulled pork recipe. But I still risked a 4lb pork shoulder on it for you, and I'm so glad I did.
The amount of time I have right now is so so limited. I want to be trying, photographing, and writing recipes, I really do. But there are only so many hours in a day, and so much of me to go around. So when it comes to food right now, we're in survival mode. What can I make that serves a ton of people that we can split and freeze, or eat for an entire week?
You're probably wondering how I even came up with this.
The Instant Pot Pulled Pork over at Jay's Baking Me Crazy has become a staple. After the first time I made it, I knew I would never use another Instant Pot pulled pork recipe.
But, I still get bored with food sometimes. I want super tasty flavors, and on occasion, I'm willing to follow some longer instructions to get there. This is usually where Mel Joulwan comes in, with her flavor explosion recipes that often take more time than I have or budget for, but are oh-so-worth-it in the end.
I came across her Gingerbread Pork Stew and had that same initial thought - yum or yuck?
I tried it. The flavor was ok, but the meat came out tough and chewy, and something was missing from the spice blend (answer: salt).
So then my brain started spinning. What if I could take the stew spice blend for the flavoring, and the pulled pork cooking method for the texture, combine the two, and get delicious, tender, gingerbread spiced instant pot pulled pork?
And here we are, friends. With the tastiest cold-weather-perfect pulled pork you'll ever eat.
What goes in gingerbread spice instant pot pulled pork
Not much, honestly. Pork, a splash of oil, some spices, and a little water for the Instant Pot to do it's thing. That's it.
Can I use pre-made gingerbread spice mix
Probably. I always prefer to make my own spice blends, because I know exactly what's in them.
If you use a pre-mixed one, just be forewarned that the ratios may not be the same, which may result in the end result of the flavor being slightly different from what this recipe has.
This sounds weird. Gingerbread spice is usually something in baked goods, not meat.
I'm with you, I really am. I felt the same way before I made it. But I promise you - just try it. It's savory instead of sweet and is the perfect blend of holiday spices.
I have an Instant Pot, but it's still in the box in the closet and I've never opened it. I want to use it, but all the buttons are so scary and intimidating. Can I cook this another way?
If you want. But instead, take the leap. Pull that sucker out of the box, plug it in, and hit only the buttons listed in the recipe below.
Don't even look at the other ones. You don't need them right now, they're irrelevant. I promise, once you use it a few times, you'll get curious about the other things it can do and start poking around. Start small!
If you need more help, check out my post on Instant Pot basics.
Instant Pot Pulled Pork Tips & Tricks
Have the butcher cut out the bone. I couldn't find a boneless pork shoulder, so I asked the butcher to remove the bone for me. He did, free of charge. And I paid for the weight AFTER the bone was removed. Winning.
Remove the pork to shred. If you have trouble shredding the pork in the Instant Pot, take the chunks out, set them on a cutting board, shred them, and scrape back into the pot.
Don't skip the sauté function at the end. Those 10 minutes are important! It helps all the liquid cook down and brings out all the flavor in the spices and the meat.
Leftovers are best. This is delicious right out of the pot, but it's even better if you give it a day or two. Allow it to cool, store in the fridge, and then re-heat just what you want to eat.
What to serve this with
It doesn't need much more than that!
- 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 3.5 lb boneless pork shoulder
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ¼ cup +2 tablespoon water
- Combine all spices for the gingerbread spice mixture in a small bowl and mix well.
- Cut the pork shoulder into approximately 7-8 large chunks and place in the Instant Pot.
- Pour the avocado oil over the pork and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle the bowl of the gingerbread spice mixture over the pork, distributing evenly. Stir again, working to coat all the pieces of pork with the spice mixture.
- Add the water to the Instant Pot, put the lid on, and close.
- Make sure the valve is closed, then hit the "manual" button and increase time to 40 minutes.
- Once the pork is done cooking, let the IP natural release for at least 10 minutes.
- Hit "cancel" and release the pressure valve. Carefully open the top and shred the pork completely.
- Once all the pork is shredded, stir well and press the "sauté" button. Allow the liquid to cook down for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Hit "cancel" again, and serve immediately. Cooled pork can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 359mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 23g
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