Introductions, Instant Pot Pork, & The BEST Hawaiian Pizza Ever
My name is Sarah and I love food. In fact, I love food so much that it's pretty much all I think about. I’m obsessed with trying new things (food wise), inventing cocktails, hoarding cookbooks, and sharing my passion for cooking with anyone who’ll listen. That’s why last year I started a food blog called The Saucy Rabbit where I post weekly meal plans, mostly healthy recipes, the occasional party menu, and insight into various foodie establishments around my hometown of Walla Walla.
The first post I wanted to share with you is one I recently posted on my own blog for the new year. I tend to be a bit of a busy body and rarely sit down and relax when I’m at home. It’s my goal to be a little bit lazier and this Double Duty Dinner is my step towards achieving that.
One of the biggest gripes in my life right now is that I never seem to have enough time. I work a typical 9-to-5 office job, and I really struggle with balancing my domestic responsibilities, being a reliable employee, exercising most every day, trying not to mess up my child, and allowing myself the freedom to relax.
If life were purely about cooking, cleaning, working, and sleeping, then I’m living the dream… however, where is the time for me?
I rarely take the time to stop being productive and just be a lazy bum. Why can’t I just sit there and read a book without worrying about all the things I need to do? I’m completely baffled by friends of mine who can nap. How the heck can you sleep when there’s laundry to be done!?
I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions; however, IF I were to… I want to be better at being lazy. I know that’s essentially an anti-resolution but for my own sanity and happiness I need to learn to just sit down and do nothing when I’m at home.
This Double Duty Dinner is a step in the right direction. If you can throw a piece of meat into a bowl and chop up a few veggies, then you’ve got the Instant Pot Pork covered. It’s a complete meal-in-one kind of dish that takes about 5 minutes of actual work and a whopping 2 hours of hands-off cooking. You know what that means? Two whole hours to do whatever the heck you want. From my perspective that sounds glorious!
Every time I make a batch of Instant Pot Pork, I’ll serve the majority of the deliciously tender meat for dinner but I always set aside a pound to freeze and use for something else. It’s extremely versatile and taste greats in so many things! Frittatas, tacos, salads, soups, sandwiches, pizzas…. the sky’s the limit!
One of my absolute favorite way to use up the leftover pork is on this Hawaiian Pizza. I know fruit on pizza is highly controversial but this tastes nothing like the ham and pineapple crapizza that you’re thinking of right now. In fact, I proclaim this version to be the best rendition of Hawaiian Pizza… in the universe. Most certainly the best I’ve ever tasted.
Now I know you’re thinking… making pizza from scratch is the opposite of “being lazy.” Well… you’re absolutely right. However, the dough and sauce can be made in under a half hour, plus you already did the work with the pork. If you can mange to cut up a pineapple and shred some cheese somewhere in that half hour, then you’ve got dinner handled.
So here’s to 2019… the year I embrace laziness and eat pizza because of it.
Instant Pot Pork
3 slices bacon
4-5 pound boneless pork butt/shoulder
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper
1 cabbage, cored & cut into 6 wedges
2 pounds carrots, peeled & halved crosswise
Grab an Instant Pot and throw the bacon into the bottom of the insert in a single layer. Push "Saute" and cook until just about crispy on one side then flip over.
Meanwhile, cut the pork roast into 3 equal pieces and use a sharp knife to stab 2 garlic clove-size holes into each piece. Push a garlic clove into each hole then season the pork liberally with salt and pepper. Throw the pork on top of the bacon in a single layer, pour in 1 cup of water, and secure the lid. Push "Manual" and set the time to 90 minutes on high pressure. Be sure the valve on top is set to "Sealing."
When the pork is done, allow the pressure to release naturally (about 30 minutes) or if you're in a hurry manually release the pressure. Use a slotted spoon to move the pork to a bowl and cover with foil. Be sure to set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pork for the pizza and refrigerate/freeze until needed.
Throw the cabbage wedges into the insert followed by the carrots. Secure the lid and cook using "Manual" for 5 minutes. When done, release the pressure manually.
To serve, divide the pork, cabbage, and carrots between bowls then top with a ladle or two of the cooking liquid.
NOTES: For the Instant Pot Pork, feel free to change up the carrots with any root vegetable you have on hand.
Recipe adapted from Kalua Pig in Ready or Not!
1 cup warm water
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Instant Pot Pork
2/3 cup pineapple, cut into small chunks (fresh is best)
1/2 cup sweet pickled peppers (I used Mama Lil’s)
1 1/2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Handful sliced almonds
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Hefty pinch red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 200° and let heat up for about 5 minutes then shut off.
Meanwhile, grab the bowl of an electric mixer and throw in the water. Sprinkle over the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour and 2 teaspoons salt. Using the dough hook attachment on the mixer, mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Reduce the speed to medium-low and let the mixer knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
Remove the dough and coat the inside of the bowl with a little olive oil. Throw the dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and stick into the warmed oven. Let rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Grab a medium saucepan and put on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and the garlic. When the garlic begins to turn golden, pour in the tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble. Cook until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for now.
When the dough has doubled, remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 500°. Grab a large baking sheet. Lightly flour your work surface and throw the dough on there. Roll out to the size of your baking sheet, dusting with more flour if needed to keep from sticking. Sprinkle the baking sheet with a small handful of cornmeal then transfer the dough to the pan. Use your fingers to push the dough to fit the sheet as best you can.
Spread the tomato sauce over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border (you may not need all of the sauce). Sprinkle the pork, pineapple, and pickled peppers over the sauce. Then top with the cheeses, almonds, and thyme. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bake until the crust is golden brown on the edges, about 15-20 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before slicing.
NOTES: If you're really pressed for time you can use store-bought pizza dough, marinara sauce, and canned pineapple. It won't be as awesome but do what you gotta do!