Cooking pork spare ribs to that point where they are extremely luscious and tender is usually a long process, usually involving the oven (at least for me). Even in the cooler weather this didn’t seem to be an option even with windows and doors open; however it occurred to me that I had another option: the Instant Pot. So despite the rather humid (even if cool) weather and the prospect of hotter weather imminent, that package of spare ribs went home with me.
I’ve cooked other meat (e.g. beef short ribs) in my Instant Pot with wonderful results so that was my plan. Realizing that i was going to have an abundance of pork I started thinking of ways to deal with it: some for the freezer perhaps since there are lots of things to do with good cooked pork.
My favorite way of cooking many things in the Instant Pot (IP) is the pot-in-pot method*–a container with a lid inside the Instant Pot. My reason for using this method so often is that in cooking for one I’m often using rather small quantities in a six-quart IP. Often I don’t want to add as much liquid as would be necessary cooking directly in the container of the pot itself.
I like this method especially for meats. The broth that you collect is undiluted by water so you have broth that is flavorful and will gel nicely. So that is how the spare ribs were cooked. The only “disadvantage” to this method is that you may need to increase the cooking times but since I use the IP mainly because of hands-off method and flavor I don’t find that to be a problem.
It really isn’t possible to give quantities for things like the peppercorns or precisely for the salt–you’ll have to judge by your taste.
- about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds boneless pork spare ribs
- 2 bay leaves
- whole black peppercorns (a lot–about a generous teaspoon or more if you like pepper
- 4 or 5 cloves of garlic
- salt (more than you would think)–about 2 or 3 teaspoons
- The day before or at least three or four hours ahead of cooking, sprinkle the spare ribs generously with kosher salt.
- When ready to cook, rinse if there is still salt visible and pat the meat dry.
- Cut the strips into 2- or 3-inch chunks (to fit into your bowl).
- Add 1 cup of water to the IP container, place the trivet, and set the covered bowl on the trivet.
- Close the IP and set to “meat”. These took about 90 minutes at high pressure.
I removed a healthy serving of the cooked spare ribs for my supper on that cool, rainy evening (with sides of cabbage and some rice) and then cooled the remaining in the broth (and the fat) for another use.
Cooks notes: *This is a rather long video but it introduces the pot-in-pot method and containers suitable for this. I almost always use a cover on the inner pot so that additional liquid doesn’t collect in it. For more on containers see this link, this link, or here.