Winter comfort food. These three words conjure up thoughts of home cooked recipes that are rich and warming. It’s the food we crave during the long dark days of winter and words that mean something different to each person depending on where they grew up. Some polls even say we turn to these foods in times of stress. There is no one way of determining what connotes a comfort food, but the list of possible items almost always contains a soup, stew, or gravy-laden item.
This recipe is a bit of a mashup between two types of “pork with gravy” recipes–Southern and Austrian. On a trip to Germany and Austria last year, I fell in love with the flavors of pork and caraway. This flavorful little seed is most notably found in seeded rye bread. It has a pungent flavor that pairs perfectly with pork. German and Austrian cooks use it in quite a few recipes including sauerkraut which would be a great side dish for this recipe. The gravy is what makes this dish especially comforting. Gravy might even be considered a comfort food of its own.
If you want to give this dish more of an Austrian flare, you can substitute a good Austrian (or German) beer for the wine. As with most Instant Pot recipes that use the slow cook option, you can also make this recipe using the Pressure Cook function. I would suggest pressure cooking on high for 40 minutes with the natural release method for the best results. Either way, you will have a flavorful pork dish that will likely become a family favorite!
- 1 – 3.5 lbs. Firsthand Foods Boneless Pork Shoulder (Butt or Picnic)
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
- 2 celery ribs, cut into 2” pieces
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. Caraway seeds
- ½ tsp. Ground black pepper
- 3 tsp. Salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 Tbs. cooking oil
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 2 Tbs. cornstarch
- 1 Tbs. water
- Sprinkle 2 tsp. of salt all over the pork butt. Set aside.
- Heat the cooking oil in an Instant Pot on the Saute setting. Add the pork butt to the Instant Pot once the oil is hot.
- Sear the pork butt on all sides until golden brown. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for 1 minute. Add the pork butt to the Instant Pot on top of the vegetables. Add the wine.
- Simmer the wine on the Saute setting for 5 minutes. Stir the mustard into the vegetable or chicken stock. Add it to the Instant Pot.
- Add the Caraway seeds, ground black pepper, Bay leaf, and the remaining 1 tsp. of salt to the pot. Cancel the Saute setting. Push the meat down into the liquid and place the lid on the Instant Pot and open the steam vent.
- Turn on the Slow Cook function to the highest setting. Set timer for 5 ½ hours.
- When the timer finishes, remove the pork from the Instant Pot and using two forks, pull the meat apart. Set aside.
- To make the gravy:
- Strain 2 cups of juices and place in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Mix the cornstarch and the water together in a small bowl
- Add the butter to the pan juices and then the cornstarch/water mixture. Whisk to combine.
- Bring to a low boil to thicken the gravy. Remove from the heat.