August 15, 2016 at 6:33 pm #37033
A few months ago I got an Instant Pot. I’ve made an amazing Irish lamb stew, converted by favourite creamy ham/veg chowder, and roasted a few chickens. Recently, a friend who raises pigs gave me a fresh ham shank and asked I find something to do with it (besides curing/smoking into a normal ham). To be clear, this is a uncured/unbrined/unsmoked chunk from the rear leg. It includes the shank end of the ham and the shank itself, but the skin and much fat has been removed, so it would be rather dry if I tried to roast it in the oven.
I’m thinking it’ll make a nice roast in the pressure cooker with some herbs, some wine, and some classic vegetables. But I’m not sure for how long to cook it, 45 min maybe? This recipe from Wanda at Smoke Under Pressure blog looks like a good template, but she’s using 4 of just the shank while I’ll be doing a single shank with the whole roast above it.
I’m thinking I’ll dispense with the stock, or only use a tablespoon or 2 from the bone broth I just finished. Every time I cook meat in the pressure cooker it releases more liquid than I expect and I’d like to reduce the liquid to a gravy at the end. But I’m really unsure about the cooking time. Thoughts?
AmandaAugust 15, 2016 at 8:38 pm #37036
Laura recommends 18 minutes per inch thickness for pork.
So measure how thick your chunk of pork is in inches and multiply by 18. High pressure. Natural release. Perhaps try a little less than this (say 15m/”) and check it. You can always reseal and cook some more. It is hard to uncook something that is overcooked.
Don’t cut back the liquids. They are needed at the start of cooking to generate pressure. Things can go horribly wrong if there is not enough liquid to reach and maintain pressure. Think ruined meal AND new PC to buy. You might get away with it in a high end stove top (my Kuhn Rikon only needs 3 tablespoons of liquid and I have managed to get away with this trick in it) but an electric needs a LOT more liquid. I know the reducing step is a pain. But it is a necessary pain.
One way you could do it would be to use pot-in-pot. Basically have the roast inside another pot within the IP. Have your 1.5 cups of water in the main pot, and minimise the liquid in the inner pot. However from the sound of it, your lump of meat may be too big to do this. Also it would make any browning step problematic.
Incidentally, it is not ham unless it is cured. Just as belly pork is not bacon.August 16, 2016 at 4:25 pm #37063
@Greg In Canada it can be labelled fresh ham shank Not so often nowadays but used to be common.August 16, 2016 at 9:54 pm #37068
Caught – as I often am – by dialect variations of this so-called universal language we all almost share. There seem to be more of them in cooking than any other sphere I am aware of.August 16, 2016 at 11:44 pm #37070
Thank you so much, @Greg, for the advice! I won’t skip the extra liquid. I certainly have enough of it. I’m discovering the pressure cooker makes the best quickest bone broth ever. I just got a chicken broth to gel without adding any feet!
The shank end is a 2″ x 3″ ellipse and the leg end is a 3″ x 6″ ellipse. If I say it’s 3″ thick, that’d be 54 minutes. I think I’ll start with 30-40 minutes and see from there, as you suggest. Also, laying flat, it fits pretty well with lots of extra space below the max line. I might be able to try your nifty trick with the second insert, But I think I want to try one experiment at a time. :-)
If I get impatient with the gravy I’ll make a potato starch slurry.
Lastly, regarding the nomenclature, I thought so too. But in my research trying to figure out what cut of meat it is (it’s just labeled shank, which it’s not), what its characteristics are, and how to cook it, I came across more than a few references to “fresh ham” as the uncured/unsmoked/unbrined cut from a pig’s hindquarters. If people are using the terminology, then presumably it’s a thing. Although, there’s always the “fresh” qualifier.
I’ll let you all know how it goes, it’ll probably be Thursday or Friday night dinner.August 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm #37075
Yes I am often puzzled by Australian and UK terms. Not bilingual but I almost do better with French terminology. Today I went to a close by spice/ingredient shop. Crammed packed with everything East Indian and Asian and UK products. Half the UK stuff is a mystery to me.August 17, 2016 at 6:13 pm #37078
@helen, yes. Back when I was in school a fellow student went on exchange to the USA. While in class there she called out if anyone had a rubber. She meant what you would call an eraser. You can guess what she was pelted with.
So I have been aware that there are differences for a long time. Mostly I can make sense of it but some times I just have to walk away from a recipe. The worst is when I think I know but it turns out an ingredient I think I know means something quite different.
I think we are in real danger of hijacking this thread so I won’t reply here anymore.August 24, 2016 at 4:53 pm #37228
It didn’t turn out as well as I expected. The recipe was great and the cook time we discussed worked. But the cut had very little actual meat on it and it shrank quite a bit in the pot. Most of what I did pull off was laced with cartilage. If I get this cut again, I’m going to make a broth and stew out of it.August 25, 2016 at 12:49 am #37230
Nice of you to post the results :)
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