This easy spicy Instant Pot pork stew makes a hearty weeknight dinner. Pork is combined with tomatoes, beans and corn for a filling southwestern inspired one pot meal. Cooking it in the pressure cooker means dinner will be ready for your family in less than 45 minutes.
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Soups and stews are some of my favorite dinners, because they are easy to make without a lot of preparation. There are also an infinite number of variations possible, as you change up the vegetables, meats and cooking liquids. All the flavors blend together for a delicious one pot meal. And a pressure cooker allows you to have stew on the table for dinner in much less time than if it is cooked in the slow cooker or oven – stews are one of my favorite things to make in my Instant Pot!
This Instant Pot pork stew is a recipe that I have converted from my favorite slow cooker pork stew recipe. This is one of my family’s favorite stews, and I have made it for years. Once I got an Instant Pot I started using it much more than my slow cooker and I now prefer to make stews in the pressure cooker instead of the slow cooker.
Instant Pot Pork Stew Ingredients
This stew uses pork as the main protein. Pork is excellent for stew because it is flavorful and it doesn’t turn mushy or dry out when it is cooked at high pressure. The pork is flavored with southwestern spices like cumin and chili powder for a stew that is just a little bit spicy. What really makes this pressure cooker pork stew unique is that it is thickened with cornmeal instead of flour. The cornmeal gives it a distinct Mexican or Southwestern flare and really adds to the flavor of the dish.
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How to Make Pressure Cooker Pork Stew
It is always best to brown meat before making a stew. Browning it caramelizes the meat which results in a more complex flavor and a better texture in the finished stew. So the first step in making the pork stew is to brown the pork in oil, and then deglaze the Instant Pot. Deglazing is done by pouring the cooking liquid (water in this recipe) into the Instant Pot and stirring to make sure there are no browned bits stuck to the bottom.
Once the meat is browned just dump in all the remaining ingredients except the tomatoes and corn and stir well. Then pour the tomatoes on top, without stirring, and bring the Instant Pot up to pressure and let it cook at high pressure for 25 minutes. Deglazing and not stirring in the tomatoes should reduce the chances that you will get an Instant Pot Burn error while making this recipe.
Do I Need to Brown the Meat?
Now even though I just said you should brown the meat, I will confess that I skip that step sometimes when I make this recipe. I don’t think browning makes as much of a taste difference with pork as it does with beef. So if I am pressed for time I will just stir the pork in with all the other ingredients, top it with the tomatoes and bring the stew up to pressure. I converted this from a slow cooker recipe that didn’t call for browning the pork, and it is still very flavorful even if you skip the browning and deglazing steps.
After the pressure cooker is done cooking the stew I let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, and then release any remaining pressure manually. Then it is time to stir in the corn, put the lid back on, and let it sit for a few minutes to let the flavors meld together.
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What Kind of Pork Should I Use for Stew Meat?
Almost any kind of pork can be used in this stew recipe. This includes:
- Pork Shoulder also called pork butt or Boston butt – this is traditional pork stew meat because it is cheap and has lots of marbleized fat. I tend not to use this for stew because I prefer to use a cut with less fat. I also think it is more difficult to cut into cubes.
- Pork tenderloin – This is leaner and its smaller size makes it easy to cut, so I use this frequently.
- Pork Loin – This is another great choice and is nice and tender when it is cooked in stew.
- Pork Chops – Pork chops work well in this recipe, although they tend to be on the more expensive side.
What Kind of Beans Should I Use in this Stew?
My family and I love black beans in this pressure cooker pork stew and that is what I almost always use. I have also made it with Pinto beans, which is tasty too. I haven’t tried kidney beans, but I am sure that would taste good too. Basically any kind of beans that goes well with Mexican cooking would be appropriate for this recipe.
Easy One Pot Meal
This is a great homemade dinner that can be made in the Instant Pot on a busy weeknight that the entire family will enjoy. Sometimes I will serve this stew over rice, but if I have time I prefer to make cornbread to go with it. I like to garnish it with some green onions and jalapenos to spice it up, and I serve it with lots and lots of cilantro.
- 1 T oil
- 1 1/2 pounds pork, cubed
- 1 cup water
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can pinto beans or black beans, drained
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
- Put the Instant Pot on Saute and add the oil. Brown the pork in the oil for 5 minutes.
- Turn the Instant Pot off, and then use the water to deglaze it. Stir well and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to make sure there are no brown bits left on bottom.
- Add the onion, garlic, cornmeal, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and beans to the Instant Pot and mix well.
- Dump the can of tomatoes on top but don't stir it into the other ingredients. (Not stirring it in reduces the chance you will get a burn error.)
- Cover, bring to pressure on High pressure or the Stew/Meat setting and cook for 25 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure and stir in the corn. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes to heat the corn.
- Garnish with green onions, jalapenos and cilantro. Serve over cornbread or corn muffins.
This stew is mildly spicy. If you want it to be really spicy increase the amount of chili powder or add a chopped jalapeno to the stew.
I make my Instant Pot recipes in a 6 quart Instant Pot. You might have to modify the recipe if you are using a different pressure cooker. I'd advise doubling the recipe if using an 8 quart Instant Pot.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 481 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 100mg Sodium: 697mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 5g Protein: 39g