Pressure Cooker Pork Harissa w/ Israeli Couscous and Carrots


I love seasonal items at Trader Joe’s and discovered a jar of harissa sauce the other day. I’ve never cooked with (or consumed) harissa before but the ingredient list promised a spicy experience so I picked a jar up. According to an article on the Kitchn, harissa is “a spicy and aromatic chile paste that’s a widely used staple in North African and Middle Eastern cooking…[a]ย standard version includes a blend of hot chile peppers (which are often smoked), garlic, olive oil and spices, like cumin, coriander, caraway and mint.” The Kitchnย had me at spicy and aromatic chile paste…and TJ’s had me at capsaicin as the first ingredient listed.

I know I post many variations of “pork butt in the pressure cooker” but I can’t help that pressure cooker pork shoulder yields an amazing meal meat base in a very short period of time.ย I think the moreย actual variations in taste or combinations, the better!


Prep Time: 15 min (excluding marinating time)ย | Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 5-6 servings

Podcast Recommendation: Okay, this isn’t a podcast but I have been loving Halloween Wars. It is infinitely hokey and about the aesthetic nexus between candy makers, professional pumpkin carvers (I guess that’s a thing), andย cake decoratorsย instead of the traditional food network shows which ostensibly provide recipes for the viewer to recreate at home. Pretty cool to see the insane stuff that people can make!


  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2.5-3 lbs pork shoulder, cubed into 1.5-2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • 1 box (8.8 oz)ย of Israeli couscous (I used Osem couscous)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup hot or boiling water
  • 1.5-2 cups water, or more depending on how much is needed to cover pork in pressure cooker
  • 1 cube pork bouillon


  1. Put the chopped onions, pork shoulder, harissa paste, coriander, olive oil, and garlic salt in a ziplock bag and squish to distribute the paste and spices evenly over the pork; marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to 24.
  2. Once the meat is done marinating, dump all the contents from the ziplock bag into pressure cooker and add enough water so that 3/4 of the meat is covered. Dropย the bouillon cube into the pressure cooker and turnย on high (I use the meat/stew option) for 30 minutes.
  3. A couple of minutes before the 30 minutes in the pressure cooker is up, put a potย on the stove and put the water, carrots, and Israeli couscous into it and turn on high.
  4. Once the meat is done cooking, take the pressure cooker outside to manually release the pressure.
  5. Addย 1 cup of the pork juices from the pressure cooker into the couscous potย and then turn the heat down to low. Continue to cook, stirringย as needed, for 8-10 minutes. You will be able to tell if you need to stir the pot if the couscous is stuck to the walls of theย pot. You can also add more water/broth from the pressure cooker, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the couscous is sticking to the walls or burning but not done cooking.
  6. While couscous is cooking,ย turn the pressure cooker back on high for another 10 minutes.
  7. Once couscous and meat are done, plate the couscous first and then create a crater in the center to hold the meat. Top with the broth from the pressure cooker and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Crepes of Wrath.



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