Instant Pot Bukovinian Nachinka – Ukrainian Cornmeal Casserole with Bacon

Bukovinian Nachynka baked in a casserole

Bukovinian Nachinka (known as Bukovynska nachynka) is similar to my traditional nachynka recipe for the Instant Pot. This is just as easy and has just a few extra steps to add bacon.

Bukovina? It’s one of those in-between-places in Eastern Europe. The northern portion of Bukovina is part of the Ukraine. I’m not sure what makes the addition of bacon more Bukovinian but that’s how it’s called in my recipe books.

Jump straight to the recipe

This recipe is a little more rustic than my vegetarian version of nachynka – I used Bob’s Red Mill Medium Grind Cornmeal which has a slightly coarser texture.  You can easily use cornmeal with a finer grind for a smoother nachynka.

Halved pieces of uncooked bacon in the Instant Pot

Start by cutting the strips of bacon in half – they’ll fit better in the Instant Pot.  Place the bacon into the cold Instant Pot and set it to Normal – Saute.

Cooked bacon pieces with extra grease

If you have frozen Instant Onions on hand, you can save even more time.  But, it’s great to take the bacon fat and cook the onions in them quickly.  Place a finely chopped onion in the Instant Pot and 3 Tablespoons of the bacon fat plus 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Seal the lid of the Instant Pot and set to pressure cook on Manual for 4 minutes Low/Less pressure.  When the time is up, do a quick release.

Cooked onions in the Instant Pot

Clean out the Instant Pot and bring 4 cups of water to a roaring boil with the glass lid.  Once it’s boiling, whisk in the 1 cup of cornmeal.  When it’s evenly combined, turn the heat off and seal the pressure cooker. (This could be awkward. If it doesn’t want to seal right away, give it one or two minutes) Seal the Instant Pot with the lid for pressure cooking, and set to Manual – High Pressure for 9 minutes.

Cooked cornmeal with a whisk

Meanwhile, chop the cooked bacon into small pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, ½ cup cream, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Baking powder and bacon pieces ready to be mixed into the cornmeal mixture

Grease a casserole dish or individual ramekins with the remaining bacon fat.  Pour the combined cornmeal mixture.

Cornmeal mixture ready to bake in a casserole

Bake at 350°F for one hour (35 to 45 minutes for individual ramekins).

Bukovinian nachynka in a small ramekin

Time saved!

  • Using Instant Onions gives you at least a 15 minute head start
  • Cooking the cornmeal in the Instant Pot takes 9 minutes instead of cooking and stirring for 45 minutes

An hour saved over the traditional recipe! (Plus intermittent stirring instead of constant stirring)

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Instant Pot glass lid
  • Whisk
  • Casserole or souffle dish or individual ramekins

Bukovinian nachynka in a small ramekin

Instant Pot Bukovinian Nachinka - Ukrainian Cornmeal Casserole with Bacon

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Serves: 6 to 8 servings

A Ukrainian cornmeal casserole with the addition of bacon.
Ingredients
  • 5 slices of bacon, halved
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup light cream (18% MF)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Arrange the bacon pieces in the bottom of a cold Instant Pot insert. Using Normal Saute, fry the bacon until crisp - in batches if necessary. Cool the bacon on paper towels and chop into small pieces.
  2. Reserve the bacon fat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Measure the fat - it should be 3 Tablespoons. Clean the Instant Pot insert. Use some of the bacon fat to lightly grease your casserole dish or individual ramekins.
  3. Add 3 Tablespoons bacon fat with 1 Tablespoon back to the Instant Pot (or a combination of fats to make up 4 Tablespoons total) with the chopped onion. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on Manual Low/Less Pressure for 4 minutes. When the time is up, do a quick release. Strain the onions and discard the remaining liquid.
  4. Using the glass lid, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in the Instant Pot with Saute - More setting.
  5. When the water is boiling rapidly, pour in 1 cup of cornmeal and whisk quickly.
  6. Seal the Instant Pot with the lid for pressure cooking, and set to Manual - High Pressure for 9 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  8. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and combine with ½ cup light cream, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon sugar.
  9. When the Instant Pot time is up, do a quick release and quickly whisk the cornmeal mixture. If it seems to watery, whisk for a minute or two.
  10. Remove one cup of the cornmeal mixture and quickly whisk that into the egg mixture. Add this back into the main cornmeal mixture and whisk again.
  11. Add one teaspoon of baking powder, the cooked onions and the crumbled bacon. Whisk some more.
  12. Pour into a large casserole dish or individual ramekins.
  13. Bake for an hour at 325°F (only 35 to 40 minutes for ramekins). Cool before serving.

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