Italian Pot Roast in the Instant Pot

I love my slow cooker, and as much as I love my Instant Pot, I believe that they cannot be 100% interchangeable when it comes to recipe outcomes. However, after forgetting to start my Italian Pot Roast yesterday morning, I decided to adapt it to the IP and see what would happen. With a couple of changes, it came out tender and delicious.

The ingredients are simple:

And it only takes about 7 minutes to throw together. While the cook time is a little longer than many IP recipes, I think trying to shorten it would result in meat that is not as tender as it should be.

The Heathens ate it over some egg noodles, and I did not have to pull together a more labor-intensive Plan-B dinner. Sounds like everyone is a winner, and sanity reigned for another day. Can’t beat that with a stick.

Italian Pot Roast

Notes

Ingredients
  • 3-lb chuck roast
  • 2 TBS canola oil
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 (14-ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 TBS tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 3 TBS cornstarch
Procedure
    1. Season roast with pepper on all sides. Set Instant Pot to Sauté setting and let it get hot. Add the canola oil and brown the roast on all sides (this can be a little awkward but it can be done).
    2. Remove roast from IP and set aside. Add mushrooms and onions to the IP, stirring well so they can pick up any browned bits from the bottom of the IP. Return roast to IP. Top roast with onion soup mix, beef broth and tomato paste.
    3. Place lid on IP and switch to Manual mode for 70 minutes at high pressure. When cooking is complete, let it release naturally for 5 minutes, then manually release the pressure. Skim as much fat from the top as you feasibly can.
    4. Switch IP to Sauté mode Add the tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Mix cornstarch with 3 TBS of water and add to the IP, stirring well. Let simmer 5 to 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Shred beef to desired texture. Serve over hot egg noodles and garnish with parsley if you are feeling fancy.
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Chicken Fajita Chowder in the Instant Pot

It’s been a bad couple of weeks around here, so comfort food that is nearly effortless is definitely dominating the menu. I adapted my Chicken Fajita Chowder for the Instant Pot. It’s warm, slightly spicy, and the perfect one-pot meal. It starts by sautéing seasoned chicken, onions and garlic:

Then you just dump the remaining ingredients in the IP:

Just 10 minutes of high pressure later, and dinner is served:

 

      • Chicken Fajita Chowder

        Prep Time 15 mins
        Cook Time 15 mins

        Ingredients
          

        • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
        • 1 envelope fajita seasoning
        • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
        • 4 tbsp olive oil
        • 1 medium onion chopped
        • 3 cloves garlic minced
        • 1 15.25-ounce can Fiesta corn
        • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
        • 1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles
        • 1 14.5-ounce can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
        • 3 cups chicken broth
        • 1 cup instant brown rice uncooked
        • 1 10.75-ounce can condensed nacho cheese soup
        • Garnish: sour cream, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, green onions

        Instructions
         

        • Combine flour and  2 tablespoons of the fajita seasoning in a large zip-loc bag. Add cubed chicken and give the bag a good shake to coat the chicken.
        • Set Instant Pot to Sauté setting. Add olive oil, and when hot, add the chicken to the pot. Sauté, stirring occasionally until chicken is lightly browned (Some of the flour coating will probably stick to the bottom of the IP. This is normal, and will be fixed in a minute).
        • Add onions and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the chicken broth to the pot and use a spoon or spatula to help deglaze the bottom of the pot (i.e scrape the bottom of the pot with your spoon to release those browned bits).
        • Add the remaining fajita seasoning, corn, black beans, stewed tomatoes, green chiles, and rice to the pot.
        • Put the lid on the IP and switch it to manual. Set timer for 10 minutes at high pressure. When the time is complete, do a quick pressure release. Stir in nacho cheese soup. Serve with desired garnishes.
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Black-Eyed Peas in the Instant Pot

I made black-eyed peas in the Instant Pot for the traditional New Year celebration. It’s super easy, and much faster than the usual stovetop method. I did soak the peas in water several hours before cooking them because these little boogers absorb a lot of liquid. The end results were delicious perfection, and plenty to feed a crowd.


Black-Eyed Peas in the Instant Pot

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 pounds dried black-eyed peas soaked
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ham hock
  • salt and pepper tp taste (I'd start with 1 tbsp of salt for cooking then add more later of needed)
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Set the Instant Pot to the sauté setting and let it get hot. Add the butter, and when melted, add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until soft (about 4-5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the peas, chicken broth, ham hock, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Switch the Instant Pot to manual, add the lid and check that the value is correctly positioned for sealing. Set time for 20 minutes on Manual mode. (Note--with this much stuff in the IP, it will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure)
  • When the timer is up and the IP beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, then do a quick pressure release if the pin hasn't dropped already. Remove IP lid and stir in vinegar. Check for seasonings and enjoy!
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Cajun 15 Bean Soup in the Instant Pot (Updated)

I survived Thanksgiving week, which ended up being a relaxed, fun holiday despite the fact that I made more food than any reasonable person should. We ate leftovers for days, and I cranked out 4 big casseroles for the freezer with the remaining turkey. For the holiday, my sister brought a Honey-Baked Ham, and afterward, we froze the ham bone (that still had a good chunk of meat on it) for later use.

A leftover ham bone (or leftover ham in general) is the perfect foundation for 15 Bean Soup, which I typically cook on the stovetop with the above mix. However, I decided to adapt it to the Instant Pot so I could get it done, start to finish, after getting the Heathens from school.

First, I did soak the beans for barely a couple of hours, but I think you can get by without that if necessary. I added the ham bone and rinsed beans to the Instant Pot:

Then, I added 8 cups of chicken stock. I did not add salt because the ham itself is pretty dang salty, and the seasoning packet to be added later also contains salt. I put the lid on, and set it to Manual for 50 minutes on high pressure (note–with that much liquid in the pot, it takes about 20 minutes to come to pressure, so plan accordingly). Once it beeped, I did the quick pressure release, and removed the ham bone. I carefully removed as much meat from the bone as possible, then returned the meat to the pot while discarding the bone. I then added a minced onion, three cloves of minced garlic, a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, the juice of a lemon, and the seasoning packet:

I put the lid back on the pot and reset it to Manual for 10 minutes. Once was it done, I did another quick pressure release, stirred, and served with cornbread:

The original recipe calls for sausage and sautéing the onion and garlic. While you can do this with sausage, ham hocks, or generally any smoked meat, I think the Instant Pot negates the need for unnecessary sautéing steps. Overall, we used up every last scrap of ham, which is a good thing because Honey-Baked Hams are not cheap…which is probably why they are so dang tasty. If you want to stretch this, you can also serve it over rice, but I like it as is and my scale could not justify any more calories…like at all…ever. If you need me, I’ll be at the gym.

15 Bean Soup in the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package Hurst's Cajun 15 Bean Soup Mix
  • 1 ham bone with leftover ham if possible, or some ham hocks
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions
 

  • Remove seasoning packed from beans and set aside. If desired, soak beans for a couple of hours.
  • Place ham bone and leftover ham in Instant Pot. Add drained beans and 8 cups of chicken stock. Place lid on pot and set to Manual for 60 minutes, then do a quick pressure release. Remove ham bone from pot and remove as much ham as possible from the bone. Return ham to the pot and discard bone.
  • Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and seasoning packet to the pot and stir. Set the Instant Pot to Sauté, and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes. You can also serve this over rice.
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Fresh Purple Hull Peas in the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

So, I’ve been playing with the new gadget. Overall, the Instant Pot is pretty handy. While I think some recipes I have seen go overboard in trying to make it the end-all-be-all, “lets cook everything in it” wunderkind, I still can see using it a couple of times a week. Thus far, it’s worth the investment.

My awesome neighbor dropped by a couple of days ago with a big bag of freshly shelled purple hull peas from the farm. Score! Local food and purple hulls I didn’t have to shell myself? Can’t beat that with a stick. I knew these would work fairly well in the pressure cooker, so I tossed them in and ended up with perfectly cooked, delicious peas in record time. Here’s how I did it:

Fresh Purple Hull Peas in the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups fresh shelled purple hull peas
  • 1 ham hock
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tbsp kosher salt (plus more for additional seasoning if needed)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 splash olive oil supposedly this helps beans/peas not foam like crazy, so I added it as a precaution

Instructions
 

  • Place peas, ham hock, chicken broth, 1/2 TBS of salt, pepper, and olive oil in the Instant Pot/pressure cooker. Attach lid and set pot to "manual" for 20 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. Taste peas for seasoning and add additional salt if needed.
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One thing I really appreciated about cooking the peas in the pressure cooker was that I did not steam up my kitchen by simmering them on the stove for hours. The heat index is 102 degrees today, so you can see how that also helps tip the scales onto the “it’s ok I splurged on a trendy thing” side. At least, that’s what I’ll keep telling myself.