By Angie Sutton, www. mothersapronstrings.com
Gadgets are everywhere in my house. Even the 3-year-old twins have gadgets, devices that play videos and games. We have a tool that peels, slices and cores an apple. We have a laminator that’s never been used. Our paper shredder is in the garage. Again, it’s unused. So when my husband brought home yet another gadget, an electric pressure cooker, I had my doubts.
I have to admit, pressure cookers have always scared me. I’ve witnessed a low country boil gone wrong firsthand at a football tailgate. With a house full of children running around the kitchen, pressure cookers scare me even more nowadays.
We quickly discovered, though, our Instant Pot wouldn’t be another gadget just sitting around. Its extensive safety mechanism eased my mind about those wild explosions you hear about. It’s easy to use, programmable and the final product has always quite satisfied our picky eaters. Grandma’s old-school pressure cooker has been advanced and modified for today’s tech-savvy and busy mom with the Instant Pot.
The sauté feature makes it a great all-in-one pot, particularly with meat dishes. Often, we’ll just use the manual timer or the pre-set meat/stew setting. Other settings include slow cooker, rice and even yogurt. This is one handy device!
When beginning the cooking process with the Instant Pot, it does take a little time for the pressure to build up before the timer begins. After the food is done, you can let the Instant Pot depressurize on its own or utilize the pressure valve to release the pressure quickly. This is handy when preparing meat, but not recommended when cooking starch items.
Our children’s daycare uses the Instant Pot daily to prepare lunch for the kids, and we’ve been able to take advantage of an extra busy fall by cooking with ours quite frequently. One of my favorite benefits is how the meat always comes out tender and juicy, just like advertised.
We’re pleased with our Instant Pot. After all, the best gadgets are ones that can replace multiple items like this one has. There are lots of great recipes to get you started.
Instant Pot Recipe: Beef and Noodles
Adapted from farmandfoodie.com,
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. beef stew meat
1/4 c. flour
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. beef broth
1 c. fresh mushrooms, diced
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard or spicy mustard of your choice
1 (16-oz.) pkg. egg noodles, cooked according to pkg. directions
1. Place flour, salt and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag and shake to mix. Add beef stew meat and coat with flour mixture.
2. Set Instant Pot to sauté and add olive oil. Add beef and brown for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and garlic and brown for about 2 minutes.
3. Add beef broth and close the Instant Pot. Select the “Meat/Stew” setting on the Instant Pot and set the timer for 35 minutes. Make sure the pressure release valve is in the closed position.
4. When done, quick release the pressure valve, open up the lid carefully and add sour cream, mustard and mushrooms. Stir and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add more salt, pepper or additional seasonings if desired and thicken the sauce with a little corn starch (or flour) mixed with water.
5. Serve over prepared noodles