Episode 43: Instant Pot Love
Life Changing Instant Pot Beef Stew, Best Instant Pot Spaghetti, and Punjabi Rajma Masala
While we can’t vouch for the life-changing part, we did think Pinch of Yum wrote a delicious beef stew. The recipe was simple; beef and carrots in a savory tomato broth cooked all at once in the Instant Pot. Perfect for a cozy dinner, just add biscuits or some buttered bread.
Neither of us chose to do the last step of browning the stew. But we do recommend it, if you can find the extra effort.
Kate added turnips and they were a welcome addition. Cut one-two medium turnips in a one-inch dice and add with the rest of the ingredients.
Spaghetti and meat sauce is one of our go-to weeknight meals for comfort and ease. Making it all in the Instant Pot saved on dishes. The taste reminded us of all the best parts of our childhood favorites.
The directions are very specific for a reason. Ignore them and you might burn the sauce or end up with gummy pasta.
Despite our warning above, we might gently separate the spaghetti next time. We found that some stuck to each other and didn’t cook well.
This recipe kept well in the fridge for at least three days.
Curries are an ideal candidate for the Instant Pot, something Indian cooks have known for decades. Thankfully, they are sharing their knowledge with us and we are able to make this rich rajma or red kidney bean masala. As a bonus, this recipe includes directions for cooking rice at the same time as the beans. Two for one- making this a great weeknight option.
If you’re not a spice lover, dial the cayenne down to a quarter teaspoon or even just a dash. You can add more spice once it is cooked with your favorite hot sauce.
Serve this with some greek yogurt on the side or your favorite raita.
Unlike some Instant Pot bean recipes, the kidney beans do need a soak before you cook them. Not the fault of the cooker, they’re notoriously tough beans. Either quick soak for an hour using boiling water or soak in room temperature water for at least four hours.
From the Smorgasbord:
Instant Pot TIps and Tricks
The vent/release valve doesn’t necessarily “click” into place. If the vent lines up with release or close, you’re all set.
A pressure cooker cannot work without liquid. Most things you’ll likely make already have water or stock in the recipe, such as rice, beans, or a soup. But if you’re planning on chicken breasts or a large roast, you will have to add at least a half cup of water or other liquid to avoid the burn warning.
Before the pot comes up to pressure it will vent a little steam. This is normal! Give it a little time and it will seal.
Make sure to plan for the time it takes the pot to come to pressure and then to release pressure. Doing so could add 15-30 minutes to your total cook time.
Clean your sealing ring, that soft plastic on the inside of the cover. Most of your cooking odors stick around there. Use your dishwasher (upper rack only) if you have a stubborn smell.
Consider buying an extra sealing ring if you plan to make equal amounts of sweet and savory dishes.
For a low-stakes first project, make yourself a dozen hard-boiled eggs. We like this 5-5-5-5-5 method from A Mindful Mom.