We’ve got a blizzard going on in our neck of the woods. This calls for comfort food.
I know, I know, stroganoff automatically goes over noodles, right? Well, you can do it that way, but this household likes potatoes. Hey, you can even serve it over rice or quinoa or whole grain barley or not over anything.
The Instant Pot (or a pressure cooker) and the coffee make the meat tender. The sherry or red wine adds “depth of flavor,” as I hear in all the cooking shows (well, it makes it better is what it does).
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon (heaping) minced garlic
1 cup strong brewed coffee
spices to taste: cloves, basil, paprika, parsley, celery seed
salt to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup cooking sherry or red wine
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
1 cup hot water
1/2 – 1 cup instant potato flakes
1/2 cup sour cream
hot mashed potatoes
Set pressure cooker to sauté. Sauté onions and beef until browned. In the last five minutes, add garlic. Add just a bit of the coffee, and stir up the browned bits. Add the rest of the coffee, the hot water, the spices, salt, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, and sherry or red wine. Stir. Push Cancel. Put the lid on, and seal. Set the Instant Pot to meat/stew, set for 20 minutes. At the end of the 20 minutes, allow natural pressure release for at least ten minutes. After ten or fifteen minutes, release the pressure. Remove the lid. Stir in the potato flakes: add enough to thicken. (This should be a bit thicker than you want it to end up, as it thins out a bit after you add the sour cream.) Push Sauté, and let the mixture come to a low simmer. Turn off the Instant Pot. Stir in the sour cream; stir until completely incorporated. Serve over hot mashed potatoes.
Quinoa, widely called an “ancient grain,” is actually a seed, originally from South America. Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is also a high-fiber food. Easy to cook, and very flexible, it fits nicely into many dishes. A few years ago it was hard to find, but now quinoa is commonly sold in grocery stores, usually in the rice aisles. Any kind of bite-size chicken meat would fit in this recipe (even canned); or, any other kind of meat. Maybe even no meat. Half-and-half, or cream, could be substituted for any of the milk.
This recipe reflects how I made this dish for a pot-luck. Really, make it any way you like. Certainly more veggies could be added, like chopped carrots or peas. Cheese might also be a tasty addition.
Serves: 8 Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 1 hr +
6 chicken thighs
1 cup quinoa
2 cups salted water
6 green onions
1 pound frozen broccoli florets
1 cup dairy or non-dairy milk
salt to taste
Place thighs in a shallow baking dish. Bake at 350° for one hour. When chicken is almost done, put water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for about 15 minutes. You can stir it, if it needs it. Quinoa is done when you can see little circles. Chop the green onions. When thighs are done, remove from oven. Pour drippings into a large frypan or Dutch oven. Sauté the onions in the drippings while you work with the chicken. Remove skin from thighs; Remove meat from bone. Save skin and bones for stock or other use. Slice the chicken meat into bite-size pieces. Add to the pan with the onions. Stir and brown a bit. Add the broccoli to the pan. (If you prefer, you can thaw it in the microwave first; this will cut cooking time in the pan.) Cook and stir until broccoli is hot. (If you add it frozen, covering the pan helps to cook it faster. Be sure to stir once in a while.) Add hot quinoa to the pan; stir to mix. Add the milk and stir. Salt to taste. Cook a minute or two more, until heated thoroughly. Serve immediately, or put it all into a crock pot.
There are many health benefits of yogurt, such as boosting immunity, reducing yeast infections, and lowering the risk of colon cancer.
When you make yogurt, you will get thousands of times the benefits of nutrition if you use raw milk. This recipe is specifically for raw milk – it does not boil the milk, which would thereby destroy many of its nutrients and benefits. Be sure your raw milk comes from an impeccably clean facility with organic, pasture-raised cows.
Raw Milk Benefits:
“Raw milk is an incredibly complex whole food, complete with digestive enzymes and its own antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic mechanisms conveniently built into a neat package. It is chock-full of both fat and water-soluble vitamins, a wide range of minerals and trace elements, all eight essential amino acids, more than 60 enzymes, and CLA—an omega-6 fatty acid with impressive effects on everything from insulin resistance to cancer to cardiovascular disease. Raw milk is delicious medicine.” – from https://www.drdeborahmd.com/health-benefits-raw-milk
The addition of gelatin guarantees thick yogurt, and contributes nutrition. Be sure to only use pure, organic gelatin, as other types may be mixed with other ingredients, or may come from chemically-raised beef. Gelatin is another nutrition powerhouse. It’s great for gut health, it has collagen, and helps your body build strong discs, ligaments, tendons, skin, nails, and hair. It helps to strengthen joints and prevent against the development of injuries, or helps to heal them faster.
You can let the yogurt culture 8 – 24 hours. The longer it cultures, the tangier it gets. 20 hours was too tangy for me. I’ll try 12 hours next time.
I buy my yogurt starter in a box that has little packets; one packet per quart. You can also buy yogurt starter in bulk; read the instructions for amount to add.
My recipe cultures the yogurt right in the jar. You can also pour everything into the Instant Pot insert: this would be helpful if you’re making it by the half gallon or gallon. If you use the insert, you will need a good-fitting lid for it when it goes into the ‘fridge.
This recipe uses an Instant Pot. If you don’t plan to use an Instant Pot, you can culture your yogurt in any type of setting where the temperature is kept at a fairly consistent 110° – 115°. Temperatures above 125° – 130° will kill the beneficial bacteria. If you have an oven with a heat-producing light bulb, or a gas pilot light, that is an option. I’ve also seen folks use a chest-type cooler: heat the inside of the cooler by putting in a pan of hot water (with a lid on it). Make sure the water is below 115°, then put in the yogurt and close the lid. Check the temp every once in a while to keep it warm. I’ve also heard of wrapping the yogurt in a towel and a heating pad, or putting it on a heating pad (but you’d have to check the temp of the heating pad).
Raw Milk Yogurt
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 – 24 hours to culture; 24 hours in the ‘fridge
Yield: 1 quart yogurt
1 quart raw milk
1 packet yogurt starter
2 teaspoons powdered beef gelatin
Pour a small amount (maybe 1/4 – 1/2 cup) of the raw milk into a 2-qt saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk in the pan. Let it soften 1-2 minutes. Over medium heat, warm the milk to just under simmering. Take the pan off the heat. Whisk the gelatin in. Pour the rest of the raw milk into the saucepan. Whisk. Sprinkle the yogurt starter over the milk. Whisk. Pour the milk into a 1-quart glass jar. Put the jar of milk into the Instant Pot insert. (Do not put the lid on the jar.) Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn to seal. Press the yogurt function. If yours allows, adjust to show Normal. Set how much time you want, from 8 to 24 hours (the longer the culturing time, the tangier your yogurt will be). Once the Instant Pot recognizes the setting, it will revert to 0 for time, and count up to the time you set. If you like, you can take the lid off any time to check on it or take it out. The Pot does not seal because it never goes above the low temperature needed to culture the yogurt. When your yogurt is finished culturing, remove it from the Instant Pot, and turn the Instant Pot off. Put the lid on the jar, and put the jar in the refrigerator. Leave it there for 24 hours. Now it’s ready.
(wheat-free, gluten-free, egg-free) Early in my post-allergy life, I found a recipe that called for 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, and one egg. Pretty simple, and probably delicious; however, I can’t have cane sugar or eggs, and, I wanted CHOCOLATE! These are my indulgence.
These yummy little balls can be made with or without the teff – they are SO good, either way. Without the teff, they have a texture and consistency of snowball cookies (aka Russian Tea Cakes, which has been a point of contention in my family ever since I grew up). With the teff, they are moist and chewy. The photo shows with teff.
Teff is a delicious grain. It adds some chewiness and a little crunch to the cookie, as well as helping to hold it together. [Side note: To cook teff as a tasty porridge, mix 1 part teff to 3 parts water in a saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; stir well when done. Mix with a little fruit and sweetener (if desired) of your choice.]
Teff is gluten-free, and is a good source of copper, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and selenium ( 1 , 5 ). Additionally, it’s an excellent source of protein, with all the essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein in your body.
Teff is known as an ancient grain, as it has been grown in Ethiopia for thousands of years. It is relatively new to American markets. It can be purchased as a grain (it is the world’s tiniest grain!), or as a flour. This recipe uses the whole grain.
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 10 min
Yield: 15 – 20 cookies
2/3 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy; use the natural kind – peanuts and salt ONLY
1/2 cup sugar (I use sucanat)
1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer, mixed with 1 tbs warm water (OR a real egg, if you can tolerate them)
1/4 cup baking cocoa (I use raw cacao powder)
1/4 cup dry teff, simmered for 15 minutes with 1/2 cup water, and cooled enough to handle (teff is optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
If using the teff, cook it first.
Mix together the peanut butter, sugar, egg replacer, and cacao.
If you’re adding the teff, this is when. Mix really well.
Roll into balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Place sheet in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes.
Makes 15-20 cookies, depending on size; it will make more, if you add the teff.
Another way to use this recipe:
For moist, chewy brownies, cook 1/2 cup teff in 1-1/4 cup water for 15 minutes, and add that to the peanut butter/ cocoa mixture. Pour into a greased or oiled 8″ round or square pan, and bake at 350° for 15 minutes.
Here’s an idea for a Christmas treat: sweet potato pie. I came up with this recipe because one of my food sensitivities is pumpkin (sad, right?).
But sweet potatoes make a great substitute. And, sweet potatoes are loaded with health benefits like fiber and lots of nutrients. So that I don’t boil away nutrients, I bake my sweet potatoes, then scoop out the flesh. I used 3 good-size sweet potatoes, which made for more than 2 cups. I used the extra as a side dish.
But the best thing about this pie is that it’s quite delicious. I like plenty of spice in my pie, and this recipe fits me perfectly. But you can go up or down on the amount, according to your taste.
For sweetener, I used sucanat, an unprocessed cane sugar. Palm coconut sugar would also be good, I think. If you don’t have these, regular sugar or brown sugar would be fine. When I made this pie recently, I used ¾ cups sucanat and 1 tablespoon powdered stevia: yummm!
You can buy a deep-dish pie crust, or make one yourself. I tried following the directions on a pre-made crust. It told me not to pre-bake if it was for pumpkin pie. Bleh. The crust, even after 65 minutes of baking, was doughy. So I recommend baking the empty crust until it’s almost done, like for 15 – 20 minutes. You’ll need pie weights or dried beans, so the crust doesn’t bubble up. A good pie crust recipe follows the sweet potato filling recipe.
Mash the sweet potatoes completely, then measure out two cups into a deep mixing bowl.
Add the sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt, and mix well.
Mix the milk in until it has uniform consistency.
Add the spices and mix well.
Pour into prepared pie shell.
Bake at 350° 60 -65 minutes, until toothpick tests done. (You’ll likely need to cover the crust with foil in the last 20 – 30 minutes of baking, to prevent over-browning.)
For a good pie crust, use this recipe from https://www.inspiredtaste.net/22662/flaky-pie-crust-recipe/ (they offer an interesting pie crust read, and a video for the whole recipe). It makes enough for a double-crust pie. You can use half for this pie, and freeze the other half for later. For my flour, I used all-purpose einkorn.
Ingredients for pie crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 cup very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
4 to 8 tablespoons ice water OR ice water half-and-half with vodka
Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar (optional) to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.
Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).
Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).
Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle ice water over mixture — start with 4 tablespoons and add from there. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 2 to 4 more tablespoons of water and continue to press until dough comes together.
Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball.
Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).
To make a single-crust pie: Remove one of the dough discs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Lightly flour work surface, top of dough, and rolling pin. Then use rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thick). Be sure to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below; add a small amount of flour when necessary. Check for size by inverting pie dish over dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish. To transfer dough to dish, starting at one end, roll dough around rolling pin then unroll over dish. Gently press dough down into dish so that it lines the bottom and sides of the dish. (Be careful not to pull or stretch the dough). Then, use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the dish. Fold edge of dough underneath itself so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Then, crimp edges by pressing the pointer finger of one hand against the edge of the dough from the inside of the dish while gently pressing with two knuckles of the other hand from the outside. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a baking sheet on a middle oven rack Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork (this prevent air pockets or bubbles from forming while baking). Line the crust with two sheets of aluminum foil. (Be sure to push foil against the edges of the crust). Then, fill foil with dried rice, dried beans or pie weights. Refrigerate 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Place pie crust onto preheated baking sheet and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden.
This is my new favorite bread recipe. It slices beautifully, is flexible when sliced, and it’s pretty tasty. It’s good for sandwiches or toast – whatever you use bread for. Since I rarely eat bread, I slice the whole loaf, put squares of baking/parchment paper in-between the slices; then put the loaf into a zip lock freezer bag to freeze. I can take out as many slices as I need at a time, and they don’t take long to thaw.
I’ve discussed soaking grains previously. This is a traditional method of preparing grains that our ancestors knew all about. How did we lose such important information??? Grains have a protective enzyme that benefits them while they’re growing, but are non-beneficial to us when we eat them. Effects of these enzymes on us include making the grain hard to digest, inability to absorb all the nutrients available in the grain, and gas and bloating. Soaking neutralizes the enzymes, thereby opening up all the nutrients for us to absorb, and we digest them more easily. When you soak grains, use a small amount of some type of acid such as apple cider vinegar, yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir. When I soak rice (or quinoa), I add a splash of vinegar to the water the day before I plan to serve it. Understand, we eat a traditional Midwest “dinner” at noon. Grains should soak 8 hours or overnight; so, if you plan on an evening supper, get your grains soaking that morning. For the rice, I soak overnight, then drain and rinse it before adding the amount of cooking water needed. Likewise, when I make my biscuits, I mix the flour, oils, and liquid the night before, making sure to add some kefir to the liquid. For oatmeal (or any other “breakfast grain”) I use yogurt or kefir. It adds a delicious richness.
Remember to use high-quality, organic flours. Processed white flour is not good for you.
I did post my bread recipe previously (it’s in the Biscuit post as a bonus, and if you want even more to read about the health benefits of soaking your grains, you can read it there.). But I changed it up just a bit and am really pleased with the results.
This recipe makes two loaves.
Time: 10 min the night before + overnight soaking + 10 min mixing + 2 hours combined rising time + 30 – 35 min baking
The first day:
4 tablespoons flaxseed
4 tablespoons chia seed
6 cups flour * (I used 4 cups einkorn and 2 cups spelt flour)
2 tablespoons egg replacer (this can be omitted, but it helps with texture)
1/4 cup kefir, or other fermented liquid
1 3/4 cups dairy or non-dairy milk *
10 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil*
The second day:
1 tablespoon (heaping) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sucanat or honey*
1 teaspoon salt
The first day: In a coffee grinder, or other similar device, grind the flax and chia seeds until well ground, 10 – 20 seconds. Add all the first-day ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well enough that all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let it sit 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.
The second day: proof the active dry yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon sucanat. Add the salt to the dough, mix in. Stir in proofed yeast. It is easier (and less messy) to let the mixer do the initial mixing, with a dough hook, even though you may have to babysit it with a spatula for a while. After the dough comes together, turn out onto a countertop (with all the oils in the dough, it didn’t stick, so I didn’t need to dust with flour). Knead until smooth and dough doesn’t crack or come apart (10 – 15 minutes). Return dough to the mixing bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm oven until double (about 1 hour, depending on your yeast). Turn dough out and punch down. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 10 minutes. Shape into 2 loaves and place into loaf pans. Let rise in a warm oven until almost double (about 1 hour). Bake in a 375° oven 30-35 minutes. Loaves should sound hollow when thumped (internal temp of 200°). Turn out to let cool 15 – 20 minutes, then package.
* Pretty much any combination of your allowable flours / oils / sweeteners / milk will work with this recipe.
Do you still have leftover turkey? I gathered up a bunch of stuff from the pantry and ‘fridge and cooked this up. Turns out, we like it! These measurements are guesstimates – I didn’t measure anything. Use up however much turkey you have, throw in however much onion, celery, and carrot you like. (That was too much carrot for me: the picture shows three medium-large carrots, so I pared it down in the recipe.) The measurements I have here make up the 13″ x 9″ baking pan pretty well. [Chicken would also work well.]
I got to thinking that sour cream would be really tasty with this; maybe swirl some around through the top before adding the French onions. We used the sour cream as a condiment when we had some leftover casserole, and it was really good.
Yield: 13″ x 9″ baking pan
Serves: 8 Prep Time: 40 min Cook Time: 45 min
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 small carrots, scrubbed and diced
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, with leaves, diced
3 cups leftover turkey, diced
4 strips bacon, cooked
6 ounces broccoli florets, chopped (I used part of a bag of frozen broccoli)
6 ounces egg noodles
1/4 cup flour (I used barley)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded
salt, to taste
1 3.5 ounce package French-fried onions
I used a package of bacon and baked it at 350° until done while I prepped the rest of the meal. In a medium fry pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Sauté carrots, covered, for a few minutes while you chop the onion, celery, and turkey. Add onions and celery to the fry pan and sauté until tender. Salt to taste. Put the diced turkey into a very large bowl. Add the sautéed vegetables to the bowl. This is when I put the noodles into salted boiling water to cook. Using the same fry pan, Make the white sauce: melt the remaining butter over medium-low heat. Add some of the bacon fat, if needed. Add the flour, and cook the flour. Chop the bacon and add to the big bowl. Add the chopped broccoli to the big bowl. Add the cooked noodles to the big bowl. Turn the heat up to medium-high under the white sauce. Cook the flour until it’s nicely brown. Whisk the milk into the butter / flour mixture, keep whisking until it boils and thickens. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce. This sauce is thick; you can add more milk if you like it thinner. Salt to taste. Pour the sauce and the shredded cheese into the big bowl. Using a big spatula, mix it all together. Pour it all into a 9×13″ baking dish. (I buttered the pan first, with the butter wrapper.) Cover with foil and bake (in the 350° oven) for 30 min. Uncover, sprinkle with French onions, and bake another 15 minutes.
My sister and I were chatting online yesterday, on Thanksgiving, about cinnamon rolls. She made my mom’s recipe, and I made a different recipe, one that wouldn’t make me sick. But I started getting all nostalgic about my old classroom. I taught in a differently-abled classroom for several years. I retired from this position, and really it was one of my favorites. We (by “we” I mean myself and the para pros who worked with me) had students ages 13 – 21 in our self-contained room. We had the students all day, and they were in our room for 7 or 8 years in a row. So, we got to know them pretty well, along with their parents.
Another teacher, in the same building, started a student-run coffee shop in school. It was the making of a perfect partnership: They made the coffee and ran the shop; my class made the baked goodies to sell. We made scones and granola and muffins, mostly. But the biggest seller was every Friday: Gooey Cinnamon Rolls. We started them on Thursday afternoon, and on Friday morning we baked them and walked down the pre-first-bell hallways to deliver the fill-your-senses, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. My students and I created this recipe; it got lots of tweaking (all with delicious results) until we got it just right. It includes cream cheese in the filling. (Yum!)
Although this recipe comes too late for this Thanksgiving, it comes in plenty of time for Christmas and a second batch for the cold winter months to come.
Yes, this recipe makes enough dough for two large batches (18 rolls). The filling also makes enough for two batches; the gooey part makes enough for one batch. You can make one batch now, and freeze the other half of the dough for the second batch.
2 packages active dry yeast 2.5 tsp each
1/2 cup sugar divided
1/2 cup warm water
1-1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter
7 cups white & whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter softened
8 ounces cream cheese softened
1/4 cup butter melted
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup buttermilk or ice cream, or milk
Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast, 1 Tablespoon of the sugar, and warm water. This is proofing: you are making sure your yeast is still good. It should foam up.
In a saucepan (or microwave) heat milk and butter, just until butter is melted.
In a large bowl, mix 3 cups flour, the rest of the sugar, warm milk & butter, yeast mixture, eggs, and salt.
Beat 3 min on medium speed.
Add remaining flour; stir until incorporated.
Turn dough out onto a floured or oil-sprayed surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Cover with a damp towel; allow to rest while you make the filling and the gooey part.
Filling: Beat together the butter and cream cheese.
Gooey part: Stir together all the Gooey Part ingredients. Pour into a large baking pan (11″ x 15″). Note: If the baking pan is non-stick, you don’t have to grease it; if it isn’t, you should grease it first.) [Another Note: If you cut the rolls thick, then you can use a smaller pan.] Sprinkle gooey stuff liberally with cinnamon (as much as you like).
Knead down the dough. Cut it in half; freeze one half.
Roll the other half into a large rectangle (like, 10 x 16ish). Spread with half the filling (refrigerate the other half of the filling, for the other half of the dough).
Sprinkle the filling liberally with cinnamon sugar (as much as you like).
Roll the dough up, starting from the long end.
Slice the dough into ½-inch to 2-inch pieces, depending on how thick you like them, and how many rolls you want. Skinnier slices means more rolls. I usually get 16 – 20 rolls out of one recipe. (Note: these rolls rise pretty well.)
Place each roll into the prepared pan, into the gooey part.
[You can refrigerate the whole pan until you’re ready to bake them: if you do, cover with foil or plastic. Refrigerate overnight. ]
Plan on an hour and a half between dough rising and time to serve.
Whether you bake right away, or refrigerate first: Place into a warm oven (170°) to let rise: 30 – 40 minutes from the ‘fridge; 20 – 30 minutes if already at room temp. With the pan still in the oven, turn the temperature to 350°. Let bake 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
To Serve: Cut between each roll with a table knife. Lift each roll out of the pan with a spatula, invert onto serving plate. Drizzle gooey stuff from the pan over the rolls.
Boy, there’s hardly a better comfort food than good old-fashioned pot roast. You can use up an arm roast, a chuck roast, or pretty much any cut of meat you like. Using a pressure cooker almost guarantees a tender meat, and it cuts the cooking time needed to achieve that.
My pressure cooker is an Instant Pot. But if you have a stove-top pressure cooker, the directions are all the same. Pressure cooking (and the addition of some coffee) is the secret to moist, tender pot roast, no matter how tough a cut your meat is. The acid in the coffee breaks down those tough strands, and you don’t taste any coffee flavor.
Also, be sure to take the ten minutes (more, if you like) of natural pressure release: a quick release of pressure leads to dry meat. (Natural release = turn it off and leave the lid on; let it sit. After that, a quick release: move the vent to release the rest of the pressure.) Safety tip: Never try to remove the lid of a pressure cooker until all the steam / pressure is released through the valve, and the pressure pin drops.
Timing: Plan at least 3 hours from start to sitting down. Amounts: I don’t measure anything by the pound. Our roast is maybe 2 1/2 pounds. Use 4 medium-large potatoes and 5 medium-large carrots (or the equivalents thereof). Just make sure everything fits in your pot without overfilling. For cooking time, chunks refers to a size of 1 – 3 bites, depending on your mouthful.
Tip: When I want thicker gravy, but don’t want to add more cornstarch, I sprinkle in some instant mashed potato flakes to the simmering gravy and stir, adding more until it reaches the desired consistency.
This recipe serves 4, generously.
1/4 cup olive oil
3 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup cooking red wine
3 pounds beef chuck pot roast, thawed (mine includes fat, and a bone)
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
2 cups beef broth, with a tablespoon
1 tablespoon instant coffee
dashes of Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and Tamari sauce
3 pounds potatoes, cut into medium-small chunks
1 pound carrots peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup cornstarch mixed well into 1/2 cup beef broth
Directions: Turn the pressure cooker to sauté. Once hot, add in the oil, then chopped onion and celery. Brown the vegetables, then remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Sear meat on all sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove meat to the vegetable plate Pour in red wine and scrape up any browned bits on bottom of instant pot. Add roast back into pressure cooker, along with the cooked onion and celery. Mix the instant coffee, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and Tamari sauce into the 2 cups of beef broth. Pour it all into the pot, over the vegetables and meat. Close and seal the lid. Cook on high pressure for 45 min. When the cook time has elapsed, allow for pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick-release the rest of the pressure. Open instant pot and add in carrots and potatoes. Seal pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow pressure cooker to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before quick-releasing pressure. Remove the lid. Remove meat, potatoes and carrots (along with the onion and celery, if you wish) to serving dishes; keep warm. Set Instant Pot to Sauté. If needed, add more beef broth to make gravy. Let it come to a boil, then add broth and cornstarch slurry. Stir constantly until gravy comes to a boil again and thickens. Remove to a gravy boat. Serve.
This dish is like a fraternal twin to Chili. It’s made the same way, tastes as good, and is just as versatile. This recipe can be doubled or tripled, and is even better when you eat it as left-overs. Serve this in a big bowl with sides of a salad and crusty bread or corn bread. Or, spoon into a casserole dish and top with biscuits, corn bread, or tater tots. Bake at 350° until the topping is cooked and brown (20 minutes or so if biscuits and corn bread start as dough). Optional ingredients:
rice or quinoa
a mixture of brown sugar and vinegar.
Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 20 min + simmering
1 pound ground meat (can be beef, venison, buffalo, etc)
1 large onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
In a medium-large pot, over medium-high heat, brown the ground meat and onions. In the last minute of browning, add the garlic. Stir and cook. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, black and pinto beans, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and barbeque sauce. Stir well. Bring to boiling. Allow to simmer on low heat for at least 20 minutes. Alternatively, this can be put into the oven (covered or uncovered, depending on how thick you want it) at 250° for several hours.