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.
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.
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.