So far since I bought the Instant Pot last weekend, I’ve cooked five meals in it, and only eaten out twice. I haven’t bought lunch at work, because I ate what I made last weekend all week. We ate out Wednesday lunch and today (Sunday) lunch. Both times we had coupons. BOGO at Perkins and $3 off $15 at McDonald’s.
So last Sunday I made beef stew. I had two bowls for dinner and split the rest between four 1-liter Mason jars. I ate the stew for lunch all last week (except Wednesday, but I was home hence the Perkins). The stew had beef, onions, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, and celery. We didn’t pre-cook anything. It went in for 35 minutes on the meat/stew setting. When it was done, it looks and tasted like it had been in a slow cooker for 10 hours. The meat was falling apart. It was delicious.
Then Monday we made honey/garlic/soy/ketchup chicken thighs. Actually The Kid made those. They took about 30 minutes on the poultry setting and it was also falling apart. Very good.
Thursday we made shrimp and rice with almost the same recipe except it was brown sugar/garlic/soy. I put it on rice setting, and it turned out great, but I forgot that I wanted to add broccoli to it, so I did and turned it back on on manual for ten minutes with about a quarter cup of water. But I screwed up because the rice was over done and stuck to the bottom of the pan and the broccoli didn’t even cook. Oh well, you can’ t win them all. We ate that two times, and then threw it out; it just wasn’t worth keeping.
Saturday I made spaghetti sauce. I added two onions, garlic (tons, of course), a large can of crushed tomatoes, two regular cans of diced tomatoes and one small can of tomato paste, spices, etc. I added maybe a cup of water. So I set it on Manual – 30 minutes and left it. But while it was cooking I was in the living room and could smell it the whole time, which, if it was sealed, I shouldn’t have. So I checked on it and it never sealed. I released the valve and no steam came out. I opened the lid and the sauce was boiling and it was sticking to the bottom. I had no idea what I’d done wrong. So I went on the office InstantPot Facebook page and asked. Turns out that tomato sauce is usually too thick and doesn’t have enough liquid to come to the boil it needs to make enough pressure to seal the pot. I could add another cup or two of water and try again, but really, in my opinion, that would have made the sauce too thin, and it had been boiling for 30 minutes at that point, so I called it done. It wasn’t bad at all, but I was disapointed I can’t cook something so time intensive in the InstantPot.
Today I’m making food for lunches next week. It’s beans and rice. You don’t have to soak the beans, but it helps, so I soaked them for about five hours. I turned the iPot on sautee and added onion, bell pepper and celery (the Cajun trinity) and smoked turkey sausage and a pound of beans (mixed various from a bean soup package, not just plain kidney beans). I added water until it was about 3/4 full and closed it up and set it on the Beans/Chili timer. I’ll let you know how it turns out.