I know it’s not really pot roast season anymore, but even on an 85 degree humid Florida day, I still sometimes want to eat a comforting bowl of easily digestible food! And I’ve been wanting to make a pot roast in my Instant Pot for ages – not the kind my mom used to make (sorry, Mom) but something flavorful and tender.
I couldn’t be more obsessed with my Instant Pot! I made this Pot Roast in less than 1 hour and the meat is pull apart tender and paired with perfectly cooked root veggies!
I get most of my grass-fed beef from Butcher Box and US Wellness Meats these days. In my new neighborhood, I have to drive at least 45 minutes to get freshly butchered grass-fed meats, so ordering online is convenient and I’m guaranteed the animal was raised and fed well. Gone are the days I had 3 Whole Foods within a 15-minute drive. I’m still mourning that loss.
This Pot Rot roast recipe really cuts down on the time and ingredients in a traditional roast which often contains red wine, butter and fresh herbs. I like the simplicity of dry herbs here so your chopping is limited to the vegetables and apple. I added apple, which you don’t typically find in a pot roast, for sweetness to balance out the meat and onion.
Another way I cut down the time is by pressure cooking the roast for just 50 minutes and then cutting it into large chunks which then go back in to pressure for 10 minutes with the veggies. This creates more surface area for the meat to absorb all that delicious beefy-onion liquid!
Whoo! I’m recovering from last night’s Flaming Lips show. They put on such a performance every single time, and the older they get, the more wild it gets. There was confetti, there was an LED light explosion, there was a grown man riding a unicorn wearing inflatable wings, and there was so some spectacular people watching. If you have the opportunity to see them live, even if you don’t know their music, go! Especially if you’re a fan of Pink Floyd and more experimental music. We didn’t get to see my favorite song since we had to get home to Grace by 11pm though. We played the live version this morning during breakfast for her though! The only other show we’ve seen since she was born was Austin City Limits last September! It’s still hard to leave her at night because I like to be there for bedtime.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here but I’m going to be leaving her for the first time for 4 DAYS (gahhh!) for Meg & Shawn’s Soul Sista Getaway in Boulder! My husband and I love Boulder and have visited several times, so he’s going to come with and just go do his own thing while I participate in all the fun events they have planned like eating and yoga and eating.
This Beef Pot Roast is tender, flavorful & on the table in an hour!
Instant Pot Beef Pot Roast
- 2 pounds beef loin roast
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
- 1 teaspoon each garlic and onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup broth
- 2 medium rutabagas, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 6 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 1 Pink Lady apple, chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- Place beef loin roast in Instant Pot insert with fat cap side down. Rub the dried herbs, garlic and onion, and sea salt on the meaty side of the roast. Brush balsamic on top of the meat and layer with onion slices. Pour broth around the roast.
- Seal the lid and set to cook on "Manual" for 50 minutes. When timer elapses, vent the lid and transfer the roast to a cutting board. Slice against the grain into 1-inch chunks.
- Return meat to the insert along with the vegetables and apple. Seal the lid and set to cook on "Manual" for another 10 minutes. When timer elapses, vent the lid, stir in the coconut aminos to slightly break up the onions and rutabaga to help thicken the liquid. Serve warm sprinkled with parsley.
You may also use other large cuts of beef like chuck roast.
How many times a week do you stare into your fridge, nothing prepared, and say out loud “I need to eat and I need to eat NOW.” Me: 5 to 10 times a week on average, on a good week. I’m pretty horrible at “meal planning”. Like I PLAN to eat at least 3 meals a day, but I’m no good at planning what those meals will be. Lately, I’ve started to think at least 24 hours in advance and it’s saved me a lot of curse words. I’m going to store those up for a later date. Like when Macy’s smells like dust and polyester and I wonder what the _____ I’m doing in there.
I have a hard time clothing shopping in public these days. Most of my purchases are made online in hopes of the item not looking terrible. If it’s a 5/10 or greater I keep it, rather than hassling myself with a return. I also care almost zero about clothing these days, so that helps. I don’t walk around looking like a schlep, I just don’t go all out like I used to (high-waisted skirts, tucked in blouses, statement necklaces, 4-inch pumps). Nothing sounds more horrible than what I just typed. I now go for comfort. I have a favorite pair of black leggings that look good no matter how much I weigh (that tends to fluctuate) and I know what looks good on my petite frame: long asymmetrical, lightweight, not too baggy shirts and sweaters with knee high slim boots. Now everything in my closet resembles this outfit in some way but that’s okay. I can’t help it – Whole Foods really knows my style.
Yes, that’s right, almost all my shopping is done at the same time as picking out 3 pounds of wild-caught sockeye salmon for chowder that evening. It’s a very gratifying and thrifty experience and it’s one of the only places I can get organic cotton and fair trade clothing without feeling like a sweet 4-year-old hastily sewed together my knits. I’m not negating child labor with that statement; I have found it increasingly difficult for me to shop at typical retailers like GAP and LOFT these days. I only like to support retailers that serve well-raised animals, so why wouldn’t I want to support clothing retailers that treat humans like humans should be treated!
Unplanned rant for the week. Sowwy.
About this recipe a little more: I made this basil pesto vinaigrette for my friends this weekend over a spinach salad. It was way too amazing to not develop into a recipe so this evening when I saw grass fed beef and a lone butternut squash in my kitchen just pleading to be eaten. I wanted to keep this recipe super simple for a weeknight meal and let the basil pesto do all the talking! If you want to add more greens, definitely throw in several handfuls of spinach when you add the bone broth and let it wilt! You can even add chopped roasted garlic, minced shallot, extra basil or parsley, whatever your sweet little heart desires! And it makes awesome leftovers!!
This was my first dish using my NEW Cuisinart 9-cup food processor! And I am obsessed. You can make all different types of vegetable “rices”, thinly slice sweet potatoes to make homemade sweet potato chips in the oven, pulse small amounts of hard to chop foods like garlic & herbs and make the easiest chunky guacamole you ever did see! If you haven’t finished your holiday wish list you MUST add a food processor so you can get even more creative in your kitchen!!
Beef & Butternut Rice with Nut-Free Pesto
- 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 1 1/2 pounds grass fed ground beef (or pork or lamb)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup bone broth of choice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice nutritional yeast flakes, for serving (optional)
- Nut-Free Pesto:
- 2 cups basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Make butternut rice by running cubed squash through your food processor using the shredder blade attachment. Scoop into a separate bowl and set aside. Wipe down food processor bowl so it will be clean when you make the pesto below.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef in skillet and season with sea salt. Cook beef, breaking up into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add butternut rice to the pan and toss well with the beef. Pour broth into pan, bring to a boil, and cover with a lid. Cook for 2 minutes until butternut is tender.
Remove lid and cook for a couple more minutes until most of the broth has evaporated. Season with lemon juice and remove from heat immediately.
- Meanwhile make pesto: Place all pesto ingredients in clean food processor using regular blade attachment. Turn the machine on for at least 30 seconds until a very finely minced pesto sauce is achieved. Set aside.
Distribute beef and rice among individual serving bowls and drizzle with desired amount of basil pesto. I personally like a hefty amount because it is utterly delicious and addictive! Serve warm sprinkled with nutritional yeast if desired & enjoy!
Even with the boom of American food culture in the past decade (thank you Buzzfeed, Yelp, Instagram, and Food Network), lamb still does not hold a place in our country’s heart like it should. I could pull a Jimmy Fallon and ask 100 random people on the street if they have ever eaten lamb, and I think the majority would say either “Ew no” or “No, but Lamb Chops was my favorite creepy puppet show from the early 90’s.”
Lamb meets my three D criteria: decadent, drool-worthy, and damn tasty. It’s loaded in fat (the healthy omega-3 rich kind thanks to our friends Down Under perpetuation of grassfed animals), flavor, B vitamins, and selenium. All happy, nutritious, inflammation-fighting, and baby-making qualities we look for in our dinner.
I purchased a couple grass-fed bone-in lamb chops from Sprouts this weekend without a plan. I also happened to pick up dried Turkish figs (the big soft light brown ones) and dried cranberries. I had a leftover 1/2 head of cabbage in my fridge that needed to be used up, so I thought why not combine some of my favorite things into one dish. It can’t go wrong. And it certainly didn’t. I’ve spoken before about my introduction into cooking at age 15 spurred by an obsessive tendency to re-read my Food & Wine subscriptions over and over until I picked up on every nuance of a cooking skill I could from each recipe. When I cook for myself and my husband, I often imagine creating a recipe for F&W that would actually make it into their publication. Another recent meal I made would certainly make the cut: chicken thighs cooked using Jacques Pepin’s technique, garnished with lemon juice, fried capers, salt-cured olives, and fresh parsley. My horn is a-tootin’. And I don’t care. It’s my one skill.
This meal would be equally as good for date night, and quite a romantic one at that. There’s something about the rich smell and taste of seared lamb that is intoxicating and reminds me of cozying up in our favorite Chicago restaurant listening to jazz and dining on lamb and filet on a snowy night. One of my favorite memories of the city (which I miss terribly!) from our time there. Instead, I sweated my buns off in my Texas kitchen to prepare this meal for you and me, so I could at least pretend that eating at my countertop alone in silence was just as romantic.
If you enjoy wine, a bright and fruity red would go amazingly well with this meal! Cider lover? Try a sweet and light cider made from organic apples and nothing else.
Restaurant-worthy dinner on your table in 30 minutes!
Spiced Lamb with Caramelized Cabbage, Figs & Cranberries
- 1 1/2 pounds bone-in lamb shoulder chops, 1-inch thick (2 large chops)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled and halved
- 3 cups quartered and thinly sliced green cabbage
- 6 dried Turkish figs, quartered
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Remove chops from refrigerator to countertop 30 minutes prior to cooking.
Rub chops on all sides with mixture of sage, salt, garlic, and cinnamon until evenly coated.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
Sear chops for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium doneness. You want a crust on the bottom before you flip. Boneless chops will take shorter to cook; decrease cooking time by 1 minute per side if using boneless.
chops to a plate and rub with the sliced garlic clove on each side. You will see the garlic almost “melt” into the meat. Discard garlic clove. Let lamb
chops rest tented in foil while you prepare the cabbage.
In the same skillet, cook
cabbage in the rendered lamb
fat until caramelized and tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. If not enough fat has been rendered to coat the cabbage, add one tablespoon to the pan prior to adding the cabbage.
Add figs, cranberries and a pinch of sea salt to the pan, cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes until the figs and cranberries have deepened in color and are tender. Sprinkle lemon juice on top and stir briefly to combine. Remove from heat.
divide cabbage mixture onto two plates and place lamb
chop on top.
You don’t see bacon and salmon together frequently in recipes, but I’m here to say that is a culinary mistake. Flaky salmon takes on a sweet, smokey flavor when crusted with chopped bacon, herbs, and a little lemon to round things out. This is a recipe easy enough to whip up on a weeknight but also special enough to serve to company!
Pulled Pork cooked in cranberries for a tangy, sweet, unique Instant Pot main that will be on the table in a little over an hour!
I’ve been hitting a funky wall with recipe development lately. All of my creativity is being driven towards work right now… and finding creative ways to not go insane via lack of sleep.
Confession: I totally did some super cool Tae Bo moves in a closed bathroom stall the other day to wake me up. Don’t ask me why I didn’t stick with a standard wall sit or push-up, but my body just wanted a good ol’ Billy Blanks full body workout.
I remember doing his VHS workout tapes in middle school and wondering why the women’s abs looked like paper folded into an accordion during their flamboyant high knees. It’s because they had somewhere between 3.5 and 4% body fat. Clearly they needed more pork in their life at the time.
I shared on IG this Sunday a picture of my Instant Pot full of broth and rice. Every Sunday night, I pressure cook a large bone-in pork roast with 1-2 cups of water, fresh garlic, dried oregano, and sea salt for about 80 minutes using the same technique as this recipe calls for.
Then I remove the pork, shred it as much as I can, return it to the Pot with 1 T apple cider vinegar for another 10-20 minutes of pressure cooking, and it absorbs all the brothy goodness that has been created via the pork bones. The shredded pork is always extra juicy and flavorful this way, and I’ll toss in a variety of dried spices like cinnamon or cloves, fresh garlic, lime juice, or coconut aminos.
The bones don’t get discarded. I eat the most crumbly pieces (and share with my dog Rafael) and then I save the rest of the bones for next week’s batch to add extra flavor.
I use the leftover broth to cook a large pot of rice for my husband for the week, of which I have been sneaking small bowls in light of my recent reintroduction. I forgot how much I enjoy a few spoons of rice, and it finally doesn’t mess with my digestion anymore!
I realize we’ve exited cranberry season by now, so feel free to use frozen cranberries in this recipe OR change it up and use another kind of fruit. Cherries? Blueberries? Plums? They would all be fantastic here!
Pressure Cooker Sweet & Tangy Pulled Pork
- 2 lbs boneless pork roast
- 1 tablespoon fat of choice
- 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
- 10 oz bone broth of choice
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs of choice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Set your Instant Pot to the sauté function. Pour fat of choice into the bottom of the pot and spread it around with a spatula. Salt pork generously on all sides and place in hot oil. Sear on each side, uncovered, for 2 minutes until lightly browned.
- Set the Instant Pot to the manual pressure cooker setting for 70 minutes. Add cranberries and broth to the bottom of pot, being sure not to "wash away" the salt off the pork. Sprinkle chopped herbs, apple cider vinegar and honey on top and close the lid. Cook undisturbed for full 70 minutes.
- Release the pressure using the release valve, remove the pork to a cutting board and use two fork to shred the pork. Place back in the Instant Pot, sprinkle with a pinch more sea salt, and set the manual option for another 10 minutes. This allows the shredded pork to absorb the broth, increasing it's moisture and flavor.
- Remove pork and cranberries from the liquid and place in a large serving dish. Toss with the cinnamon, garlic, and cloves and serve warm.
For Tacos: Serve in steamed kale, collard, or chard leaves with crispy sliced lettuce, avocado, cilantro, parsley, diced cucumber, jicama or beet matchsticks, coconut cream, and lime juice.
For Bowls: Serve with all the taco accoutrements over a bowl of cauliflower rice with guacamole & roasted zucchini.