Pot Roast in Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

My family loves Pot Roast in my Crockpot. I got this recipe from a friend several years ago, and I cook it a couple times a month during the colder months. I have made it with both beef roast and pork roast.  This last 2 times I’ve put it in the Instant Pot, because I wanted to see how the recipe held up with it. It is fantastic!

It’s really simple.

You need:

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Carrots ( Sometimes I use them if we have them, just for flavor. But no one in my family eats cooked carrots, so I don’t use them very often)
  • Roast
  • Packet each of Ranch Salad Dressing Mix, Italian Salad Dressing Mix, and Brown Gravy

 

 

If you’re using a slow cooker, spray the inside with non-stick spray and layer in onions, potatoes, carrots if you use them, and put the meat on top. Open the packets and pour them directly on the meat. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

 

 

If you’re using the IP, it’s pretty much the same except for adding a 1/2 cup of water or beef stock in before you add in the potatoes, onions, meat, and packets. Put the lid on and make sure the venting is closed. Set the manual for for 30** mins. It is shredding by the time I take it out. I NPR’d (natural pressure release) mine for 30 mins because I made it before I left to take my daughter to dance and so I wasn’t around when it got done.

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**This last time,  I put it on 17 mins and NPR’d for 15 or 20 mins – and then cut up the meat and put it back on for another 12 mins. It really got the roast falling apart and because I have braces, I can’t chew meat that isn’t falling apart. ^^ That picture is after 17 mins. I forgot to take a picture after I put it back on.

 

Either the slow cooker or the IP is good, it just depends on what kind of time you have, really. I don’t like rushing around in the morning and cutting onions and potatoes and getting the slow cooker going if I can help it.

Let me know if you make it!

 

 

 

 

Pasta & Meatballs in the Instant Pot

My family loves spaghetti, or rotini, and meatballs. We have some sort of variation of pasta and marinara every week. After being part of the instant pot community group on facebook, which I talk about here, I decided to give it a try in the IP.  I found out later, that most everyone was basing their recommendations and recipes off of  This Old Gal Soccer Mom Spaghetti.

My first go didn’t do so well. If using spaghetti, it needs to be broken up super small or its still on the uncooked side of al dente. Nobody in my family likes al dente pasta. We like cooked. Really Really Cooked. But not mushy. It’s a science. Ha.

Here is what I use:

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I use a family size bag of meatballs because my son doesn’t eat any of the pasta, so we need the extra meatballs. It takes longer for the IP to come to pressure with all those meatballs, but I know that, so I allow for the extra time. I have tried several brands of meatballs, and the Great Value Italian Style is my families favorite. As far as the pasta goes, same thing. I’ve tried all different brands and Barilla (rotini and spaghetti) cooks better and gets soft, without getting mushy.

My Steps:

  • Spray IP with Non-stick Spray
  • Pour in bag of meatballs
  • Pour in box of pasta – rotini stays whole, spaghetti I break in thirds or fourths
  • Pour 2 jars of sauce
  • Add seasonings on top of sauce – Use double what you would use on the stove. The IP seems to weaken spices in my experience.
  • Fill pasta jar 3/4 full of water, shake, pour around the edges of the pasta – just the edges, don’t want to mess with the sauce or spices

It should look like this:

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Yes, it looks full (it will be less full with the regular bag of meatballs), and some people will tell you that it may be too full. I’ve never had a problem with it.

  • Put the lid on and make sure the release valve is set to closed
  • Hit Manual and set it for 9 mins – It takes 12 or so if you use Great Value brand Rotini.
  • Do whatever you want while its cooking.

 

It usually takes about 20 mins to come to pressure and then the 9 minutes to cook.  I let it NR (natural release) because I’m usually no where around. A lot of times I’ll make this before I take my daughter to dance. If everyone is bouncing around the kitchen ready to eat, I’ll QR (quick release) by turning the valve. WATCH OUT, STEAM IS HOT!  Take off the lid and stir it up. If you want the pasta more done, just put the lid back on and put it on for another 3 mins. Since it’s hot it will come to pressure quickly, and should only add about 10 minutes more cooking time.

Yum, Just look at that!

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This really is the easiest thing to make, and it does make buying the IP worth it for us!

If you give it a try, let me know how yours turned out!

 

Instant Pot

Mr. Random got me an Instant Pot for Mother’s Day – or Christmas, or just because, or something – I don’t remember. It’s this one.

Amazon pic

I have no idea the difference in all of them, they just are. I’ve only made a few things in it, though I make those few things often.

There is a facebook page: Instant Pot Community that I’m pretty sure is run by Instant Pot. There are a bunch of good recipes in there, but some of the members are douches, so you have to take them with an “I don’t give a shit if you’re an asshole” attitude. There is no rhyme or reason to the snarkiness. One post one day will ask for help and everyone will be nice; the next time those same folks are mean as shit. Last week some woman asked for recipes to make her husband lunches to take to work, and it was a shit-fire storm that any woman today would make her husband lunch – Men could do it themselves. Gah. But, Fuck, don’t make a post calling members out on that shit, because then all the “I’ve never seen anybody be mean to anyone here” posts come out and it turns into a screenshot war – right up until the admins delete everything. There must be admins in every time zone, because they come out with a quickness to turn off comments and delete shit!

I’m also a member of: Weight Watchers with the Instant PotThe Paleo Instant Pot, and InstantLoss.com Healthy Recipes for Weightloss.

There are lots of good groups out there. It really just depends on what you want to cook.

The truth about the instant pot: I like it, and the things I cook are easier to cook, but the instant pot does not make them cook any faster!  It’s more the ease of throwing everything in a pot and walking away and doing other things while it’s cooking – instead of standing in front of the stove watching and stirring. I’ve heard (and seen photos) that you can bake breads and cheesecakes in it, but I haven’t ventured that far into it. Maybe one day!

I’m glad we bought it and it has made some things easier, but I’m not a mega fan that feels the need to have 5 of them – yes, those people are out there; Nor do I think that it replaces stove and oven cooking. Maybe as I cook with it more and more I’ll find more meals that will change my mind!