The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker and a nationwide fad:
This post has nothing to do with weddings or Steamboat Springs, but it is sort of relevant to ranching — as (small time) cattle ranchers, we eat some beef, and we sometimes like to cook it in the Instant Pot.
Once in a while we send a steer to be processed for our personal use. That’s a whole freezer full of meat for two people. Some of the cuts of meat are tasty steaks that go on the grill. (For some reason those get eaten first....) And our lean, grass-fed cattle make excellent hamburger. (You can try our ground beef when you are in Steamboat — we supply the local Italian restaurant Mambos.) But our freezer ends up with quite a few tougher cuts of meat, and the Instant Pot is great for those.
For instance, we have a lot of Chuck Steak. It would be way too tough to grill, but makes great chili or beef burgundy in the Instant Pot.
It took us a few tries to avoid overcooking veggies in the IP. The meat has to be cooked before the veggies go in. Chili is an example. If all of the ingredients — meat, beans, bell peppers, corn — were in the IP long enough to get the meat tender, everything but the meat would be mush. So instead, we pressure cook the meat for a half hour, then pressure cook everything else for just 5 minutes. The meat comes out tender, and the textures are preserved for the rest.
Some IP recipes are overly optimistic regarding cooking time. For instance, Wayne made this fantastic beef burgundy: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/the-best-instant-pot-beef-bourguignon/. The introduction says “this epic beef stew cooks in just 30 minutes in the amazing Instant Pot.” But that doesn’t include the preparation time, the time to brown the meat or thicken the stew at the end. So it actually takes about an hour start to finish. That’s still not very long and it turned out great. The recipe says to use “Certified Angus Beef,” but of course we used “Regular La Joya Dulce Beef From The Freezer.” (Photos in this post are the ingredients for the beef burgundy.)
Here is Wayne’s Instant Pot chili recipe. He makes it mild (even though he personally likes it spicier), so those who like it spicy can doctor their own bowls.
2 pounds beef (chuck steak, for instance)
42 ounces crushed tomatoes (3 cans 14 ounce)
Small can tomato paste
One 14 ounce can each black, pinto and kidney beans (3 cans total)
One 14 ounce can corn
One 14 ounce can beef broth
One Red bell pepper
1 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP cumin
Salt to taste
Cube the beef. Brown the beef in the Instant Pot on the sauté setting. While waiting for the beef to brown, dice the onion. Remove beef. Sauté the onion in the Instant Pot. Add back the beef and add the beef broth. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
While the beef is cooking, drain and rinse the beans, drain the corn, and dice the red pepper.
Release the pressure when the 30 minutes is over. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Release pressure. Sauté with the lid off for a while to thicken it. If you want to add a tablespoon of corn starch to thicken it a little more, go ahead (mix the corn starch in a small bowl with a little water before adding to the chili).
Serve with warm tortillas, plus whatever you like on chili — salsa, chopped onions, chopped jalapeños, sour cream, cheddar cheese.