Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Instant Pot: Pumpkin Praline Dessert Tamales

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Who says tamales have to be savory all the time? When I hosted a culinary tour of the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago a while back, I had the opportunity to try a sweet dessert tamale made with pineapple and pecans. Much to my surprise it was really good and worked so well with the masa. I started thinking that masa is really a great neutral base to build flavors upon so it made sense that sweet tamales work just as well as savory ones. Although we made quite a few tamales at our tamale party, I didn't have a chance to share a sweet recipe. So when I got home, I made these Pumpkin Praline Dessert Tamales to highlight some flavors of fall...

Pumpkin is quite a popular ingredient this time of year so I decided to try my hand at incorporating it in a tamale. I sweetened my masa with a touch of sugar and cinnamon and created a simple filling made with canned pumpkin pie mix, chopped toasted pecan pieces and some brown sugar. After preparing a good handful of these tamales, I hoped for the best and steamed them in my Instant Pot until done. Sure enough, after taking a bite, they were perfect! The masa held it's own with a subtle sweetness and that hint of cinnamon really carried through. The filling itself was just the taste of fall I was looking for. The pumpkin and brown sugar worked worked well with the crunchy bits of toasted pecan pieces. To finish them off, I garnished these tamales with some homemade whipped cream and a sinful drizzle of buttery caramel sauce. That put these dessert tamales over the top!

Pumpkin Praline Dessert Tamales
original Joelen recipe

2 cups pumpkin pie filling
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
2 cups masa (prepared as directed on package)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
corn husks, soaked
caramel sauce for serving (optional)
whipped cream for serving (optional)


To prepare the pumpkin praline filling, combine the pie filling, brown sugar, and pecan pieces in a bowl.

Prepare the masa as directed on the package for 2 cups of masa and add the cinnamon and sugar. and soak the corn husks in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Drain the water from the corn husks and start to assemble.


To assemble, spread a heaping tablespoon of masa across the widest part of the corn husk. Spread it to a nice thin layer. Down the middle of the masa, place your filling in a line, being careful not to overfill! Take the sides of the tamale and fold it over towards the middle. Fold up the narrow bottom and tie it with a sliver of corn husk.

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


Place collapsible steamer inside the IP and 2 cups of water.


Place the tamales upright/standing up in the steamer; Cover them with a layer of corn husk scraps or leftovers. 

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 20 minutes on HIGH pressure.


The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 20 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 20 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure completely - allow several minutes for this to complete. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).


The IP will automatically default to the WARM setting. Turn OFF IP and unplug.

Allow the tamales stand in the steamer off the heat for a few minutes to firm up. For the best textured tamales, let them cool completely, then re-steam about 15 minutes to heat through.


To serve, open up the tamale and tuck in the corn husks, laying the tamale on top. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Working Ahead: Both filling and batter can be made several days ahead, as can the finished tamales; refrigerate, well covered. Re-steam (or even microwave) tamales before serving. For even more flexibility, batter, filling or finished tamales can be frozen. Defrost finished tamales in the refrigerator overnight before re-steaming.


* Since a batch of tamales makes quite a bit, you can definitely freeze them to enjoy later. The tamales should be cooked completely before freezing. I recommended cooling the tamales completely before packing them into a freezer bag. To enjoy, remove from the freezer and run the tamales over some water to get the husks wet. Wrap the wet tamale in a paper towel and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until hot and softened.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Instant Pot: Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Lately, I've been flipping through cookbooks for inspiration on our meals. One of the recipes that caught my eye was this one for Broccoli Cheese Soup. I've been craving soup lately so a bowl of this soup was perfect for lunch. It was creamy, a vibrant green and flavorful with a faint hint of heat. One thing you won't find in this particular recipe is a lot of heavy cream like traditional recipes. Instead, this version has everything you love about broccoli cheese soup, only healthier!

For this soup, the first time I made it, I thought it was slightly bland. As a result, I added a little bit more garlic, some garlic and onion powder and changed up the cheeses. I definitely preferred my adapted recipe since it added some flavor it was missing initially. If you must, you could substitute frozen broccoli but I prefer fresh for the flavor and color. Even though the broccoli is cooked down, the baking soda called for in the recipe will help retain the green color. Should you use frozen broccoli, you may have to increase the amount of baking soda to prevent it from having the already processed broccoli turning a grayish color. I served this soup with some toasted slices of French bread, sprinkled with sharp cheddar cheese.


Broccoli Cheese Soup
recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds broccoli
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
pinch cayenne pepper
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
3 cups water
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
2 oz baby spinach (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese plus more for garnish
3/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Mozzarella)


Prepare the broccoli by cutting the florets cut into bite sized pieces. For the stalks, peel and also cut into bit sized pieces. This will make it faster to cook through and easier to blend later in the recipe.

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


Press SAUTE and melt the butter.

Once butter has melted, add the broccoli, onion, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. 

Add 1 cup of water and baking soda, stir.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 0 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 0 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 0 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Press SAUTE and add the broth (or stock) and the remaining 2 cups of water; bring to a boil. 

Add the spinach, and cook until wilted, about 1 minute, if not less. Using a stick or immersion blender, puree until smooth. 

Turn IP off and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheeses until melted through. 

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with additional cheddar.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Instant Pot: Apple Cider Glazed Pot Roast

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The best part of fall is being able to taste the seasonal flavors in one dish. For me, I love this time of year when apples are in it's prime picking season, apple cider is readily available and butternut squash is part of my grocery list. Together, apples and butternut squash make a delicious backdrop to slow braised pot roast. To tie everything together, a blend of apple cider, ginger and brown sugar make a lovely glaze to finish the dish. This Apple Cider Glazed Pot Roast will have you taste the best of fall and the best part is it takes little effort to get it on the table!

I'm using my Instant Pot once again and this time I'm highlighting the flavor of apples. Apples and butternut squash is set as the bed for a beef roast to pressure cook in. If you're not a fan of beef, feel free to use a pork roast which will pair with the apples even more. (I used beef since it's what I had and it worked very well with the apple flavors.) After pressure cooking, the juices are used to flavor the mashed apple and butternut squash that will serve as the side dish. It's truly a one pot meal that's perfect for this season!

Apple Cider Glazed Pot Roast
recipe adapted from ABC


1 beef chuck roast, 3 pounds
Kosher salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped herbs such as thyme and parsley
2 cups apple cider
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch



In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


Rub both sides of roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place in the hot skillet to sear, 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer seared roast to the slow cooker and place on top of the apples and squash.

Press SAUTE and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned roast; searing to brown on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the roast from the IP and set aside.

Place apples and squash on the bottom of the IP.

Return the browned roasted to the IP and set on top of the apples and squash.

Combine the cider, vinegar, ginger and brown sugar and pour alongside the roast.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 60 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 60 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 60 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 20 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.


When the display reflects L00:20 (which is 20 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Remove the roast from the IP, cover with foil to keep warm.

Ladle out as much of the juices from the IP but don't throw it away. (I transferred it to a 4 cup measuring cup or use another bowl.)

Using a potato masher, mash the apples and squash together. Add the reserved juices to achieve the mashed consistency you prefer. Transfer to a serving dish.

In the now empty IP, press SAUTE and add the remaining juices left. Bring to a boil to thicken slightly and then turn off the IP. 

Combine 2 tablespoons water + 2 tablespoons cornstarch to create a slurry. Slowly pour this mixture into the IP and stir until the remaining juices has thickened to a glaze consistency.

Serve slices of roast on top of mashed apples and butternut squash with the glaze.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Instant Pot: Chicken & Potato Chowder

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Chowda. Some days I wish I lived in Boston, Mass. because they really know how to make a good chowda. The thick and creamy consistency is nothing less than comforting, especially on a cool, fall night. When I think of chowder, the first thing that comes to mind is a clam chowder. However, I came across a recipe for Chicken & Potato Chowder with Thyme- a different spin on the chowder I'm familiar with. I loved that the recipe highlighted fresh thyme!  With a few changes, my adapted recipe for Chicken & Potato Chowder will now be in my fall recipe collection...

Typical chowders consist of bacon, milk or cream and has a thick consistency. I'm not sure I would really classify this as a true chowder since it lacks a thick consistency. Instead, it is rich with flavor from bacon, chicken, potato, half & half and a few vegetables for good measure. For this recipe, the major change was using frozen mixed vegetables instead of corn. This added more color and texture to the dish. And since bacon and half & half are already in the mix, why stop there? I garnished each serving with a sprinkling of shredded cheese. So it may not be a true chowda but it's good eats nonetheless!

Chicken & Potato Chowder
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

6 slices bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced fine
1 onion, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 large potatoes, diced
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into cubes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 cups half-and-half
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
shredded cheese for garnish
crisp bacon crumbles for garnish (optional)



In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


Press SAUTE and add the bacon, onions and garlic, allowing it to cook until the onions soften and bacon is slightly crisp, about 3-5 minutes. 

Add broth, potatoes, chicken and fresh thyme to the IP.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 7 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 7 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 7 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Press SAUTE.

Add the mixed vegetables and stir half and half into the soup; allowing it to come to a boil. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with the shredded cheese and bacon (if using). Serve hot.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Instant Pot: Butternut Squash Risotto

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Butternut squash is special to me because it happens to be the first food I gave my 6 month old son. Now he's 7 years old and he still loves it! After roasting some butternut squash, I had plenty leftover to use for risotto. Thanks to the wonderful Ina Garten, I tried her recipe for Butternut Squash Risotto which was delicious, especially with the use of saffron...

This risotto has a beautiful color for the fall partly due to the saffron and natural color from the butternut squash. It's creamy, aromatic with the fresh chopped sage, and a good way to use butternut squash. If you wanted, you could also substitute the butternut squash with other kinds of squash such as acorn, calabaza, delicata, kabocha, or hubbard squash. Do keep in mind that you'll want to adjust the flavor by adding some sweeteners since these types of squash are not as sweet as butternut squash. Brown sugar and honey are great ways to add extra sweetness.


Butternut Squash Risotto
recipe adapted from Ina Garten

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 pounds finely diced butternut squash
2 ounces thick cut bacon, diced

1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice 
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 teaspoon saffron threads
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped for garnish



In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press SAUTE and butter and saute the squash, bacon and shallots; cooking until the shallots are translucent but not browned. 

Add the rice, stirring together to coat the grains with butter and squash. 

Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. 

Add stock, saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Stir and secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 7 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 7 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 7 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Off the heat add Parmesan cheese. Mix well and stir in chopped sage or sprinkle on top of risotto as garnish.



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Texas Big Hairs Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Tarts #foodbloggers4TX

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The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey has left many people putting their lives back together. It's a difficult time for everyone and I've joined forces with fellow food bloggers by participating in  Food Bloggers For Texas. This culinary blog event highlights recipes inspired by Texas with the hopes our readers become inspired as well... not just to make the recipes we share but to also learn about some reputable charities to donate to for our friends and families affected by Hurricane Harvey. It's a fun and delicious way to celebrate Texas through food and all the wonderful recipes inspired by the state while helping those in need. 

I've chosen to highlight one of my favorite Texan cookbook author, Rebecca Rather and her recipe for Texas Big Hairs Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Tarts. I chose this recipe because working with meringues is something I don't do often and this looked like a great recipe involving chocolate and hazelnuts. Besides, the title and presentation of these tarts are just too fun to pass up!...



When it comes to baking, cookies, cakes, brownies and bars are usually in my repertoire... not so much pastries. So I wanted to step outside of my usual baking choices. These Texas Big Hairs Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Tarts start out with a simple tart dough made with toasted hazelnuts, butter, powdered sugar, flour and Frangelico liqueur. If you ask me, anything with a little liqueur has to be good, right?!

After making the tart crust, it's filled with a rich and silky chocolate ganache. What's special about this ganache is that it's made with a vanilla bean, not the usual vanilla extract. If you can't get a vanilla bean, a great substitution is vanilla paste, which I used for the recipe. The ganache is placed into each tart crust and allowed to set. When I made these tarts, I added a few chopped hazelnuts into the tart crust before covering with the chocolate ganache for extra hazelnut flavor and texture.

Lastly, the meringue part of this recipe is the key to the tart's beautiful presentation. Egg whites and sugar are whisked over low heat and then whisked more in a stand mixer until stiff and shiny. The proper texture of the whisked meringues is key in order for the 'Texas Big Hairs' to really form properly. It's a little messy to work with since it's encouraged to use your fingertips to create the beautiful meringue peaks, but it's also a lot of fun and worth it!




Texas Big Hairs Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Tarts
recipe from The Pastry Queen: Rebecca Rather

Crust:
1/3 cup hazelnuts
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature + more for greasing pans
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons Frangelico liqueur
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour

Ganache:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Meringue:
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar


To make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With your fingers, butter four 4 3/8-inch, 1-cup capacity tartlet pans, using about 1 generous tablespoon softened unsalted butter total.

Arrange the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast them in the oven for 7-9 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. (Alternatively, you can place them in a dry nonstick skillet and toast the hazelnuts on the stovetop.) Immediately gather the nuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. Chop the nuts and set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the Frangelico liqueur and salt. Gradually add the flour and combine on low speed until just incorporated. Add the hazelnuts and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, divide into 4 equal portions, and press into the prepared pans, making sure the dough comes up to the top edge of the pans.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes on racks. (Don't worry fi the tart bottoms look wrinkly.) At this point, the crusts can be cooled and stored in airtight containers for up to 2 days.


To make the ganache:
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, butter, salt and vanilla bean. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and take out the vanilla beak halves. Using a paring knife, scrape out the vanilla pad's tiny black beans and add them to the cream mixture. Put the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Spoon the ganache into the tart shells, dividing it evenly among them. Refrigerate the tarts at least 30 minutes, r until the ganache is set.


To make the meringue:

Set a large, perfectly clean metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. (I used the bowl of my stand mixer.) Pour in the egg whits and sugar. (Note: if there is a trace of fat in the bowl, the eggs won't reach their proper volume.) Heat the egg whites and sugar while whisking constantly until the sugar melts and there are no visible grains in the meringue. Take a little meringue mixture and rub it between your fingers to make sure all the sugar grains have melted and dissolved. Remove the meringue from over the simmering water and ship it with a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on low speed for 5 minutes; then increase the speed to high and whisk for 5 more minutes, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the broiler. Pile the meringue on top of the cooled tarts, being sure to seal each tart by spreading teh meringue to the edge of the pan. Style the meringe with your fingers by plucking at it to tease the meringue into jagged spikes. (For those who don't like the hands on approach, shape the meringue with the back of a spoon.)

Broil the tarts until the meringue turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Watch the tarts carefully, as they can turn from browned to burned in a matter of seconds. (If you are using a kitchen torch, hold it 2-3 inches away from the meringue until it is browned all over.) The tarts should be served the day they are assembled.

It was a lot of fun celebrating the deliciousness of Texas! Be sure to check out other food bloggers who are participating today, which can be found by search the hashtag: #foodbloggers4TX or view the recipe links attached below! To learn more about charities dedicated to helping our fellow Texans rebuilding their families and lives, please check out this list as well:

Houston Food Bank - http://www.houstonfoodbank.org

Salvation Army - Houston - http://salvationarmyhouston.org

Samaritan’s Purse - https://www.samaritanspurse.org/disaster/hurricane-harvey/

American Red Cross - http://rdcrss.org/2vNygmj


 The Texas Diaper Bank -https://texasdiaperbank.networkforgood.com/

Save The Children - 
http://www.savethechildren.org/.../Hurricane_Harvey.htm

The Houston Humane Society - http://www.houstonhumane.org

Monday, September 11, 2017

Instant Pot: Sauerbraten (German-style Pot Roast)

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During the fall, a good pot roast is a great comforting dish to enjoy. Since it's Oktoberfest season, I wanted to attempt a traditional Sauerbraten, which is a German style pot roast. The roast is marinated in a combination of cider and red vinegar, along with water and a few spices. Traditionally, juniper berries are used in making this dish. I didn't get a chance to pick any up at my local spice shop but even without the juniper berries, the dish was delicious! The roast marinates for 2-3 days (I marinated for 2) and then sugar is added to both the marinade and meat. It's then pressure cooked and the results were amazing!

Once the roast has pressure cooked, the marinade is strained and then placed back into the Instant Pot to create the gravy. It's such a acidic mixture that to balance it out, some sugar and spices are needed. What was interesting about making a gravy from the marinade is the addition of powdered gingersnap cookies. After it boiled a bit, a gorgeous, thick and rich gravy was made and perfectly complimented the roast.


Sauerbraten (German-style Pot Roast)
recipe adapted from Alton Brown

2 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, additional for seasoning meat
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) bottom round, cut to fit into the Instant Pot
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
18 dark old-fashioned gingersnaps (about 5 ounces), crushed



In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press SAUTE and combine the water, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, onion, carrot, salt, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, and ground mustard. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and transfer to another container to cool.

Pat the bottom round dry and rub with vegetable oil and salt on all sides. 

In the now empty IP, press SAUTE. Once hot, add the meat and brown on all sides, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Turn off IP and add the cooled marinade into the IP over the beef. Remove the filled IP insert, cover and place into the refrigerator for 3 days. If the meat is not completely submerged in the liquid, turn it over once a day.

After 3 days of marinating, return the filled IP insert to the IP. 

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 60 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 60 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 60 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 20 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

When the display reflects L00:20 (which is 20 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Remove the meat from the IP and keep warm. Strain the liquid to remove the solids. 


Press SAUTE and return the liquid to the empty IP pot and place over medium-high heat. Whisk in the gingersnaps and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. 

Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.