For the past couple of years, I’ve been making Oven Braised Mexican Beef at least twice a month because it’s simple and delicious—and because the kids’ll actually eat it. But here’s a dirty little secret: these days, I rarely braise it in the oven ’cause I can get similar results in a fraction of the time using a pressure cooker.
I’ve extolled the virtues of pressure cooking before, but it’s truly become one of my favorite cooking methods. (I love pretty much anything that helps me get satisfying meals on the table before I have to rush off to the hospital.) My trusty stovetop pressure cookers have been workhorses in my kitchen for some time now, but I recently treated myself to an Instant Pot because I’d read so many great things about this electric programmable multi-cooker. Also: I’m a gadget hoarder.
In fact, I’m such a hoarder that I’d neglected to break out my Instant Pot for months after buying it. It sat in a box in my garage for months before I managed to de-clutter my kitchen enough to make room for it.
And now, I’m totally crushing on my Instant Pot. I love that I can make bone broth at a moment’s notice without having to babysit it like a stove-top pressure cooker. Also, the sauté function lets me brown aromatics or meat right in the pot before I throw in the rest of the ingredients. Yippee!
One thing to note: The Instant Pot cooks at a slightly lower pressure (11.6 psi) than my stove top pressure cookers (15 psi), but that just means having to add a few minutes to the cooking time. I increase the cooking time by 7 to 15%, and refer to my friend Laura Pazzaglia’s Hip Pressure Cooking website and charts for specific cooking times. If you’re at all a fan of pressure cooking, I suggest that you do the same. One more thing: even though the dish is finished in about an hour, I often don’t serve it ’til the next day. There’s a scientific reason why stews and braises taste better as leftovers.
So with all of that out of the way, wanna see how I’ve modified my Mexican Beef recipe to work in a pressure cooker?
Man, I’m a pretty lucky gal. This week brought two wonderful surprises (and a not-so wonderful one, too).
I was on nightshift duty at the hospital last week, so I was passed out in bed when a heavy package from Paleo Magazine arrived at our house. It wasn’t until my week of zombie drug dealing was over that I opened up the box—and happily discovered that we won the four categories for which we were nominated in Paleo Magazine’s Best of 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards!
We won for:
- Best Food Centered Food Blog!
Then, on Friday afternoon, another surprise: I got a text message from Diane Sanfilippo alerting me that our cookbook had managed to sneak onto the New York Times Best Sellers list in the Dining category!
Whoa. I was (pleasantly!) stunned. Our book had been out of stock at Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble for chunks of January, so I’d dismissed our chances of making any of the bestseller lists. I was on Cloud Nine—and then thirty minutes later, the main sewage line to our house backed up.
Ugh. Nothing like a little scat to keep my ego in check.
In all seriousness: I know I don’t say it nearly often enough, but THANK YOU. I’m sending out a big virtual hug to all my blog readers and to every person who shelled out his or her hard-earned moolah for our iPad app or cookbook. Thank you for cooking along with us—you make it all worthwhile.
I read each and every comment, tweet, and email that comes our way. But because it’s just Henry and me working behind the scenes at Nom Nom Paleo—and only after the kids go to bed at 8 p.m.—we can’t always reply to all of your messages or write a proper thank you note.
So as a small token of our gratitude, we’re giving away an brand-spanking-new Instant Pot IP-DUO60—as well as a bunch of my limited edition vinyl action figures! Yep, one winner will receive an Instant Pot and five others will win a Mini-Michelle action figure!