Like so many of you I have a new Instant Pot! Mine was gifted to me by a very dear friend. I am so blessed not just by her gift, but her friendship! I have wanted one of these for quite some time now, and now I have one! I am finding I am using it frequently and I would love to share this fun new culinary journey with you all!
I was nervous to break this new toy in. After all, we have probably all heard the terrifying stories of exploding pressure cookers right? I did have to scour my memory banks though and I was unable to come up with a single person I knew or of even a friends story of someones terrible demise in pressure cooker incident. So I decided to just go for it!
I did the water test as recommended, then I made the hard boiled eggs. SO EASY!
Seriously, so so easy! For hard boiled eggs, I traditionally set a pan full of eggs, covered in water on the stove top, burner on almost high and wait for it to boil. (Hoping I don’t forget, which has happened many times.) Then when it comes to a boil, turn off the burner, set the timer for 24 minutes (unless I forgot, in which case, I guess lol). Rinse in cool water and DONE!
Now, the instant pot way! Place eggs on the rack, add 1/2 cup water, turn on and set for 5 minutes. When it beeps, wait 5 more minutes. Drop the eggs in an ice bath for 5 minutes and DONE! I really do love this method so much!
Now you all may thinking something like “Tina!!! You don’t eat eggs! Why are you sharing about eggs?” Well, I do make them every week for my husbands lunches. So this was a wonderful time saver for me! But enough about eggs! Let’s get on to what I was really writing this blogpost for, frozen ground beef!
One of the perks of owning an Instant Pot I am finding it far less cleanup! When I started THM, I found I was in the kitchen A LOT and cleaning a LOT of dishes! I jokingly thought, this is why you lose weight on this plan, you are constantly on your feet cooking or cleaning! HAHA! In time I found ways to streamline many things. Cooking dinner still took a lot of time and pots and pans. I am loving the minimal cleanup!
This particular night, I wanted to make spaghetti and meat sauce. The menu was:
*Gluten Free Brown Rice Noodles
I wondered how much of it I would be able to make in the IP?!
I started by cooking up my spaghetti squash in the IP – I had to cut mine in half to fit, placed it on a steam basket with 1/2 cup of water. Manual 10 minutes, quick pressure release, it was perfect! Pulled it out and set aside!
Now for the ground beef! The highlight of this post! I wanted to be able to brown my ground beef for that richer flavor. I have cooked frozen in the instant pot in sauce before and while it was fine, it lacked that depth of flavor you get when browning. I prefer not to microwave to defrost if I can help it, so I thought, perhaps I can defrost it in the IP?!
I placed my frozen block of ground beef on the same steam basket, right above the liquid from my spaghetti squash. Turned it on manual for 4 minutes and quick pressure release! It was not fully defrosted, but considerably better! I would say 4-5 minutes is perfect, since I was using the hot liquid from my squash, it came up to pressure very quickly. I then dumped the liquid, gave a quick rinse and placed my ground beef directly in the pot and turned it on to saute.
I sauteed the ground beef until completely cooked! I did add onions for extra flavor. Rinse for use in an E meal. (I live on the edge, this was good grass fed lean ground beef and I like that healthy fat, so this was probably a crossover, so I added some mozzarella to the top!) Omit noodles or use dreamfields if you can have them to keep this an S.
The rest of the meal came together so easily! I added in (to the ground beef) a jar of spaghetti sauce, filled the jar with water added that to the pot, added in a little more than half a bag of brown rice noodles. Turned the pot on manual high pressure for 7 minutes and then did quick pressure release. Dinner was done and I had only used ONE pot! Woo hoo!!
It was delicious! It was not super saucy, those noodles soaked it up, I think this could easily have a second jar of sauce added with the same amount of noodles, or even cut them in half. If you don’t like it as saucy, make it just like I described. 🙂
With Joy ~ Tina