Instant Pot: Beef and Barley Soup

 

JeffreyW makes mouths water with this photo of his Beef and Barley Soup (with bonus Foccacia recipe here)

For the stovetop version, click here.

It has been unseasonably warm here, but I still wanted soup. Checked the freezer and I had a cross-rib roast, that would do since there was not a secret stash of chuck roast tucked away. All the other ingredients were handy, so Beef and Barley soup was it.

I added a potato, diced small, just because.

Beef & Barley Vegetable Soup

  • olive oil
  • 1 lb chuck, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 14 oz of tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 8 cups of water (or water and vegetable broth**)
  • 12 oz sliced carrots (frozen ok)
  • 12 oz green beans (frozen ok)
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt (more as desired)
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)

large saucepan

Heat oil in the instant pot on the sauté setting. Sauté onions for 1 minute, add beef and brown on all sides, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute making sure not to burn the garlic. Add remaining ingredients.  Set the pot to Soup/Stew setting and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until barley is tender.  Use natural release method.

Serve with biscuits or cornbread.

**For vegetable broth,  I blend the tomatoes, and an additional 6 oz of carrots, 6 oz of green beans, 2 stalks of the celery, 1 cup water into a smooth puree, to make a hearty base for the soup.  I like the hearty stock.

Yum.

It’s soup season, so here are a few more: Tomato Soup and Grilled CheeseChicken Tortilla Soup, and Minestrone with Tiny Meatballs


 

Locked Down Cooking: Raiding the Freezer

I’m trying to clean out the freezer, using up items before my weekly shopping trip. Since I can’t run out to pick up something I may have forgotten, I’ve had to get creative as I cook. Here are two meals made from what was in the house on those days.

My favorite Oven-Baked Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes, with a little twist: smoked brisket gravy. The thing about oven-baked chicken is there’s not enough drippings to make a good gravy. But in my freezer, I had little secret ingredient to make a great, smoky gravy: burnt ends. These were leftover from my very first smoked brisketContinue reading

Instant Pot: Turkey Noodle Soup

I found a really good deal on lean ground turkey and packaged most of it up to store in the freezer. While I was there, I decided it was time to make some space, so I pulled out the turkey broth I made from Thanksgiving leftovers.

Ground turkey ✔
Turkey Broth ✔

Time for some turkey noodle soup! And it was mmmm, mmmm, good.

Turkey Noodle Soup

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 8 cups of liquid – a combination of turkey or chicken broth and water
  • 16 oz frozen vegetables – you can add a bag of mixed veggies. I used carrots and green beans
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery leaves, chopped (opt)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 10 oz egg noodles
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 3 tsp poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste (you’ll probably need 1/2 tsp of each for the ground meat and more for the soup itself)

Add salt, pepper and 1 tsp poultry seasoning to turkey and mix well. Continue reading

Multi Pot: Chicken and Dumplings

I’ve updated my Chicken and Dumpling recipe for the Instant Pot/Multi-Pot version.

Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts*
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs*
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of parsley
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped, w/leaves
  • 8 oz carrots
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 32 oz chicken broth or water
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk or cream

Instant pot (I have a Multi-Pot)

Cut chicken into large pieces. Heat oil with the saute feature, add chicken and brown. Add remaining ingredients (except flour, butter & milk). Set to soup setting and pressure cook for 20 minutes.  Let pressure release naturally. Continue reading

Multi-Pot Recipes: Cooking In Two Layers, Shredded BBQ Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

I’ve been using my multi-pot electric pressure cooker a lot. I’ve been making my standard pressure cooker recipes, including a delicious pot roast  (recipe here – although I’ve been using  whiskey instead of wine and really liking the flavor)

My multi-pot came with both a steamer tray and a steam basket. The former is so you can steam instead of boil your food and the latter so  you can cook two items at once. On a busy day, I may not cook fancy, but with a pressure cooker  you can put together a quick flavorful meal in a few minutes.

I thought it was time to give the steamer basket a try.

First up – the steamer tray. The one that came with the multi-pot is basically a wire rack. The one from my stove-top pressure cooker is a flat tray.

I wondered if it would fit and sure enough it did. So I started with that one, since I was more familiar with it. What I love about the steamer tray is you can infuse whatever you’re cooking with lots of flavor by placing a spice packet (I use unbleached coffee filters and string) under the tray, add just enough water to cover the tray and cook as usual.  Super flavorful when pressure cooked.

I made Chicken in BBQ sauce and mashed potatoes:

Shredded BBQ Chicken

  • 3 small boneless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • red wine vinegar
  • water
  • spice packet: rosemary, sage, garlic, oregano – crushed together and tied into a flat spice packet to fit under the tray

Lightly salt and pepper chicken breasts. In the multi-pot add enough liquid (1/2 water and 1/2 red wine vinegar) to barely cover the tray. Add spice packet, steaming tray and then chicken breasts.

Now it’s time to add the potatoes in the steaming basket.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 potatoes (I like yukon gold, but any will do), washed and cut into eight pieces each)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the steam basket into the multi-pot and add potatoes.

Now it’s time to attach the lid and cook according to directions – use the time for the longest cooking item, in this case the chicken (15 minutes vs. 10 minutes for the potatoes).

Once the cooker has depressurized, add potatoes to a large bowl to mash, heat milk and butter in microwave until butter is melted and add to potatoes. Mash and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.

For the chicken, remove from the pressure cooker to a plate. Remove spice packet and liquid (I save the liquid and freeze for soup base). Shred chicken (I use two forks, pulling in opposite directions) and then add back into the multi-pot along with BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays – sweet & spicy – is my favorite) and turn the multi-pot to WARM. Let simmer until everything is heated through (a couple of minutes).

Serve with steamed buttered green beans for a quick evening meal.  It’s not fancy, but it’s also not fast food. 😉

This technique can be used with many items – instead of BBQ you can skip the vinegar when cooking and then use the liquid, along with milk, butter and flour to make a quick gravy after the chicken has steamed. Shred the chicken, add to the gravy and serve over potatoes.

Use this two-tier technique with pot roast, ribs, pork roast… etc.

I think I’m going to try lemon juice, chicken and rice for my next concoction.

Note on steamer tray – I made my first batch of mashed potatoes without it and the potatoes were watery. The next batch I switched to the steamer tray and they were smooth and creamy. Lesson: steam whenever you can instead of boil.

For all the Multi-Pot recipes, bookmark this link.

Next Multi-Pot recipe will be Sesame Chicken. Until then…



 

Multi-Pot Recipes: Beef and Barley Soup

Yummy photo by the great JeffreyW

I have used my Multi-Pot consistently for the last few weeks. I made two batches of soup, pulled pork, pasta sauce and two batches of rice. The first batch of rice I was all cocky and used the simple pressure cooker setting and my own time – because you know, I’m the Queen of Pressure Cooking – well, that didn’t turn out very well. I mean, it was great sticky rice, but I was going for light and fluffy. So the next batch I used the Rice Button! I mean, come on, a pot you can just push RICE and 10 minutes later have fluffy rice – why was I fighting it??

The buttons on this brand are easy and intuitive to use. It does help that I’m familiar with what times work well with my stove top cooker and there are good resources in the booklets that came with the machine to help pick timing.

My first batch of soup was to make Beef with Barley Soup:

I used this recipe (click here). I was excited to try out the browning feature and the pressure cooking setting.

I quickly and easily sauteed the onions and browned the beef with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Then added the remainder of the ingredients, sealed it shut and turned it to the Meat/Stew setting and set it for 30 minutes.

It took it 10 minutes to come to pressure – which didn’t surprise me because I filled it to the highest mark allowed.

The soup was delicious – I could easily leave it on warm, open the lid and let sit and fill the house with yummy soup smells as long as I desired.  It was good and tasty. And clean up was a breeze – just tossed the insert into the dishwasher.

The one part of this electric pressure cooker that has been a learning curve for me is the quick -release method. I am so used to taking the pot over to the sink and running cold water over the top. With this, they say to just turn the pressure valve to open. Which sounds easy-peasy.  EXCEPT it spews greasy, starchy steam all over my kitchen cabinets.

The solution is fairly simple – I grabbed an old kitchen towel and cover the valve with that as it releases. Takes a bit longer, but no mess and no risk of a scary steam burn.

So for this recipe, I’d give the Multi-Pot a solid A.

I know, I know I promised a puppy update…give me a few minutes. Until then…