Pressure Cooker Italian Beef

It’s just like crockpot Italian beef, only faster.  I’m liking my Instapot cooker more and more.  It’s the only way I make stock these days – just pile in the bones and odds and ends of celery and carrots and what-not with water and give it an hour on the timer and you’re golden.

Anyway back to the beef – sear a good chunk of that on sale chuck or what have you, cover it with some of your stock, add a couple of coarsely chopped onions, a handful of garlic, Italian seasonings (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley), and a jar of pickled pepperoncini.  The peppers are not as important as the juice.  You can add some red pepper flake to spice it up.  I set the timer for 75 minutes – it was easily shreddable when done,I baked some rolls to go with the beef.  I’ve been using the reliable KA bun recipe for several years now.  My hamburger buns usually turn out better looking than these hoagie type rolls but I’m working on that.Bonus Bea pic!



20150607_144444 (1600x1060)I nearly forgot that I had this baguette tray with the perforations .  I thought I might try it for some hoagie rolls and it seems to have worked pretty well, not sure if it’s better than on a regular tray.  I got a rash of complaints when I served up a photo of a cheesesteak on a round bun, they said I wasn’t true to the  proper form in the Platonic sense of “cheesesteak” – most of the complaints pointing to lack of a long roll, never mind that they weren’t Amoroso’s.20150609_164029 (1600x1060)That should quell the riot.  I’ll take note of any complaint and report back.PICT3623 (1600x1060)Bonus kitteh!  This is the neighbor’s cat, Mrs J says that is a mackerel pattern.  It was taking advantage of our bench that overlooks the front pond early the other morning.20150609_190526 (1600x1060)I think these are the best looking hamburger buns I’ve made so far.  The shapes are good and the sizes are nearly uniform.  These are from the King Arthur Flour “Beautiful Burger Buns” recipe – now my go to recipe for buns and rolls.20150610_173025 (1600x1060)Mmm… we had this spaghetti for dinner tonight.  A little Italian sausage in some of my Awesome Sauce from last year’s tomato crop.  My container basil was getting lonely, this was a perfect place for s sprig.20150608_162124 (1600x1060)Baked beans!  These are always good to have on hand, along with slaw and potato salad.  Add a sammich for an instant lunch.

Bread Pr0n – Soft Hoagie Rolls

DSC_0389 (1600x1060)I have some Italian beef working for lunch and need proper rolls to put together sandwiches.  These are from that King Arthur bun recipe and I have high hopes for them in this role.  The recipe is for eight buns, I divided it into six parts and the rolls are pretty big.  These are fresh from the oven and just brushed with the melted butter and they smell wonderful!

Brisket Sliders and Garlic Fries

DSC_5283 [1600x1200]I had some dinner rolls that were telling me that they were slider buns and that I should not even think about buttering them up.  I keep thinking that this time the red cabbage will not bleed color all over everything.  Perhaps if I didn’t use salt or vinegar?  Why would I eat slaw without those things?  Will my new little RC helicopter scare kitteh?DSC_5286 [1600x1200]I read several recipes for garlic fries yesterday and was determined to give them a try.  There were several methods of fixing these mentioned but I went with what seemed the easiest:  I deep fried as usual and then tossed the drained fries into a hot skillet with sliced garlic and butter and stirred them to cover.  I thought I may have used too much garlic (three big cloves) because they were definitely aromatic but they turned out just fine.  An alternate method would be to toss with the garlic butter (or oil) and bake them.  Take care not to burn the garlic.


The recent success I had with the hot dog buns/hoagie rolls left me wondering just what it was that I did right.  I had used the same recipe with two changes:  I used bread flour, and also added some vital wheat gluten.  The resulting rolls exceeded my expectations.  Was it the bread flour or the vital wheat gluten?  Both?  I decided to eliminate a variable.

This time I used all purpose flour with the addition of the wheat gluten, just about 1 teaspoon per cup of flour.  Success!  I made some round buns this time.

I could tell just by handling these that they were good ones.  Naturally, I was determined to use them right away:

So, let me list the ingredients so there will be a handy reference:

4 cups flour (all purpose will work, may be even better with bread flour)

4 t vital wheat gluten (this is what makes the AP flour work well)

1-3/8 cups water

3 T sugar

1 T yeast

3 T shortening (I used lard)

1/2 T salt

Ten minutes in the stand mixer with the dough hook, then into an oiled bowl, covered, for the first doubling.  Dump the risen dough onto a floured board to deflate, divide into as many portions as you like, I made 8 buns from this batch, they were jumbo sized, 10 or even 12 would work.  Place the shaped portions onto a baking tray and cover with plastic for another rise.  I brushed milk onto these today, that will help them to brown.  I slid the tray into a 375 oven, they were ready after about 13 or 14 minutes.  Watch the color, the internal temps hit 196 as I pulled these out.

I don’t know if using both the bread flour and the vital wheat gluten is of any particular benefit, but it won’t hurt the bread any.  That is what I had in the hot dog buns and they were superb.  The only thing left to do is to make a batch with the bread flour but sans the extra gluten.  It will be a while before I get around to that!

Mmm…fresh hoagie rolls

These are versatile little rolls, also good for hot dogs or cold cuts, or they make nice garlic toasts when cut in two and spread with garlic butter.

Recipe is 4 cups bread flour, 1-3/8 cups water, 3 T sugar, 1 T yeast, 1/2 T salt, and 3 T shortening or lard.  I let the dough hook work it for 10 minutes and then put it into a greased bowl for the first rise.  Let rise till doubled, divide into 8 or 9 portions and array on a tray and cover for another quick rise, slide tray into 375 oven till they are brown.  I slit the tops of the little loaves after they are divided.

Hoagie rolls

Took another stab at hoagie rolls today.  I think I have the recipe down, the real trick is in getting all the rolls the same size.  The recipe is pretty simple:

4-1/4 c flour

1-1/2 c water

1 T yeast

1 T sugar

1/2 T salt

1/8 c oil

Most recipes I read want you to mix the sugar and the yeast in a half cup of water and let it work for five minutes or so, I never do.  I dump everything into the bowl of my stand mixer and let it work.  I do drizzle the oil in as it starts to come together.  I let the machine work the dough for 7 or 8 minutes and then turn it out into a greased bowl to rise, covered with plastic, for 40-45 minutes.

I weighed the dough this time, and then divided by 9-that’s how much room I had on my perforated baguette pan with the three sections.  I wanted about 110 grams per piece.  I rolled the whole thing into a log and stretched and nudged until it was as long as 9 squares on my plastic dough mat.  I cut on the line and weighed the piece and was rewarded with a reading of 113 grams.  About as close as I could have hoped.  I quickly chopped the remainder into equal parts, rolled them into rough ovals, and set them all on the tray.  Slash the tops and brush with egg white, bake at 400 for about 14-15 minutes.