Fragrant Lamb and Chickpea Stew for Instant Pot
Note: This is a hearty, flavorful and healthy dish that keeps well and looks good enough to serve at a dinner party. If you can plan ahead, season the lamb a day in advance. The extra time really gives it extra punch. Adapted from “How to Instant Pot,” by Daniel Shumski.
• 1 tbsp. ground cumin
• 1 tbsp. ground coriander
• 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
• Generous pinch of cayenne pepper (at least 1/2 tsp.)
• 1/4 tsp. salt, plus extra as needed
• 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 2 lb. boneless lamb, such as shoulder, cut into 2-in. cubes
• 1 tbsp. neutral cooking oil
• 2 medium onions, chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
• 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes with juices
• 3/4 c. reduced-salt chicken broth or any homemade chicken stock
• 1 (3-in.) cinnamon stick
• 1/2 c. dried chickpeas, rinsed, drained and picked over to remove debris
• Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
• Dollop of plain yogurt, for garnish
Combine the cumin, coriander, cloves, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Add the lamb cubes, toss to coat and set aside.
Press “Sauté” on the Instant Pot. Add oil in the inner pot and give it 1 minute to warm, then sauté onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Push aside and add the lamb cubes, sautéing just until they get a little brown. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, cinnamon stick and chickpeas.
Close and lock the lid. Set the value to “Sealing.” Press “Cancel” to stop the “Sauté” function and press “Manual.” Make sure it is set to high pressure (this should happen automatically, but check anyway). Set the timer to 45 minutes. Remember, it will take a little time to build pressure, so total time in the pot will be closer to an hour.
The pot will beep when the cooking cycle ends. Press “Cancel” and allow pressure to release naturally, which should take about 30 minutes. This is important, because the lamb continues to cook during this time.
Remove the lid, discard the cinnamon stick and adjust the seasonings. Serve with a generous portion of the broth and fresh cilantro and yogurt for garnish. This will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 240 Fat 10 g Sodium 300 mg
Carbohydrates 15 g Saturated fat 3 g Total sugars 6 g
Protein 24 g Cholesterol 65 mg Dietary fiber 5 g
Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 3 lean protein, 1 fat.
Eggs Cooked Hard or Soft for Instant Pot
Makes a variable amount.
Note: So why would you cook eggs in the Instant Pot when it is no faster than on the stovetop? One word: peeling. Pressure-cooked eggs are absurdly easy to peel, with the shells practically slipping off even very fresh eggs. The pressure works to naturally separate the shell from the interior of the egg. You can cook as many or as few eggs as you want; the time does not change. You can adjust the cooking time to get either soft- or hard-cooked eggs (the times listed below are for large eggs). Start the week with a small stash of hard-cooked eggs so you have a quick breakfast on the run, eggs ready for a spinach salad or the occasional egg salad sandwich. Adapted from “Dinner in an Instant,” by Melissa Clark.
• Large eggs
Fill a bowl with ice water and place it next to the appliance.
Insert the steamer rack trivet into the Instant Pot. Add 1 cup water. Place the eggs on the rack, forming a pyramid if you’re cooking a lot of them.
Press the “Egg” setting if you have it, otherwise press “Manual” and make sure it’s set to low pressure. If you’re into “jammy” eggs, where the yolk stays soft and moist, set the timer to 5 minutes for very jammy, almost like a soft-boiled egg; 6 minutes if you like them a little more set, and 8 minutes for firmly hard-cooked eggs.
Allow the pressure to release naturally, then use tongs to lift the eggs into the bowl of cold water, to stop the cooking.
Nutrition information per large egg:
Calories 80 Fat 5 g Sodium 60 mg
Carbohydrates 1 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 1 g
Protein 6 g Cholesterol 190 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Garlicky Cuban Pork for Instant Pot
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: This is a great weekend dish that can also provide the stuff of enviable lunches. The pork is enlivened by a good hit of cumin, garlic, citrus and oregano. Pressure cooking intensifies the flavors and renders the meat as tender as if you’d braised it for hours. Don’t flinch at the amount of garlic. It’s just right. Adapted from “Dinner in an Instant,” by Melissa Clark.
• 8 garlic cloves
• Juice of 1 grapefruit (about 2/3 c.) or orange juice
• Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
• 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
•2 tbsp. brown sugar
• 1 tbsp. fresh oregano, or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
•2 tsp. ground cumin, or to taste
•1 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt, or to taste
• 1 (4- to 5-lb.) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
• 1 bay leaf
• Fresh chopped cilantro, for serving
• Lime wedges, for serving
• Salsa or hot sauce, for serving
• Tortillas, for serving
Use a blender or mini food processor to combine the garlic, grapefruit juice, lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons oil, brown sugar, oregano, cumin and salt. Process till blended. Transfer to a large bowl and add the pork and bay leaf; toss to combine. Marinate, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 6 hours.
Using the “Sauté” function set on high if available, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pressure cooker (or use a large skillet). Remove the pork from the marinade (reserving the marinade), and shake the meat to remove any excess liquid. Cook until it is browned on all sides, about 12 minutes (you will need to do this in batches, transferring browned pork to a plate as you go).
When all the pork is browned, return the pieces to the pot, along with any juices from the plate. Add the reserved marinade to the pot. Cover and cook on high pressure for 80 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Remove the pork from the cooking liquid. Taste the liquid and, if it seems bland or too thin, boil it down either in the pressure cooker on the Sauté setting or in a separate pot on the stove until it thickens slightly and intensifies in flavor, 7 to 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and adjust the seasonings.
Shred the pork with your hands or 2 forks. Toss the meat with the juices to taste. Don’t skip this step. The liquid will help flavor the meat and keep it moist. Serve with warmed tortillas, cilantro, lime and a good salsa. Or add some pickled red onions, freshly diced avocados and thinly sliced radishes to add visual appeal.
Nutrition information per each of 10 servings (without tortillas, salsa or garnishes):
Calories 400 Fat 25 g Sodium 920 mg
Carbohydrates 5 g Saturated fat 8 g Total sugars 3 g
Protein 38 g Cholesterol 110 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Exchanges per serving: ½ carb, 5 medium-fat protein.