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Beef stroganoff

All Photos: Ramona King

Beef stroganoff

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5 easy Instant Pot recipes to highlight your one-pot wonder

Fewer kitchen appliances have made as big of a splash in the past few years than the Instant Pot. With functions of a slow cooker and a pressure cooker in the same unit, the Instant Pot is both versatile and efficient in cooking a variety of meals, many in a fraction of the time as the stovetop.

One of the less frequently used, but still wildly useful functions of the Instant Pot is the ability to sauté. The burner underneath the pot generates enough heat to impart a delicious sear onto meat and poultry, giving much needed caramelization before cooking under pressure. With the addition of a simple starch or vegetable, these Instant Pot dishes can become quick and easy weeknight dinners with minimal cleanup required — in fact, they all can be made in just about one pot.

Beef Stroganoff
Once a retro staple, this dish with Russian roots seems to have waned in popularity over the past few years. Perhaps those who may have written off beef stroganoff have yet to prepare it in an Instant Pot. Traditionally, stroganoff favors finer cuts of beef, such as tenderloin, rather than those cheaper cuts that would be better suited for a stew. However, cooking a lean cut of beef under pressure tends to make it dry and tough, so taking some liberties with tradition in favor of a tastier dish is always the way to go. In this instance, cubed beef stew meat is inexpensive and actually preferred in producing tender beef. Wait until the beef is cooked to add the sour cream, lest your sauce break. Once the beef-and-mushroom-laden sauce is fortified with the sour cream, serve it over egg noodles or rice for a quick meal that will make you wonder who ever stopped eating beef stroganoff.
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Pork Green Chili

A bowl of chunky, rustic chili epitomizes hearty comfort food and only needs a few simple accoutrements to become a full-fledged meal. Instead of the heady, smoky, Texas-style “bowl o’ red,” this recipe uses tomatillos and green chiles to produce a brighter, tangier chili. Use the sauté function to brown the meat, then add the remaining ingredients and cook until the vegetables break down and start to thicken the chili. Once the meat is tender, use the back of a spoon to break it up to create an even heartier mouthfeel. If you still prefer a thicker chili, just crush some tortilla chips and add them to the party. 
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Shrimp and Grits

Take advantage of the trivet insert and cook the sauce and grits under pressure at the same time. Once again, the sauté function allows you to render the bacon and cook the vegetables in the same pot, while the trivet lets you take advantage of the Instant Pot’s moist cooking environment to cook the grits. Make sure the grits are fully cooked and the sauce is seasoned to your liking before adding the shrimp. The shrimp require no additional cooking; just the residual heat from the sauce should cook them through.
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Oatmeal with Dried Fruit

Who says the Instant Pot is only for dinner? The high pressure can cook steel-cut oats, which require much longer cooking time than their rolled cousins, in only six minutes at pressure. To jazz up your oatmeal, cook fruits with the oats: apples, pears, cranberries and blueberries all yield tasty results. Otherwise, simply fold in fresh or dried fruits and nuts to your speedy cooked oatmeal for a nutritious breakfast in a flash.
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instant pot bbq pork
Barbecue Pork
While smoke and fire are paramount for barbecue, you can still capture some of the essence of slowly-cooked pork shoulder and barbecue sauce in an Instant Pot. The acidity from the beer and ketchup break down the pork while forming the foundation of a solid sauce. This is delicious over grits or mashed potatoes, or spooned on some soft bread and topped with coleslaw.
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Chef Jeffrey Gardner is a native of Natchez, Miss., and a graduate of Millsaps College and Johnson & Wales University. He lives in Atlanta and has served as sous chef for popular restaurants South City Kitchen Midtown and Alma Cocina. In 2013 he became executive chef for East Cobb restaurant Common Quarter and was named one of ten “Next Generation of Chefs to Watch” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He has appeared on TV shows including Food Network’s Chopped and Cooking Channel’s How to Live to 100, and also filmed a series of healthy cooking videos with retired pro wrestler and fitness guru Diamond Dallas Page. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife Wendy, watching game shows and “spending all his money on Bruce Springsteen concerts.”

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