German Style Goulash

And the Never-Ending Goulash Controversy Still Continues

Goulash Plate2

I know I have covered a lot of this in my Goulash Soup Recipe, but for those of you who are just joining us: What is Goulash? If you asked 100 people, you would probably get 200 different answers. If Goulash was on Facebook, it’s status would be “It’s Complicated”. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

As you can see, the definition of Goulash changes as your location changes. First of all, let’s eliminate that glorified Hamburger Helper that some folks call Goulash. That isn’t Goulash. There is no macaroni in Goulash, although I do usually serve it with Spaetzle, which is a pasta, but it is not mixed in. Also, real Goulash is not made with ground beef. It contains chunks of meat. I usually use beef chuck.

In Hungary, the dish that is pronounced Goulash (Gulyás), is actually a soup. The dish that is closest to the goulash that most of us know is called Pörkölt.

Goulash Ingredients

Now that your heads are spinning, my recipe is based on the German dish Rindergulasch (Beef Goulash). Of course, there are also hundreds of variations, everyone claiming that theirs is the “authentic” version. Tomatoes or not. Potatoes or not. Green peppers, red peppers, carrots, what have you. It’s similar to the arguments over what constitutes Texas Chili.

I keep it pretty basic. In Germany, red wine is often used, but I use beer instead. I don’t use tomatoes either, but I do use a little tomato paste. As for potatoes and bell peppers, forget them. Not necessary.

Beer and Beef

Since it seems that many people received a shiny new electric pressure cooker over the holidays, I made this in my Instant Pot and wrote it for the electric pressure cooker, but of course it can be easily made in a stove top model.

A thickener such as flour could be used, but I prefer to just let it cook down for 7 minutes or so.

Cubed Chuck

Let’s start by browning the beef. Heat a few tablespoons of cooking oil with your sauté (or browning) setting on high. In batches, brown the meat on one side (this is enough to get the flavor of browning, but saves some time). Remove the beef to a plate.

Lower your heat setting to medium.

MandolineAdd another tablespoon of oil if necessary and sauté a couple medium onions until they soften. I like to slice them on “The Widowmaker” (my nickname for my mandoline), using the thinnest setting. Two sliced onions may look like a lot, but thinly sliced they will basically dissolve into the sauce, adding that oh-so-good oniony flavor.

Onions Sweating

When the onions soften a bit, add the meat back in.

Add in 2 heaping tablespoons of paprika, a teaspoon of caraway seeds, and a little salt and pepper. For full disclosure, I accidentally grabbed cumin seeds at the store instead of caraway. Since I was right in the middle of preparing dinner I substituted the cumin seeds, but I usually use caraway. I used Hungarian sweet paprika. If you like you can use half sweet and half hot, but I wouldn’t use only hot. That would change the flavor too much.

I also add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper at this point, but I will leave that up to you. I know some people seem to have a cayenne-phobia. 1/2 teaspoon doesn’t add much heat, but it is totally optional.

Plop in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and, you guessed it, stir!

Now, pour in a cup of beer, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons beef base (such as Better Than Bouillon) and 2 teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet. A german lager works well for this. I used Stiegl, which isn’t German but Austrian. It’s not the best beer for drinking but works fine for cooking.

Toss a couple of bay leaves in.

Turn off the sauté mode and lock the top on the pressure cooker.

In manual mode, set the cooker for 25 minutes at high pressure.

When time is up, do a quick release and remove the cover.

With the sauté mode on medium, simmer the Goulash for 7 or 8 minutes to thicken a bit.

Goulash Finished

You can serve it with egg noodles, homemade Spaetzle (my favorite way), or boiled or mashed potatoes.

Goulash Plate3

I usually have red cabbage with it as well (you gotta have your veggies).

Hungarian Goulash
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: German/Hungarian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3-4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2-1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-1.5" cubes
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (I used my mandoline)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup german beer
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons beef base (like Better Than Bouillon)
  • 2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. In electric pressure cooker, heat 3 tablespoons oil on sauté mode, high setting (medium-high heat in stovetop pressure cooker)
  2. Brown meat in batches on one side only and remove to a plate
  3. Switch sauté mode to medium, add another tablespoon of oil if needed (for stovetop model, lower heat to medium)
  4. Sauté the onions until they soften
  5. Sprinkle in paprika, caraway seeds, salt, pepper and cayenne (if using)
  6. Sauté for a minute
  7. Stir in tomato paste
  8. Pour in the beer and water
  9. Add the beef base and Kitchen Bouquet, then stir
  10. Toss the bay leaves on top
  11. Turn off sauté mode and lock top on pressure cooker
  12. On manual mode, set pressure cooker for 25 minutes on high pressure
  13. When time is up, do a quick release
  14. Remove lid and switch to sauté mode
  15. On medium setting, simmer for about 7 minutes to thicken a bit
  16. Serve with noodles, rice or spaetzle

 

White Beans

White Beans + Ham Shank=Delicious!

Beans Bowl

A couple months ago, a reader asked if I could post some simple bean recipes. At that time we were in the middle of a scorching heat wave, so I put any bean recipes on the back burner (figuratively of course, if the beans had actually been on the back burner they would be quite scorched by now). But now that we are starting to see the beginning of El Niño, which I believe is Spanish for “crappy weather”, it is now the perfect time to be trotting out some bean recipes. This here one is super simple but quite flavorful thanks to smoked ham shank and a couple common herbs and spices.

White Beans Ingredients

I used a ham shank that weighed in at 1-1/4 pounds. You could substitute ham hocks (is there actually a difference anyway?), or you could use an equivalent size of smoked turkey thigh.

For the beans, I highly recommend soaking in salted water. I know, it has always been a hard and fast rule that you shouldn’t add salt until after cooking or your beans will be tough. Lately, however, I have been seeing a lot of people suggest soaking the beans in salt water (brining). And by George I think they are onto something. Normally I would soak the beans overnight, but I didn’t buy them until the morning that I was going to make this. I used a pound of beans, sorted them and removed the weird ones, rinsed them, covered them with water by about 2 inches above the beans and added 2 tablespoons of salt and stirred it all together. I let them soak for about 5 hours and that was plenty of time. Rinse them again before adding to the dish.Pork Shank Onions

Heat a little oil in the pressure cooker pot, then add a ham shank and some chopped onions. Sauté, turning the ham shank occasionally until the onions are translucent and the shank is browned.

Run 5 cloves of garlic through a press, toss in the pot and sauté for another minute.

Garlic Pressed

Put some paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt (that should be plenty, remember that we already salted the beans) and a little black pepper into the onion mixture and stir for 30 seconds.

Dump in the beans, pour in 6 cups of water, then toss in the thyme and bay leaves.

Bay Leaves

Lock the top on the cooker and bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure.

Set the time for 35 minutes.

When the time is up, let the pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes then do a quick release.

Pork Shank Meat

Uncover and remove the ham shank to a plate and let it cool enough to pull the meat from the bones.

In the meantime, put the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.

When cool enough, pull the meat from the shank and stir into the beans. Continue to simmer for a couple more minutes to thicken slightly.

Beans and Herbs

Remove from heat, and ladle into bowls. Serve with biscuits or corn bread.

I like it with a little hot sauce.

White Beans
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Prep time:
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Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 ham shank (approximately 1.25 pounds), you can also use ham hocks or smoked turkey thigh
  • 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 pound great northern beans, sorted, brined and rinsed
  • 1 level teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  2. Add the ham shank and onions to the pot
  3. Sauté, turning the ham shank occasionally, until the onions become translucent and ham shank is browned (about 5 minutes)
  4. Toss in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  5. Sprinkle in the paprika, salt and and pepper and sauté for 30 seconds or so
  6. Dump in the beans
  7. Add in the water, then toss in the thyme and bay leaves
  8. Lock top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  9. Set time for 35 minutes
  10. When time is up, remove pressure cooker from heat and let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
  11. Remove the ham shank to a plate and let it cool a couple minutes
  12. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems
  13. Put pot over medium high heat for a couple minutes while waiting for the shank to cool
  14. Pull the meat off the bones and stir into the beans
  15. Simmer for just a couple more minutes to let it thicken slightly
  16. Serve in bowls with biscuits or corn bread

 

30 Minute Chili

OK, make that 30-ish

Chili In Bowl

The last time I made this it took 34 minutes, but I will round it down to 30 anyway. It will vary slightly depending on whether you are using an electric or stove top pressure cooker.

This is another one of my super quick weeknight recipes. With no fewer than 3 canned or jarred items, the entire dish takes around a half hour. In the electric it took about 34 minutes. It is a little quicker on the stove top model, since it comes up to pressure a little quicker.

Chili Ingredients

This recipe can easily be doubled. When I do that, I usually use one can of kidney beans and one can of pinto beans. Of course, doubling the recipe will increase the time a bit since there is more liquid to bring to a boil.

Start by heating a little oil in the pressure cooker over medium high heat. If using an electric pressure cooker, set sauté mode to high.

Beef Browning

Add the beef and brown. It’s ok if there’s a little pink, it will finish cooking under pressure.

Add 1-1/2 tablespoons of your favorite chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Adjust salt before serving. Depending on the salt in your salsa and beans you may need to add a little more. Sauté for a minute or so.

Kidney Beans

Drain and rinse the beans, then dump them in.

Now add a can of Ro-Tel and a 16 ounce jar of salsa. I find it works best with a medium-heat chunky salsa. Pace medium picante sauce works well.

Rotel

Add 1/2 cup water and stir it all together.

Lock the top on the cooker and bring to high pressure.

Set time for 8 minutes.

Chili Finished

When time is up, do a quick release.

Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings, such as onion, sour cream and grated cheese.

I usually serve it with tortilla chips or corn bread.

30 Minute Chili
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
A super quick chili, perfect for a weeknight meal
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (I use 85-15 ratio)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon of your favorite chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste) it will vary depending on the salt in your beans and salsa
  • 1 can Ro-Tel chopped tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 jar (16 ounce) salsa (I like a medium heat chunky style best)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup water
Toppings
  • Diced sweet onion
  • Sliced green onions
  • Grated cheddar or pepper-jack cheese
  • Sour cream
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in pressure cooker pot on medium-high heat (on electric use the high sauté setting)
  2. Brown the beef (it is ok if there is some pink, just so it is broken up)
  3. If there is a lot of fat, drain some of it (with 15% fat beef, I usually don't drain at all)
  4. Add the chili powder and salt and stir in with the beef. Sauté for a minute or so
  5. Dump in the Ro-Tel, the salsa and the beans
  6. Pour in ½ cup water, stir, and lock cover
  7. Bring to high pressure and set time for 8 minutes
  8. When time is up, do a quick release
  9. Serve in bowls with toppings of your choice and tortilla chips or cornbread on the side

 

Sneak Peek – 30 Minute Chili

Speedy, Spicy, Scrumptious Chili in Less Than 30 Minutes!

DSCF0740

I know what you’re thinking, “Yet another chili recipe?”

The thing about this one is that it is the quickest chili to make out of all my chilis. In less than 30 minutes including the time it takes to come up to pressure and release the pressure, you can have a tasty meal ready and on the table!

Check back on the weekend for the whole scoop!

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup

A Hearty Beef Mushroom Barley Soup

Soup_Bowl1

I was looking for something hearty to make for dinner befitting this cool weather we’ve been having lately. The weather plummeted to 72 degrees today. But really, it has been getting down to the 50s at night, so it really is soup weather. I didn’t want to make chili again since I already had that  twice this week. I was pondering what to prepare while having a beer and for some reason it came to me, I will make something with barley it it!

Barley_Soup_Ingredients

Mushrooms are a natural and classic combination with barley. And I added beef to add even more to the heartiness and to make it a full meal. Just add some sort of bread and you’re set.

Stew_Beef

I used pre-cut stew beef because I am lazy, but chuck cut into cubes will work as well.

Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in pressure cooker on medium-high heat. I used the electric pressure cooker, so I used the Sauté setting on HIGH.

Beef_Browning

Next, brown the beef on one side, seasoning with salt and pepper while it is browning, then remove to plate. Browning just one side is enough to give it the browned flavor.

If there is a lot of fat from the meat, drain all but 2 tablespoons. Mine was pretty lean, so I didn’t drain at all.

Sauté some diced onion until translucent.

Onions_Sauteeing

Add the Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Stir it in with the onions and sauté for about 30 seconds.

Splash in a little wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Just a couple tablespoons of wine is plenty.

Peas_And_Carrots

Add some frozen peas and carrots, sliced crimini mushrooms and barley.

Sliced_Mushrooms

Add the meat back into the pan then pour in some beef broth and a little water.

Meat_Veg_Mush

Toss the bay leaves on top.

Barley_Soup_ReadytoCook

Lock the cover on the pressure cooker, and set to high pressure for 18 minutes.

When time is up let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.

Soup_Bowl2

Serve in bowls with crusty bread or corn bread.

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
A hearty soup perfect for a chilly winter night
Ingredients
  • 1 pound beef stew meat (or chuck cut into cubes)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb mix (I used Penzey's Tuscan Sunset
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 splash red wine (a couple tablespoons, optional)
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 ounces frozen peas and carrots
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in pressure cooker on medium heat
  2. Brown beef on 1 side, seasoning with salt and pepper while it is browning, then remove to plate
  3. If there is a lot of fat from the meat, drain all but 2 tablespoons
  4. Sauté the onion until translucent
  5. Add the Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, garlic powder and pepper
  6. Continue to sauté for 30 seconds or so
  7. Splash in a little red wine to deglaze pan, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan
  8. Add frozen peas and carrots, mushrooms and barley
  9. Add the meat back into the pan
  10. Pour in beef broth and water
  11. Toss the bay leaves on top
  12. Lock cover on pressure cooker and set to high pressure for 18 minutes
  13. When time is up let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
  14. Serve in bowls with crusty bread or corn bread

 

Mexican Quinoa Dinner

A Zesty  One Pot Mexican Quinoa Dinner

Mexican Quinoa Plate2

The holiday is behind us, we have all loosened our belts, or in some cases poked extra holes in our belts with a paring knife (I’m just guessing). With visions of huge turkey dinners and huge leftover sandwiches dancing in our heads, what do we have for dinner now?

For me, I’m ready for something relatively healthy (compared to what I have eaten for the past several days, what isn’t)?

Mexican Quinoa Ingredients

Just a few months ago I never would have seen myself posting a recipe with not only ground turkey, but definitely not with quinoa. Quinoa? I don’t even know what it is, but I have slowly started to acclimate myself to the evil pseudo grain. And you know, it isn’t bad. I guess too many “healthy” restaurants that serve plain quinoa with steamed kale put the fear in me. But like most things, it can be a tasty treat if served in tasty ways.

Sure, I top it with sour cream and pepper jack with corn chips on the side, buy hey, it could be worse.

I was kind of inspired by Spanish Rice and maybe a little by a certain product that is intended to assist hamburger.

Yes, it still has turkey in it, like you have been eating since Wednesday, but it is ground turkey. You just want to wean yourself off the “bird” a little at a time. Once you have the turkey on your back you don’t want to quit cold, um cold what? Well, I guess that is where the name comes from. Anyway this recipe is intended to get you back to normal.

Diced Onion

But, as I usually caution, do not use ground turkey breast, use ground dark turkey. It took me awhile to get used to ground turkey at all, but ground white turkey, I am not sure if I will ever be OK with that.

Corn

And I am starting to warm up to quinoa. It is super fast to cook and takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with, kind of the “tofu theorem”.

To start, in a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat, sauté the turkey and onions until the turkey is no longer pink.

Dump in the garlic and continue to sauté for a minute longer.

Quinoa

Now’s the time to introduce a packet of taco seasoning (I always look for one with no MSG) and the quinoa (always make sure to rinse quinoa well before cooking).

Stir and sauté for another minute or so.

Turkey Onion Quinoa

In a measuring cup, pour a can of Ro-Tel (juice and all), or another brand of diced tomatoes with green chiles. Then add enough chicken (or vegetable) broth to make 2 cups.

Add the tomato/broth mixture and stir.

Dump in a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) and a cup of frozen corn (fire roasted corn would probably be nice in this also).

Give the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle a stir and lock the top on the pressure cooker.

Bring to high pressure and set time for 2 minutes.

When time is up, let pressure come down on its own. If pressure is not completely released after 10 minutes, do a quick release.

Let sit another 5 minutes or so to further absorb the liquid.

Serve in bowls or on plates, topped with grated cheese (I like to use pepper-jack), sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Mexican Quinoa Plate

I serve it with corn chips on the side. I usually put them right on top, it provides just the crunch it needs.

Mexican Quinoa Dinner
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
A quick and easy one-pot quinoa dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 can Ro-Tel (10 oz), juice included (or other brand diced tomatoes with green chiles. If the can is larger than 10 ounces, use only one cup)
  • Chicken Stock (enough to make 2 cups when combined with the tomatoes)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Serve with corn chips
Toppings
  • Shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat, sauté the turkey and onion in 2 tablespoons oil
  2. Toss in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  3. Add the quinoa (make sure that it is rinsed well) and stir together with the turkey mixture
  4. Add in the taco seasoning and sauté for 30 seconds
  5. Pour in the Ro-Tel and chicken stock mixture
  6. Add the black beans and the frozen corn
  7. Give it a stir and lock the top on the pressure cooker
  8. Bring to high pressure for 2 minutes
  9. When time is up, remove from heat (if using electric, make sure it is turned off or unplugged)
  10. Let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  11. Let set for a minute or so, then fluff with a fork
  12. Serve on plates or in bowls with cheese, sour cream and cilantro

 

Goulash Soup (Gulaschsuppe)

The Great Goulash Debate Continues

Goulash Soup Spoon

Whoo Hooo! I passed the test! “What test?” you might ask. Well, it certainly wasn’t a math test, because I surely wouldn’t have passed that. The test of which I am speaking is the one I set up for myself whenever I make any German dish. You see, my wife is from Germany, so every time I make a German dish, I set it on the table without mentioning what it is and if she immediately recognizes it I consider myself over the first hurdle.

In this case, she took a bite and said “Goulash soup?” Yes! At least she could tell what it was. The next hurdle is if she actually thinks it is good, and she did!

Goulash Soup Ingredients

Now that that is out of the way, it’s time to tackle the tricky subject of Goulash. Goulash can be many things to many people. First off, let’s take American Goulash off the table right away. Why this mixture of ground beef, macaroni and tomato sauce that is basically Hamburger Helper from scratch procured the moniker “Goulash” is beyond me, but it is now out of the equation, so we will speak of it no more.

Now, what is real Goulash? It depends where you are at. In Hungary, Goulash (gulyás in Hungarian), is basically a soup. Porkolt, which is a stew and is mainly composed of meat and paprika is what is known as goulash in other parts of Europe. It is kind of a European equivalent of Texas Chile. In Germany, for instance, what they call Goulash is Porkolt. Gulyás is called Gulaschsuppe, or Goulash Soup. Now that I have cleared that up. What, you are still confused? You and me both, my friend.

Beef ChuckBut for the purposes of this post we are dealing with German-Style Goulash Soup. This is a hearty, beefy, paprika-y, oniony soup that is just the ticket for cooler weather. And, believe it or not we are having cooler weather right now after months of 90-degree plus weather. Add to that the fact that the wife and I are both fighting colds at the moment, this was the perfect dinner for the circumstances.

I made this in the Instant Pot Electric pressure cooker, so the instructions reflect that. Of course it can be made in any pressure cooker.

Chuck Cubed

Start off with 1-1/2 pounds of beef chuck, cut into 1″ cubes. I like to buy a piece of meat and cut it up myself. It’s cheaper that way and only takes a couple minutes. You can also use pre-cut stew meat if you like, but you don’t always know what you are getting that way.

Chuck Browned2With the sauté setting on high, put a couple tablespoons of oil in the pot. In two batches, brown the meat on one side. Just browning one side is enough to get the flavors of browning but still saves some time.

Remove the meat to a plate.

Onions Bell Peppers

Lower the sauté mode to medium (on the Instant Pot, you will need to turn off the sauté mode then turn back on. If there isn’t much fat left, add another tablespoon of oil.

Sauté some sliced onion and a chopped green pepper until it starts to soften. Now, when I say “some” onion, I mean “lots” of onion. I used one onion, but it was huge. If your onions are more on the medium side, use two. When you first dump them in the pot, it might look like a ridiculous amount of onion, but when the dish is complete, it will be just right.

When the onion and pepper starts to soften, add in some garlic. I know that some fancy schmancy chefs may frown upon the use of a garlic press, but it saves time, and unless you have a recipe that calls for bits of chopped garlic, I like it just fine.

Meat With Spices

Continue to sauté for another minute and add a couple of tablespoons of paprika, a couple teaspoons of caraway seeds and some salt and pepper. The tablespoons of paprika can be a bit on the heaping side. This is a dish that originated in Hungary, after all. And speaking of Hungary, Hungarian sweet paprika is the best for this dish. Unfortunately, I went to the store to purchase some Hungarian paprika and they were all out, so I ended up using domestic Paprika. It was fine, but if you are able to get Hungarian paprika, go for it. If you like, you can mix some sweet and hot paprika, but I wouldn’t use entirely hot. Not that it’s that spicy, but it would change the flavor of the dish.

Chuck With Tomatoes

Add the meat back in and stir so that everything is coated with the paprika mixture.

Add a splash of wine just to deglaze. When I say splash, I mean just a couple tablespoons. A little wine goes a long way when cooking under pressure.

Wine

Put in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a tablespoon of honey, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and a carton of beef stock.

Turn off the sauté mode, toss in a couple bay leaves and slap the top on the cooker. Set manual setting for 15 minutes at high pressure.

Potatoes Cubed

While this is going, get some potatoes ready. Cut about 4 medium red potatoes into cubes about 1″ in size. Waxy potatoes work best for this. Russets will get mushy. I used 4 potatoes which came out to about a pound. Put the potatoes in a bowl of cold water until needed. This will help prevent oxidation, because nobody likes brown potatoes.

Potatoes Soaking

When the time is up, carefully do a quick release, being sure to stand well clear of the path of the steam. When pressure is released, remove top, put in the potatoes, and put the top back on. Bring back to high pressure for 5 minutes.

Goulash Soup With Potatoes

This time let the pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.

Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream. I admit my dollops are rather large. I prefer a whallop of a dollop.

Goulash Soup Finished

Best served with some German bread and butter, or even a giant pretzel! Oh, and beer!

 

Goulash Soup (Gulaschsuppe)
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Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: German
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
A hearty warming soup. Just add some bread and you've got a whole meal.
Ingredients
  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1-1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1" cubes
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 rounded tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) beef stock
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 red (or other waxy variety, about 1 pound) potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
Instructions
  1. With sauté setting on high, add 2 tablespoons oil
  2. Working in 2 batches, brown the meat on one side, then remove to plate
  3. Change sauté setting to medium and add another tablespoon oil, if needed
  4. Sauté onions and green pepper until they start to soften
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  6. To this, add the paprika, caraway seeds, salt and pepper
  7. Add the meat back in and stir until the meat and vegetables are coated with the paprika mixture
  8. Add a splash of red wine (a couple tablespoons) to deglaze, scraping browned bits off the bottom
  9. Add tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, honey, fire-roasted tomatoes and beef stock
  10. Stir everything together
  11. Turn off sauté mode
  12. Toss in bay leaves
  13. Lock top on pressure cooker, turn on manual setting and set for 15 minutes at high pressure
  14. While soup is cooking, wash potatoes and cut into 1" cubes
  15. Put potatoes into a bowl of cold water until needed
  16. When time is up, carefully do a quick release, being sure to be out of the path of the steam
  17. Drain potatoes and add to the pressure cooker
  18. Lock top on pressure cooker and on manual mode set for 5 minutes at high pressure
  19. When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes then do a quick release
  20. Serve in bowls with sour cream on top

Pressure Cooker Brown Stew Chicken

My Take On Caribbean Brown Stew Chicken

Update: I managed to get some photos with a bit of color when having leftovers the next day (coincidentally, while watching The Leftovers).

Brown_Stew_Chicken_NewI guess I am on a Caribbean kick lately. After making my Jerky Joes last week, here I am again hanging out in the islands. The main reason is probably that I already had those spices out and I am not finished playing with them yet.

Brown Stew Chicken Ingredients2

One thing that I have noticed is that although this dish is chock full of flavor, it is not particularly photogenic. I neglected to include something, anything, to provide a splash of color, but what I got was quite a brown photo. But I swear it is tasty.

Peppers Scallions

This is one of those recipes where no two people do it the same way, yet each person claims to do it the “right” way. Some make Brown Stew Chicken with carrots, potatoes, bell peppers and other ingredients. I went with the bell peppers, but I kept it pretty simple besides that. My twist is the addition of ginger beer rather than water. Having recently discovered cooking with this ingredient, I have really been going to town with it recently. I think it ads a nice flavor.

Seasoned Chicken

I like to use chicken thighs, because of the winning combo of price and flavor. Traditionally this dish is made with a whole cut up chicken, but I just bought a large package of thighs. Usually labeled “family pack”, I am a little embarrassed to buy such a thing for just my wife and me, but we do get a couple meals out of it. And we are technically a family.

Chicken Browning

If you want to leave out the Kitchen Bouquet it probably won’t be noticeable in the flavor, but the color just won’t be the same.

For the hot sauce, I think the Habañero Tabasco is perfect but you can use what you have on hand. I think Sriracha would work well, even though it is not exactly caribbean.

So, how do you make it? Funny should ask. I was just about to ‘splain.

Season about 4 pounds of chicken thighs with Montreal Steak Seasoning. You can use seasoning salt, or a combination of Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder.

Heat the coconut oil in your pressure cooker pan over medium-high heat. I recommend that you don’t substitute a different oil in this particular case. The coconut ads that special something to this dish.

Chicken Browned2In batches, brown the chicken on the skin-side only. I don’t think the extra time to brown the entire thing is worth it in this case. The skin is full of flavor and that is going to leave enough brown bits on the pan to make it quite tasty.

After the chicken has been browned, pour out most of the fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons.

Sauté some sweet onion and bell peppers until they start to soften (about 3-4 minutes).

Veggies Pan

Add in some garlic and green onion and continue to sauté for another minute.

Now comes 1/2 cup catsup and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often. This is where a lot of the color comes from, so you want it to slightly caramelize and darken.

Add in some allspice, thyme, salt, soy sauce, hot sauce, lime juice, Kitchen Bouquet and stir.

Vegetables Cooked

Now, put the chicken back in the pot.

Pour a cup of ginger beer over the chicken and place the top on the pressure cooker.

Chicken In Pan

Bring it up to high pressure, then lower the heat to maintain the pressure.

Set the time for 20 minutes.

When time is up, let the pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.

If you would like the sauce a little thicker, put the pot over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. This is not a super thick stew, the sauce will be a little on the thin side.

Chicken Finished

Serve with caribbean peas and rice, a traditional side dish. The peas are actually beans, but this is what it is called, so who am I to change it? I made a super quick version, which I will post the recipe for in a few days. It is one of those “so simple it is barely a recipe” recipes, so it will be on the Wednesday post.

You could also serve this with French fries if you like.

Brown Stew Chicken Plate2

 

Pressure Cooker Brown Stew Chicken
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Caribbean
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5 servings
Enjoyed throughout the caribbean, this is my zesty take on this classic
Ingredients
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning (you can use Seasoned Salt or salt, pepper and garlic powder)
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (with skin on)
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 medium sweet onion, halved then sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup catsup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Tabasco Habanero works very well for this, Sriracha would be good as well)
  • 1 cup good quality ginger beer (make sure it is made with real ginger, not artificially flavored)
Instructions
  1. Over medium-high heat, put coconut oil in pressure cooker pot
  2. Season chicken with Montreal Steak Seasoning (You can use seasoning salt, or a combination of Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder)
  3. Brown chicken thighs (skin side only) in batches and remove to plate. Takes about 5 minutes per batch.
  4. Pour out all except about 2 tablespoons of fat
  5. Sauté the sweet onion and bell peppers until they start to soften (about 3-4 minutes)
  6. Add garlic and green onion and continue to sauté for another minute
  7. Add the catsup and brown sugar and cook for a few minutes, stirring often
  8. Add in the allspice, thyme, salt, soy sauce, hot sauce, lime juice, Kitchen Bouquet and stir
  9. Put the chicken back in the pot
  10. Pour the ginger beer over the chicken and place top on the pressure cooker
  11. Bring to high pressure
  12. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 20 minutes
  13. When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do quick release
  14. Put pot over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes to reduce sauce slightly
  15. Serve with caribbean peas and rice

 

Pressure Cooker Jerky Joes

Just because they are called Jerky Joes, they are not made with jerky!

Jerky Joe 3

These pork and beef Sloppy Joes with Jamaican jerk style seasonings are a spicy update to the old lunchroom classic.

It finally cooled off just enough that I can do a little cooking. With a temperature of only 80 degrees today, I even contemplated putting on long pants this morning (I only contemplated it, mind you).

I made this in the Instant Pot, so I wrote it for electric pressure cooker, but it can easily be made in any stovetop model.

Jerky Joes Ingredients

Because it is still fairly warm around here, I wanted to prepare something quick and tasty. This was easily done in the Instant Pot, so I did not even have to turn on the oven. And I served it with sweet potato chips to avoid needing to heat up a side dish.

Ketchup

It seems nearly impossible to find Scotch Bonnet peppers around here, which are traditional Jamaican peppers, so I used habeneros, which are related to Scotch Bonnets and are easy to find. You can use whichever you like. The heat level is pretty similar. If you don’t like things quite so spicy you can use jalapenos.

I have had these both with and without cheese, so the choice is yours. When I do use cheese, I prefer pepper jack.

Garlic And Jalapenos

I top them with grilled pineapple slices. Just heat a grill pan or iron skillet (dry) over medium-high heat and grill however many slices you need until they take on a little color. Flip once.

If you can find it, use the Pickapeppa sauce. They had it at my local grocery store in the hot sauce section. If you cannot find it, the closest thing would probably be Worcestershire Sauce. It has a similar flavor profile, but I recommend seeking out the Pickapeppa sauce. It gives it that “Jamaican” flavor.

Green Onions Chopped

In blender or food processor, add all the sauce ingredients. And pulse a few times until it is fairly smooth.

In the pressure cooker in a couple of tablespoons of oil, with sauté mode on high, sauté onion until translucent.

Onions Saute

Add pork and beef and sauté until broken up. It’s ok if it is a little pink, it will finish cooking under pressure.

Add the salt and pepper and top with two bay leaves.

Turn off sauté mode and add the sauce.

Pineapple Grilling

Give everything a stir, toss in a couple of bay leaves and lock top on pressure cooker.

Using manual setting, set for high pressure and 8 minutes time.

When time is up, do a quick release.

When pressure is released, remove top and turn on sauté mode on high.

Pineapple Grilled

Simmer until mixture thickens a bit (about 5 minutes).

Serve on toasted buns with a grilled pineapple ring.

To grill pineapple rings:

Put grill pan or iron skillet over high heat.

Jerky Joe Ready

Put desired number of pineapple rings between two paper towels for a minute to dry some.

When pan is hot, place pineapple rings in pan.

Flipping once, cook until they take on a little brown color.

Jerky Joe 2

Goes well with sweet potato chips.

 

Pressure Cooker Jerky Joes
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Recipe type: Sandwich
Cuisine: Carribean
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
A spicy take on the old lunchroom classic. Caribbean flavors make this a tasty alternative.
Ingredients
For the sauce
  • 2-3 habanero chiles, roughly chopped (I included seeds, remove if you would like it less spicy)
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and roughly chopped (include white and most of the green part)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple)
  • 1 cup catsup
  • ½ bottle ginger beer (not ginger ale)
For the meat
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. In blender or food processor, add ingredients from habaneros through ginger beer
  2. Pulse a few times until fairly smooth, some chunks ok
  3. In pressure cooker in a couple of tablespoons of oil, with sauté mode on high, sauté onion until translucent
  4. Add pork and beef and sauté until broken up. It's ok if it is a little pink, it will finish cooking under pressure.
  5. Pour the sauce in
  6. Add the salt and pepper
  7. Give it a stir and top with two bay leaves
  8. Turn off sauté mode
  9. Lock top on pressure cooker
  10. On manual setting, set for high pressure and 8 minutes time
  11. When time is up, do a quick release
  12. When pressure is released, remove top and turn on sauté mode to high
  13. Simmer until mixture thickens a bit (about 5-7 minutes)
  14. Serve on toasted buns with a grilled pineapple ring
Grilled Pineapple Rings
  1. Put grill pan or iron skillet over high heat
  2. Put desired number of pineapple rings between two paper towels to dry some
  3. When pan is hot, place pineapple rings in pan
  4. Flipping once, cook until it takes on a little brown color

 

Super Quick Spinach Chickpea Curry

Delicious Spinach Chickpea Curry In A Jiffy!

Garbanzo Spinach Curry2

I know, “in a hurry” would have been much catchier but since there is a chain called “Hurry Curry”, I didn’t want to infringe on any copyrights and whatnot. I’m sure all major corporations are watching my blog like a hawk, just waiting for me to slip up.

This one is so simple that it barely counts as a recipe, which is why I am posting it on my Wednesday miscellany day rather than my weekend recipe day.

Garbanzo Spinach Curry Ingredients

Cue harp arpeggio:

Here’s the story, I remember it as if it were yesterday (when in fact it was four days ago).

After enjoying my Butter Chicken Recipe on Saturday, I had almost enough left for dinner on Sunday. Almost. How could I augment the leftovers to make an entire meal? I wanted something in the same family as butter chicken and something quick and easy. You see, Sunday is my pub day, and I don’t want to cook anything too complicated after a rough day at the pub.

So I decided to make a curry that actually had some sort of vegetable in it, since the chicken dish did not (except for onions and garlic). So I bought some frozen spinach, a can of chickpeas, a jar of curry sauce and an onion (you need to have something fresh).

Onion Sliced

Besides slicing and sautéing the onion, everything else is just plopped into the pot. This would also be a good crazy-quick dinner for two on its own with some rice. I think the entire thing took around 20-25 minutes.

I also made it in the Instant Pot, making it even easier.

Garbanzo Spinach In Pot

All you need to do is heat some oil on the HIGH sauté setting, and sauté the onion until it it is translucent.

Dump in a jar (15 ounce) of Madras Curry sauce, a large can (29 ounce) of chickpeas and half a 16-ounce bag of frozen spinach (or an 8-ounce package if you can find it).

Turn off the sauté mode, lock on the lid and using the manual setting, set to reach high pressure (which is the default) and 4 minutes time.

Garbanzo Spinach Curry1

When time is up, do a quick release, give it a stir and serve! It is excellent with a dollop of sour cream.

Super Quick Spinach Chickpea Curry
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
An extremely simple curry that can be a side dish or an easy weeknight entree
Ingredients
  • 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced (I used the mandoline)
  • 1 jar (15 ounce) madras curry sauce
  • 1 can (29 ounce) chickpeas
  • ½ of a 16 ounce bag frozen spinach (or 1 8 ounce package, if available)
Instructions
  1. In electric pressure cooker, heat oil on high sauté mode
  2. Sauté the onion until translucent
  3. Add the curry sauce, chickpeas and frozen spinach
  4. Turn off sauté mode and lock top on pressure cooker
  5. Using the manual setting, set for high pressure and set time for 4 minutes
  6. When time is up, do a quick release
  7. Serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional)