Instant Pot 1950s Sunday Pot Roast

“Sam, the 1950s want their pot roast back” – my husband after eating my old-fashioned pot roast that I made in the Instant Pot.

It’s just that good. A warm, flavorful, comforting meal of beef chuck roast, potatoes, and sweet, buttery carrots with delicious gravy in every bite. I made this pot roast for the first time last year and my husband has raved about it ever since. I could tell that he liked it because he kept going up for more even though he was full.

Yup, it’s just that good.

Jump to the Equipment List. Jump to the Ingredient List. Jump to the Recipe Instructions.

Although pot roast was never a thing for me growing up, I associate it with Sunday afternoon dinners after church services. Several years ago, when visiting family in Phoenix, my mother-in-law made one for after worship supper that was delicious. The delicious and savory smell greeted us when we came home after socializing with the other congregants. It was a smell that makes me think of a warm and happy home. I wanted to do that for my family.

Despite my desire, I was never good at making pot roast in the oven, old-fashioned or not. I could never get it fall-apart tender and I didn’t have an hour per pound or the patience to spare to get the job done. I tried everything when making it in the oven, resulting in fail, after fail, after fail.

On a number of occasions I have done a great pot roast in the slow cooker, but that involves searing the meat on a separate pan on the stove, then transferring the contents to the slow cooker. In the morning. Before work. With two rambunctious, demanding-my-attention-all-the-time boys that I have to get ready and fed before school lest I want to have the meltdown to end all meltdowns from either or both of them. (Despite that description of them, I love them dearly and can’t picture my life without them.)

My slow cooker pot roast is nothing short of fantastic. I endeavored to convert it into an Instant Pot version, because, why not?

A good pot roast starts with chuck roast. A chuck roast is a cheap cut of meat that’s tough and stringy with all of that fat running through it. Because of this, a chuck roast only becomes tender from low and slow cooking temperatures and long cooking times. So the slow cooker is the only way to get it done, especially if I can’t hack it the oven. Right?

Right?

WRONG! The Instant Pot can get you a spoon tender, melt-in-your mouth result just as well – or better – than the traditional methods.

My pot roast recipe which fools people into thinking I spent three hours alone just cooking the thing. Maybe I’m the Hispanic June Cleaver, it’s so good.

Don’t let me sway you away from the slow cooker version of this dish. It certainly has its place. There is something about the smell of delicious meal welcoming you home after a long day’s work. I love that about my slow cooker. My Instant Pot will never replace my slow cooker. But my slow cooker does not do anything fast. It wasn’t build for that.

Now, before I jump in, I need you to be aware of something. In this exact form, this isn’t a weeknight friendly recipe. However, you employ a few shortcuts if you want to have this meal the same day.

For example, you could skip the sauteing of ingredients and just dump and go and be eating in about 1 1/2 hours. And that’s fine. BUT, meals like pot roast, chili, and beans are always better the next day because the flavors have had a chance to meld.

I made this recipe and had it the same evening and it was phenomenal. But the next day, my boss who cannot eat meat due to dietary concerns asked me where I got my lunch. This old-fashioned pot roast recipe upset the balance in the world.

Ever see Once Upon a Time in Mexico (AKA Desperado 2)? There’s this side story about Sheldon Sands, a CIA agent who eats the same pork dish at every Mexican restaurant he ends up at. In one particular scene, he meets with El Mariachi and remarks that the slow cooked pork he’s eating is the best he’s ever had. And because it’s the best he’s ever had, it upsets the balance in the world. In order to reset the balance, he has no choice but to kill the cook.

My pot roast upsets the balance in the world. It is the pot roast of pot roasts, the recipe to end all recipes of this sort. Try it and you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t shoot the chef after you eat it.

For my 1950’s Sunday Pot Roast, read the recipe below.

Disclaimer: This post uses Amazon affiliate links. If you use my link and purchase the item, I get a small commission (and it doesn’t cost you anything).

I love my Instant Pot. Mine is a 6 quart 7-in-1 multicooker that can saute, pressure cook, make yogurt, steam, cook eggs, among other things. I’ve had since 2016 when we bought our house and since then we bought a 3 quart and adopted another 6 quart. I love having multiple pots since I can cook so many things at once for meal prep or potlucks. If you haven’t purchased one, you should consider it!

Equipment List:

  • 6-quart Instant Pot
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Tongs
  • Ladle to scoop the deliciousness
  • Wooden spoon
  • Veggie chopper (optional)
  • Plate
  • Aluminum foil

Ingredient List:

  • 3-4 pound chuck roast, cut into two even sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried or ground oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt (cut down to 1 teaspoon if you’re sensitive to sodium)
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (I used bacon grease)
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)
  • baby carrots (your choice how much)
  • creamer potatoes (your choice how much)
  • 4 tablespoons of salted butter, divided
  • Au jus seasoning packet (I used Lawry’s)
  • Dried parsley for garnish, if desired
Ingredients for an instant pot old-fashioned pot roast.
Cast of characters for tonight’s recipe.

It’s a lot of ingredients. But they all work together to produce a delicious pot roast. Trust me when I say it’s all worth it.

Recipe Instructions:

  • Slice the onion into half-rounds. Set aside.
  • Using the veggie chopper or your chef’s knife, dice the celery and garlic. Set aside.
  • If using, wash and pat dry the rosemary and thyme sprigs. This is optional, but I have these herbs growing in my garden and I wanted to use them here.
  • Mix together your dried seasonings. Do not include the fresh rosemary and thyme here. Reserve those for later.
  • Place the potatoes and carrots on separate pieces of aluminum foil. Add salt and pepper to taste and drop in one tablespoon of butter in each. Wrap up the foil and set aside.
Buttered creamer potatoes for my instant pot old-fashioned pot roast recipe.
I did the same with the carrots. I also decided to season each in their own packets for added flavor.
  • Cut your roast into two or three uniform-sized pieces. You will want each piece to fit in the bottom of your inner liner.
  • Season each piece of meat with the dry seasonings. Don’t be stingy with the seasoning here. You should use it all up.
Cut and seasoned chuck roast for my instant pot old-fashioned pot roast.
This is how your roast should look prior to searing. Feel free to add more seasoning if you want.
  • Push the Saute button and adjust the heat level to more. When the display reads “HOT,” put in the cooking fat and swirl it around the bottom of the pot.
  • After about a minute, brown the pieces of meat for about two to three minutes a side. Flip using tongs. Do not disturb the meat while it’s browning and make sure to not crowd the bottom of the pot.
  • While the meat is cooking, mix your wet ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup.
Seared chuck roast for my old-fashioned instant pot pot roast.
This is the color you’re looking for on the roast. Those browned bits equal delicious flavor that will blow your mind.
  • Once the meat is seared, remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.
  • Meanwhile, pour in about a 1/4 cup of liquid mixture and the remaining butter and deglaze the bottom of the pot using your wooden spoon. Make sure to get as many of those browned bits up as possible since this will add depth of flavor to the finished dish and will prevent the pot from displaying a burn notice during the pressure cooking process.
  • Saute the onions for a few minutes, then add the celery and garlic. Saute the vegetables until they become translucent. Take care in this step to not burn the garlic.
  • Pour in the remaining liquid mixture and mix well. The browned bits will infuse with the liquid.
  • Place the roast back into the pot. If you cut it, be sure to nestle the pieces in evenly.
  • If using, place the rosemary and thyme on top. of the roast.
Prepared ingredients for instant pot old fashioned pot roast.
I know this is going to be goooooooooood eating!
  • Press the “Cancel/Keep Warm” button to stop the saute function.
  • Place the foil packets on top of the roast.

Now, you might be wondering, why put the veggies in now? It’s going to be a long cook time and they’ll turn to mush! True if potatoes and carrots are going straight in to the pot. But something about putting them above the rest of the ingredients and wrapped in foil keeps them from disintegrating. They certainly get cooked, but they don’t fall apart when you stick in a fork.

Almost there. I promise.
  • Seal and lock the lid. Place the pressure valve to sealing.
  • Press the manual or pressure cook button (I used the meat button. Note that there is no difference here) and using the +/- buttons, set the time to 60 minutes.
  • After the cooking cycle is over, let the pot naturally pressure release for about 15 minutes. Carefully release any remaining pressure by moving the pressure valve to venting.
  • Carefully remove the lid.
  • Remove the foil packets and set aside.
  • Remove and dispose the herb sprigs.
  • Remove the roast and set aside on a plate. The roast may fall apart at this point, so take care to not have hot liquid splashing on you!
  • Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button again.
  • Press the “Saute” button and adjust the heat to more.
  • Pour in the au jus seasoning and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Allow the mixture to bubble for a couple of minutes to thicken to the desired consistency.
  • Slice meat.
  • Serve with the thickened sauce, potatoes, and carrots.
  • Enjoy!
Look at it. Just look at it. It needed a hunk of bread!

Bread hack: wrap in plastic and freeze your bread in medium sized hunks so you can heat up when the mood strikes! Warm in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes and slice to desired sized pieces. Crusty bread is great for sopping up that delicious sauce!

Let me know how you like your pot roast and when you usually have it. There isn’t one “right” way. I usually know it’s a hit when my husband goes for a second serving on a full stomach! I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as we did!

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

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Buen provecho! – Sami B.

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Instant Pot Dominican Beans

Rice and beans with meat and a green salad was almost always on the dinner menu growing up. As the daughter of Dominican-born parents, it’s hard to imagine a childhood without it. It’s part of La Bandera, which is arroz con habichelas y pollo guisado – rice with beans and stewed chicken. It’s also cheap eats. A heaping serving of rice and beans with a green salad probably only costs about $2-$3 a person to make. Not bad if you’re trying to save some money.

Latin rice and beans is similar to New Orleans red beans and rice but with some distinct differences. Both the New Orleans-style recipe (check out my “Inspired” recipe here) and Dominican version cook over a low heat for hours, melding the flavors of the seasoning into the dish itself. Both dishes are typically served over rice and may or may not include meat. Dominican habichelas themselves do not contain meat. They are also not spicy.

My recipe below produces a delicious steamy bean stew that goes well over rice and your choice of meat. Check it out!

Disclaimer: This post uses Amazon affiliate links. If you use my link and purchase the item, I get a small commission (and it doesn’t cost you anything).

I love my Instant Pot. Mine is a 6 quart 7-in-1 multicooker that can saute, pressure cook, make yogurt, steam, cook eggs, among other things. I’ve had since 2016 when we bought our house and since then we bought a 3 quart and adopted another 6 quart. I love having multiple pots since I can cook so many things at once for meal prep or potlucks. If you haven’t purchased one, you should consider it!

Some of the cast of characters. Not pictured: chicken stock.
Pinto beans in water.
I always pre-soak my beans to soften them and remove any sugars that can cause digestive issues.

Equipment List:

  1. Instant Pot. I used my 3-quart for this recipe. You can easily double it but go for the 6 quart instead.* (See tips below.)
  2. Chef’s knife.
  3. Cutting board.
  4. Wooden spoon.
  5. Ladle for serving.
  6. Small bowl.
  7. Measuring spoons and cup.

Ingredients List:

  1. 1 pound of pre-soaked pinto beans (for this recipe, I pre-soaked 8 ounces’ worth of beans, which became about 1 pound after soaking).
  2. 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  3. 1 bunch cilantro.
  4. 1 green bell pepper.
  5. 4 cloves garlic.
  6. 1 white onion.
  7. 3 cups chicken stock or water.
  8. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  9. 1 tablespoon tomato paste.
  10. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: You can double this recipe, but keep in mind that you should keep the combination of ingredients lower than the 1/2 way mark on the pot. Beans foam and could clog the sealing valve.

Recipe Instructions:

  1. Pre-soak your beans. (Cover the beans with about an inch of water in a bowl and allow to soak overnight or for 8-10 hours. No need to add salt. Drain, rinse, then set aside.)
  2. Measure out the oregano and tomato paste, set aside.
  3. Wash half the bunch of cilantro and pat dry.
  4. Dice the green bell pepper, garlic, and white onion to make about a half cup.
  5. Rinse and pat dry the cilantro bunch. Keep it tied together.
  6. Set the Instant Pot to saute and more to adjust the heat level.
  7. Once the display reads “HOT,” pour in the vegetable oil.
  8. After a minute, sweat the bell pepper, garlic, and white onion in the hot oil. Sauté for about three minutes, taking care to not let the aromatics burn, but become translucent and fragrant instead.
  9. Stir in oregano.
  10. Pour in the beans.
  11. Stir in the tomato paste and quickly add the stock or water until the beans are covered by about 1/2 inch to an inch of liquid. (Note, don’t go over the 1/2 line!)
  12. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more if needed.
  13. Add in your bunch of cilantro on top.
  14. Close and lock the lid. Make sure the knob is set to sealing.
  15. Push the Bean/Chili button and adjust to 40 minutes at high pressure.
  16. After the cooking cycle, allow the pot to rest for about 10-15 minutes then carefully release any remaining pressure in the pot.
  17. Remove the bunch of cilantro. Discard.
  18. Stir the beans. With the back of a spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. This will naturally thicken the broth to your liking. Keep in mind that a little mashing goes a long way. You can quickly go from soupy to gloopy with too much mashing! You’re looking for the consistency of a thick barbecue sauce – not too runny, but not like molasses either.
  19. Serve over rice and with your choice of meat!
Nicely thickened and ready for some rice.
White rice, stewed beans, and chicken breast.
All that’s missing is a nice green salad.

I had mine a couple of days later with rice and chicken breast, both of which I made in my Instant Pots! Stewed beans are always better the next day and keep in the fridge for up to a week. They also freeze well and will keep in the freezer for 6 months to a year.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you did, let me know in the comments below. If you make stewed beans, let me know your recipe and what you like to have it with. Don’t forget to subscribe and if you have any suggestions for what I should learn to make next, let me know!

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Buen provecho! – Sami B.

New Orleans-Inspired Red Beans and Rice

Disclaimer: This post uses Amazon affiliate links. If you use my link and purchase the item, I get a small commission (and it doesn’t cost you anything).

I love my Instant Pot. Mine is a 6 quart 7-in-1 multicooker that can saute, pressure cook, make yogurt, steam, cook eggs, among other things. I’ve had since 2016 when we bought our house and since then we bought a 3 quart and adopted another 6 quart. I love having multiple pots since I can cook so many things at once for meal prep or potlucks. If you haven’t purchased one, you should consider it!

New Orleans has a special place in my heart. I’ve been there twice with my husband: once around Saint Patrick’s Day (when he proposed) and then the following year during the summer. NOLA is a place full of soul, cobblestone-lined streets, parties, raucous visitors, and the sound of music spilling out of every bar.

NOLA is a place full of magic. There were so many wonderful shops to walk through. There was a store solely dedicated to Christmas decorations and several others that sold only masks.

Exhibit A: There is legitimately a store called “Santa’s Quarters” on Decatur Street that sells Christmas stuff. All. Year. Round.
Exhibit B: Mask Factory, one of many shops in town dedicated to masks.
Exhibit C: I became a snow leopard that day…

A favorite memory – aside from getting engaged after the Saint Patrick’s Day parade – is of us wandering Bourbon Street late into the evening after a nap and dinner. I don’t remember where we were going or why, but I recall the NOPD mounted police trotting along. Once we got to one end of Bourbon Street at the corner of Canal behind Walgreens and across from Krystal, a band took up their instruments and started to play. They were jamming out beautiful jazz music and a crowd formed to watch. NOPD mounted police took up a stance at the intersection of Bourbon and Canal to detour traffic. It was amazing. I remember dancing along and laughing, wishing that we never had to leave.

I also love NOLA for its food. The food has African, Latino, French, Spanish, and Haitian (among other) influences. You can see these influences in delicious dishes like etoufee, jambalaya, dirty rice, and gumbo.

One of my favorite New Orleans dishes is red beans and rice. Growing up, I ate my parents’ pinto beans and rice with meat, chicken, or fish, which was delicious. This is a New Orleans-inspired version which is spicier and includes meat cooked at the same time as the beans. I’ll post a Dominican beans recipe for those who still want savory beans but not the spicy. (Of course, you could always adjust the spice level in this recipe to suit your tastes.) For the New Orleans-inspired version, read below!

Today’s cast of characters photo only features the spices I used for this recipe. I find that these are the non-negotiables for my take on red beans.

Please note that my recipe ISN’T exactly dump and go. It can be if you put dried beans straight in to pressure cook with the rest of the ingredients, but I find the texture and overall flavor to be much better with pre-soaked beans. There are plenty of articles of you Google “should I soak my beans” that give you opinions either way. What’s more important is the receiving audience of your food creation. So, ultimately, you do you.

Soaking is easy. I pour a pound of dried beans into a medium bowl and add water until the beans are covered by at least a 1/2 inch. Then, I walk away for 8-10 hours. Afterwards, I drain the beans in a mesh sieve and set aside for the cooking process.

Equipment List

  1. Instant pot. I used my 6 quart Duo 7-in-1.
  2. Medium sized bowl.
  3. Wooden spoon.
  4. Chefs knife.
  5. Vegetable chopper.
  6. Cutting board.
  7. Slotted spoon.
  8. Measuring spoons and cups.
  9. Ladle for serving.

Ingredient List

  1. 1 pound of dried (or soaked and drained) kidney or small red beans.
  2. 1/2 to 1 pound of andouille sausage.* (See tips below)
  3. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  4. 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock.
  5. 2 cups of water.
  6. 3 stalks celery.
  7. 1 green bell pepper.
  8. 3 cloves (or more) of garlic.
  9. 1 medium white or yellow onion.
  10. Black pepper to taste.*
  11. Creole seasoning blend (I used Tony Chachere’s) to taste.*
  12. Cayenne pepper to taste.*
  13. 2 teaspoons dried oregano.
  14. 1 tablespoon smoked paprika.

Tip #1: You can use any sausage you like. Traditionally, this is made with the bone and bits of a ham hock from the previous evening’s meal. That imparts smokiness to the dish. You can also omit the meat entirely for a vegetarian-friendly version. If that’s what you are looking for, then swap the chicken stock for veggie stock.

Tip #2: The black pepper, Tony Chachere’s, and cayenne pepper amounts are all up to you. Want a mild heat? Go for 1/2 teaspoon each. Want to kick it up a notch Emeril-style, then “Bam!” your way to go spice heaven with a 1/2 a tablespoon or adjust as you go. Remember that you can always add more but not take away.

Tip #3: I did not add salt to this recipe because Tony Chachere’s contains salt.

Recipe Instructions

  1. Chop celery, onion, and garlic.
  2. Slice, remove the seeds, and chop the green bell pepper. (Note: I recommend you chop the veggies into uniform-sized pieces.)
  3. Cut your sausage into even sized medallions.
  4. Turn on your pot to sauté and “more” to increase the cooking temp quickly.
  5. When the displays “HOT” put in 2 tablespoons of oil.
  6. Sauté sausage for a few minutes until browned on both sides.
  7. Remove the sausage.
  8. Sweat the vegetables in the pot until they are translucent. Use the wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits and deglaze the bottom of the pot. The veggies will release their liquid and make it easier to do this.
  9. Add back the cooked sausage and their juices.
  10. Add the beans.
  11. Add the chicken stock and water to cover the mixture by about 1/2 to 1 inch.
  12. Season the mixture with the spices and mix. Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings close to your preference.
  13. Close the lid and lock it in. Set the valve to sealing.
  14. Select the manual or pressure cook button and use the +/- buttons to set the cook time to 40 minutes.
  15. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pot naturally release pressure for about 20 minutes. (The display will read “L 00:20.”)
  16. Quick release the remaining pressure and carefully open the pot.
  17. Stir the red beans, taste, and adjust seasoning (if needed).
  18. Remove about a 1/4 cup of beans and liquid and place into a bowl. Using the back of a spoon or the bottom of a ladle, mash the beans. Add the mashed beans back to the pot and mix to incorporate.
  19. If you want the red beans thicker, mash more beans and add them back in. Keep in mind that this will thicken up slightly anyway.
  20. Serve with hot rice and a scatter of green onion.
  21. You can dot it with hot sauce (Krystal) if you want some additional heat.
The result after mixing in some mashed red beans to naturally thicken this up.
Plated with some Instant Pot Jasmine rice and a scattering of green onion from my backyard garden. Yum!

If you enjoyed this recipe, please give it a like and let me know in the comments below how you like your oatmeal. Share this with your friends and subscribe to this blog!

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Buen provecho! – Sami B.