I moved all our kitchen things to the basement last weekend so I had to start my basement cooking early. Jeff didn’t really understand why I wasn’t using the kitchen for my cooking, but I explained to him that I had all my cooking accoutrement downstairs already plus I was eager to see how difficult the whole process would be.
I decided to make an Instant Pot meal, which turned out really well! I even made some of my Crispy Parmesan Zucchini to go along with it. Yum!
I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to cook in the basement, but it was really no trouble at all! I just thought of it like camping…with all my necessities of home. The only thing I’m missing downstairs aside form an oven is my sink, but I’ve made do so far. I have a plastic bucket I keep downstairs with me and I throw all my dirty dishes in it while I cook. Then, after dinner, I take the bin upstairs and hand wash everything and let them dry. In the morning, I take everything back downstairs and put all of it away. Organization, people. That’s the key.
My whole goal throughout this blog post series is to give you guys a list of recipes you can make without an oven. I figured this would be good to know if you’re ever in this situation or, say, camping at a campsite that has electricity. Sure, I know the whole novelty of camping is cooking over an open fire, but sometimes you’re too hungry to wait for the fire to get hot enough! Let’s face it. It’s also just a great way to share the recipes I’ve had success with in my Instant Pot because that’s what 90% of my meals are going to be!
These sandwiches were very yummy. The key is choosing the right cut of meat. I made a similar dish the night before and chose poorly. Learning from my mistake, I paid closer attention to the recipe and looked for that particular cut of meat this time. Yay! It worked!
Does anyone else have this guy’s voice running through you’re head when you make a good decision? No? Just me? Ok then…
French Dip Subs
(adapted from this recipe)
- 2.5 pound chuck roast
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup of red wine
- 1 14 oz can of low-sodium beef broth
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 6 soft rolls
- 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- 6 slices of provolone cheese
Turn your Instant Pot on to saute and add your vegetable oil. While the pot heats up, season your chuck roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Brown the roast evenly on all sides and remove from the pot.
Add your onion to the pot and, if needed, a touch more oil. Cook on saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft. Next, add your red wine and cook until it reduces by half. After that, you’ll want to add your beef broth and bay leaf.
I have been loving Better Than Bouillon lately! I never even knew about this product, but it’s awesome! It’s basically broth that has been condensed all the way down to a paste. When you’re ready to use it, you just mix it with boiling water. I was lazy and used room temperature water, which worked just fine. Telling you, people, you make due with what you have! And, bonus, it comes in lots of flavors and is a fraction of the broth in the box! I also happen to love those broth boxes too, but seriously this stuff is awesome.
After you add your broth and the bay leaf to the pot, hit Warm/Cancel to cancel the Saute. Then put the lid on, making sure the pressure valve is set to sealing. I sometimes forget this step! Then hit the Meat/Stew button and let the pot do it’s thing for 100 minutes. You’ll want the pot to let the pressure release naturally for about 25 minutes before you open the lid. I was famished at this point and could barely wait for the pot to beep, let along the pressure to release on it’s own. But I did it! And then proceeded to eat about ¼ of the roast while I was preparing dinner! It was soooo good.
Remove your roast from the pot CAREFULLY because it falls apart that easily. Shred the beef with a couple forks. Then strain the liquid in your pot to get all the onions, etc, out of the broth. This is your au jus you’ll want for dipping. At this point, I varied from the recipe I used a bit. I put the beef back in the sauce to get the beef all juicy.
Meanwhile, I split the rolls (I got to bolillo rolls from Kroger, which we LOVE) and toasted them in the toaster. When they were nice and golden, I spread the toast with a little butter, topped them with the beef, and finally with provolone. I let the heat of the roast melt the cheese and served! They were seriously delicious.
According to Jake, not quite as delicious as the meal I made last night, but still. Stay tuned to see the first pictures of kitchen demo. Coming soon!!