No fancy graphics for this post…. but kind of a fun story.
So, I grew up in the cajun south, where cooking was a contact sport, and recipes were for sissies. Our “instant pots” sat on the stove, or a burner in the back yard… and every meal was an experiment. Instant pots would have been right up our alley!
So this is a “concept” more than a “recipe,” but I think it could be adapted to Instant Pot cooking in a lot of different ways, so I though I would share.
The other day I bought a big 8-lb whole brisket that I thought I might smoke, but the weather turned and I didn’t want to be outside. Plus, I need to invite people to the pool in order to consume 8 lbs of brisket, and it was way too cold! Now, no IP is going to hold 8 pounds of brisket, so I decided to cut the flat part off and marinate it to make corned beef (it’s in the fridge as we speak!) That left the big, funny-shaped end, so I decided to do it in the Instant Pot. I looked for a recipe, more to guide me on time than anything, and found one that looked good. Pretty basic: water and vinegar for the liquid, barbecue sauce dumped on that, and then the meat on a trivet. The BBQ sauce recipe was essentially ketchup and brown sugar seasoned with spices and liquid smoke, but quelle dommage, I had no ketchup! Since the HEB is 4 long blocks away, and I was 2 glasses into a bottle of chardonnay, I decided to improvise with a couple of cans of diced tomatoes that I had in the pantry; one plain, one with jalapeños like you’d use to make queso. With nothing to lose except 4 lbs of beef and my dignity, I whirled the tomatoes in the blender, along with the recommended spices, to make a runny sort of “sauce.” Into the IP it went with the meat, and 90 minutes later I pulled an amazing meal out of the pot. I let the meat sit for a moment while I heated the broiler, and meanwhile set the IP to High Saute to thicken the sauce… and what an AMAZING sauce it was! Tangy from the vinegar, spicy from the jalapeños, and rich with flavor from the tomatoes, I was blessed with one of the tastiest sauces I’ve ever had. So good, in fact, that when the brisket was gone 3 days later (yes, I ate 4 lbs of brisket in 3 days by myself. I’m a big boy. Don’t judge!) I kept the leftover sauce… I just couldn’t bear to waste it! So today, I made baby back ribs. Recipe called for BBQ sauce… so, in went the leftover sauce. And guess what… along with the required liquid, and the juices from the ribs, the glorious sauce regenerated, and doubled in volume! So again, I have a jar of sauce in the fridge, ready for my next indoor BBQ. I’m thinking chicken?
So, I think my BBQ sauce will be like the IP never-ending yogurt… or sourdough starter…. or Ina Garten’s vanilla “extract.” I will just keep adding to it ’till the end of time!
If you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s cause I died of botulism or ptomaine…. but really, it gets heated beyond boiling each time I use it…. that should be safe. Right?