This recipe is one of the simplest ones I’ve made in a while.
That is, once I figured it out. Until then, it was a whole bunch of questions in my brain.
I know, I know, pot roast isn’t exactly rocket science, but I was faced with a problem while hashing this one out:
Meat of the pot roast variety takes a long time to cook (less time in a pressure cooker), and vegetables take a short time to cook (even shorter in a pressure cooker)
If the veggies that need less than 10 minutes to cook get thrown in with the meat that needs 60, they’ll be very, very overcooked. There are three solutions to this:
- Cook the meat first, add the vegetables at the end, and cook longer. This solution is a great one, except for the fact that it adds more than one step when you factor in releasing and building up pressure- that all takes some time, sort of defeating the purpose of a pressure cooker meal.
- Roast the vegetables separately, and serve them with the pot roast. An excellent solution, but again, another step and another appliance turned on, and we’re trying to keep this simple, dammit!
- Just throw the veggies in with the meat. But wait! We’ve discussed this- they’ll get super mushy. Yup. They will, but it doesn’t matter, ’cause those veggies are destined for gravy anyway.
You see, the other issue with pot roast (you didn’t know pot roast had so many issues, did you?) is that the liquid it braises in doesn’t get thick in the pressure cooker, and this type of meat is just better with gravy. We could thicken it with a roux, but it’s January, and I bet just about everyone reading this is doing some kind of Whole 30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox, or if you’re me: #OperationStopBeingGross. (Follow me on Instagram for more about that!) I wanted this recipe to be Whole 30 and 21 DSD compliant, which is why it is also free from wine.
So the veggie problem turns into the solution. Fingers crossed that all of our problems in 2016 tidy themselves up this nicely.
My pressure cooker of choice is the Instant Pot, which you can purchase HERE.
Pressure Cooker Pot Roast & Gravy
prep time: 5 minutes | cook time: 60 minutes (+20 or so to come up to pressure) | serves: 4-6
4 pounds chuck roast, cut into 4 pieces
a good pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional, add more salt if omitting)
1 three inch sprig rosemary
4 three inch sprigs thyme
2 parsnips, peeled
4 carrots, peeled or scrubbed
6 cloves garlic, peeled
chopped parsley and/or chives for serving, optional
- Season the beef with salt and pepper and place in the pressure cooker.
- Place all of the remaining ingredients in the pressure cooker. Lock on the lid and set it for 60 minutes on high pressure.
- After the 60 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes.
- Remove the meat to a plate, and the veggies to a blender. (I love my fancy Blendtec and loved my basic Oster before it if you’d rather not drop that kind of cash)
- Discard the rosemary and thyme stems. Pour the cooking liquid into a large jar or measuring cup. Once the fat rises to the top (this will happen quickly), remove and discard it with a large spoon or small ladle. Pour the remaining liquid into the blender with the veggies and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (you may or not need any, depending on the seasoning of the broth you used)
- Roughly shred the meat using two forks. You can either stir some of the gravy into the meat or just pour it on top. Or both!
- Serve with your favorite roasted or mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash, or any root veggie, mashed or roasted.
*You’ll have way more gravy than you need, but it freezes nicely, and goes wonderfully with just about any chicken, pork or beef recipe.
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