The benefits of cooking with an Instant Pot
So first of all, you need to meet the Instant Pot.
My readers might not be familiar with this cookware, but y’all have probably heard of it elsewhere.
The Instant Pot is an incredible, new-age slow cooker, if you will. Except it’s anything but slow.
It works a lot like the name implies: the Instant Pot cooks delicious meals in unbelievable amounts of time, thanks to the power of pressure cooking.
It can be used as a slow cooker, but the pressure cooking is the real “superpower.”
And when it comes to full meals… I made Gumbo from this cookbook last week that was ready in 20 minutes. The cook time was 16 minutes. And this review has a delicious recipe for Irish Stew that will take only about 20 minutes total, too!
On top of insanely fast cooking times for “fancy” meals, the Instant Pot also hard-boils eggs, ferments yogurt, cooks rice, steams veggies, bakes desserts… all in stupid-fast time warp speeds.
So, if you haven’t hopped on this train already, you for sure should look into it.
If I know of one person who should be the Queen Bee of Instant Pot life, it’s Jennifer Robins from Predominantly Paleo.
She’s a badass mom, recipe developer, entrepreneur, and all-around cool person. This isn’t her first Instant Pot cookbook, nor would I be surprised if she released more. She truly knows her way around this awesome piece of kitchen tech and knows how to create a delicious meal.
So when I heard that this book was set to be released, I couldn’t wait to see what she’d concocted for it.
Truth be told, I’ve had an Instant Pot for almost a year and have only used it a couple of times for bone broth - also according to one of Jennifer’s recipes. The pressure released from using the Instant Pot is something that freaks me out a bit when it’s released after a meal is done, but I’m getting over that with this book’s help!
There are dozens of beautiful, family-friendly meals in this book that make it perfect for creating delicious & healthy foods for everyone in no time.
I especially liked the variety of cuisines offered in this book, because I love to travel and I know Jennifer has done much of it herself.
You can truly see how she shares her love through food in this cookbook. There is a piece of herself in each of the recipes and I think that makes it truly special.
Recipes Highlights from Affordable Paleo Cooking
So far, I’ve made the Roux-less Gumbo for myself and my dad and we both devoured most of it in one meal. She nailed the flavors of Louisiana in a meal that was ready in 20 minutes!
That Gumbo was perfect for us to enjoy right as the first rainy cold front hit Texas to ring in winter. It got me to actually make a recipe that includes okra and stop being a little bitch about that pressure release! I can’t wait to make it again.
Other recipes I’m eager to dig into include the Crust-less Chicken Pot Pie and the crowd-favorite Chicken Yum Yum. I’m also ready to learn how to make Salmon dishes in the Instant Pot,
For today, we’re lucky lucky that Jennifer gave me permission to share a recipe I plan on making this week: Irish Lamb Stew.
Her experience with Irish Stew feels similar to mine: we enjoyed a short time in Ireland, fell in love with the place quickly, and wanted to remember it forever.
In my case, I’m working hard to be able to spend the entirety of next summer there… rather than the 1.5 weeks I was there in May.
When I tried stew there, though, I remember it so well: the restaurant / pub was the oldest in that part of Dublin and we slogged up a hill on the outskirts of town to get there.
The family my friend Allison (yes, we have the same name) and I were staying with knew we’d love the place, and the two “parents” brought us out for our last evening in the country.
It was colder than it had been the rest of the trip; we were shivering and it was raining. We ran from the little stick shift car with the driver’s seat on the wrong side into the dimly-lit, but warm building.
I decided I’d “splurge” that night and allow myself to eat some gluten for the first time intentionally in 3 years.
The Irish Stew that was served to me was one of the heartiest and most delicious things I’d ever eaten, topped with a flaky crescent roll and slurped down with a little Jameson on the rocks. I ordered a slice of spiced cake for dessert and prayed that the gluten reaction wouldn’t be too bad for my flight the next day.
Maybe it was the luck of the Irish… but I didn’t have any issues from the gluten that time. We said teary good-byes to our new family and I can’t wait to see them again.
I know this recipe will nail that one on the head and bring back that memory. Let’s check it out, yes?
Irish Lamb Stew
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
+Paleo +21DSD +AIP
From Jennifer: “I’ll never forget living overseas and making a quick hop to Ireland for a weekend—the food we experienced was so hearty, flavorful and memorable. I wanted this stew to be full of flavor like I remember, yet with ingredients that felt clean and safe for those of us who have to be careful with quality and sourcing. After my middle child went back for her third bowl, I knew I’d nailed it!”
Press the Sauté button on your Instant Pot and drizzle in your cooking oil. Add in the onion and lamb, and sauté for about 5 minutes, shifting the meat so it is seared on all sides.
Add in the remaining ingredients and secure the lid. Close the pressure valve and press the Keep Warm/Cancel button. Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button and use your +/- buttons to adjust the time to 10 minutes.
Allow the cooking cycle to complete, then quick release the pressure valve and remove the lid once safe to do so. Remove the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to quickly blend a couple sections of the stew to thicken the consistency. Aim for blending areas of potato instead of meat. Stir and then serve after your desired thick-ness is met.
3 tbsp (45 ml) avocado oil or olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 lb (450 g) lamb shoulder, cut into bite-size pieces
3 cups (720 ml) Beef Broth (page 147)
3 cups (450 g) peeled and chopped potato, white-fleshed sweet potato (for AIP or 21DSD)
1 cup (150 g) chopped carrots
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup (60 ml) coconut aminos
1 heaping tsp garlic powder
1 heaping tsp onion powder
2 bay leaves
Pepper to taste (omit for AIP)