Friday, June 15, 2018

Instant Pot Carne Guisada

Dear Lauren,

I handed your dad a cookbook last night and said, hey, take a look and see what looks good to you for the weekend. So he chose five recipes and marked them with those little 3m page stickers I like. Then he said, carne guisada sounds good.

Oh? Was that one of the recipes in the book?

No, I marked chicken fried steak, Iowa skinnies, biscuits and sausage gravy, Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches and funeral potatoes. But carne guisada sounds good.

I decided to come up with a recipe for the Instant Pot. Why Not? It's summer and who wants to heat up the kitchen with a stew on the stove or a braise in the oven? Not me.

This recipe is adapted from one I found early on in my internet research. Reading over it, I knew the complexity of flavor would be there. I made a few changes, including to the cooking method.  We loved it. Serve this over rice, in a tortilla, or simply as what it is, a stew - a spicy, Tex-Mex stew. You can garnish it with chopped onion, chopped cilantro, avocado, or anything else you like.

P.S. While I was cooking, my phone broke! I'm heartbroken! I have no photo for you. Dad has one photo on his phone of the very last bite. I'm not sure that's worthy of posting on this blog lol! I will be making this again soon, no doubt abut that, so I will update with a photo later.

1 teaspoon cumin
2 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided
1.5 pounds top sirloin, trimmed, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 tomato, (seeded over a strainer and bowl, tomato juice reserved), peeled, diced
1 cup water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
reserved tomato juice
1 teaspoon beef Better than Bouillon, optional
2 Tablespoons avocado oil
2Tablespoons all purpose flour

Toast the cumin in a small skillet for 5 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and place the cumin in a bowl or plate to cool completely.

Set the Instant Pot to Saute. Add 1 Tablespoon avocado oil. When the indicator shows Hot, add around 10 pieces of the beef and sear them, making sure not to crowd the pan or the beef will steam. Remove each batch of the beef to a plate when seared and add 10 or so more pieces until you've seared all of the beef.

Add the sliced onion and jalapeno with a little splash of the water if needed. Stir the onion and jalapeno into the bottom of the pan to deglaze the pan. Cook about 1 minute. Add the garlic, stir about 30 seconds. Add the remaining tablespoon avocado oil, stir, add all spices (cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder) and stir. Add the diced tomato, water, tomato sauce, reserved tomato juice, and Better than Bouillon, if using. Stir well. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the Instant Pot liner.

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set on Sealing, Manual, 40 minutes. While the stew cooks, make the roux.

In a small skillet over medium-low hear, add the avocado oil to the pan. When the oil is very hot, add the flour a bit at a time and stir well and constantly with a small whisk. Continue to add the flour, continually whisking, until all the flour is incorporated and the roux is a golden color which will take about 2 minutes. You are not looking for a dark roux like when you make gumbo, this roux is simply to be used as a thickener for the stew. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the carne guisada has finished cooking, do a Quick Release, and reset the Instant Pot to Saute.* Once the stew comes to a simmer, stir in half the roux. Check the thickness of your gravy.  Add more roux until you reach the desired thickness.** Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.Turn off the Instant Pot. Serve.

*Quickly taste the beef to make sure it is very tender. If it isn't, you can place it back under pressure for 10 minutes. I don't believe that step will be necessary.
**I used about 1/2 to 2/3 of the roux.




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