This time of year, every year, corned beef brisket returns in force to the butchers section of your local grocery store. Corned beef is a guilty pleasure of mine, and we’ve gone through 10-15 lbs every March. The pink interior of the brisket you’ve known and loved is from using either pink salt with sodium nitrate or other added nitrates/nitrites. Skipping this will result in a grayer brisket, but still great flavor.
This year, we decided to take the plunge and figure out how to make our own corned beef. Fun fact: the “corned” in corned beef has to do with salt-curing, or brining, the brisket. We experimented with a quick corning, and while the flavor was good after 24 hours, the brisket was dry and less tender. Make sure to allow the brisket to brine for at least 5 days, if not 6-10 days. If you don’t have that kind of time, find an already corned brisket and throw it in your Instant Pot—you’ll be up and running for St. Patrick’s day in record time.
Over the past few months, we have been making arrangements for our first child as well as learning the ropes of pregnancy. One of the most common tropes we’ve heard is the random, off-putting, late-night food cravings; in most stories, the dutiful spouse rushes off to a store or restaurant to buy whatever will satisfy the craving. This hasn’t been our experience, however. It’s true that we may have more coconut- and cashew-based ice cream on hand than normal; but we also finished wiring the outlet for our chest freezer very recently. The extra space for frozen foods also meant buying 36 pounds of grass-fed lamb.
Even before the pregnancy, there were regular requests for curry dishes. Our local international market has a great red curry paste, that we’ve since found online, and we have a homemade green curry we love. This recipe was another excuse to make curry, and it does not disappoint. We ate it for days, and it was a hearty meal by itself or paired with cauliflower rice.
A few weeks ago, we found out about a factory seconds All Clad sale, and I went a little bit overboard. One of the spoils of our bounty was a gorgeous 6-quart, sauté pan. This thing is out of control, and is now a go-to cooking utensil for our morning breakfasts as well as dinner. Our previous sauté pan of a similar size is starting to warp, and this was an awesome opportunity to upgrade.
For our christening of this new pan, we wanted to bring you an easy and delicious recipe that will feed you and your whole family. Having a one-pot recipe that will last a couple of days is great for time management, cleanup, and convenience. We know you’re going to enjoy this recipe.
Pork shoulders are a great batch cooking option for protein. We’ve long been fans of pulled pork, and we even have a couple of different sauces for you to consider (option #1 and option #2). That said, good pulled pork hasn’t always been a quick process. Quite the contrary, it has been a half-day or more of slow stewing or roasting.
Now, with the magic of the Instant Pot (which, honestly, has always been around for years by way of pressure cooker), this can be done very quickly. We think you’ll love this preparation as well as how quickly it is assembled. Plus, you get to make a homemade rib rub, great for pork shoulder as well as ribs. You’ll thank us later.
Chop Suey has been popularized in America through Americanized Chinese restaurants, although it has a history in Asia and the South Pacific as well. What I hadn’t realized is that Chop Suey roughly translates to “assorted pieces” (thanks, Wikipedia!). I’m always excited to find different cultural versions of “kitchen sink”-style meals. In the spirit of assorted pieces, I learned all of this and prepared this recipe when confronted with uncooked boneless pork ribs that had to be cooked or frozen—we didn’t even have to make a trip to the grocery store to put this together, in true Chop Suey fashion.
I enjoy the spirit of making something with what you have on hand. It’s not as intimidating as an episode of Chopped, but it’s empowering to know that even when a meal isn’t already prepared, you have the tools to make one in your refrigerator. I am sure you’re going to enjoy this recipe.