Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pepper Stew....aka: Hamburger Mac and Cheese

Pepper Stew is a comfort food staple at our house. Fear not, it has very little to do with pepper, or stew. There is a long story about how this dish got it's name, that has evolved over the years. But essentially, it is hamburger, corn and mac and cheese.

One of the things I have always disliked about this recipe is the need for many dishes to make it... you know... a pan to brown the hamburger in, a pot to boil the macaroni in, a dish to microwave the corn in, and finally a casserole dish to bake it in.

But now.... Enter the INSTANT POT! And there is no longer the many dish dilemma. There is ONE DISH! ONE. Yes you heard me. ONE.  Which is the stainless steel liner/pot of the Instant Pot.

Here is our recipe:

Pepper Stew

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 T. minced garlic (we like garlic... you could use less)
1 16 oz bag frozen corn
1 16 oz box Rotini Pasta Noodles (The type doesn't matter so much, as that you just want a fairly hearty type pasta shape... bow ties are a bad idea here).
2-3 cups chicken (or turkey or vegetable) broth
12 oz. Cubed Processed American Cheese (aka Velveeta)
1 cup or so of milk

Instant Pot Directions

Make sure the pot is inside of the big Instant Pot thing. Plug in.
Push the "sautee" button.
Add the hamburger and onion and garlic. Brown. I usually add about 1 tsp pepper here and maybe 1/2 tsp salt. DO NOT OVER-SALT... Velveeta has a lot of salt. Add more at the very end.
Add the corn.
Add the Pasta. Stir
Add broth until the pasta is JUST COVERED.
Put the lid on the pot. Make sure the release valve on the top is in the middle, pressure building (not of to the left or right, venting).
Push the Manual Button. Set the timer for 20 minutes. Pot will turn "on". Once it has come to pressure the time will begin. SO this takes a bit longer than 20 minutes (but still maybe only 30 or so).
Once the timer goes off, use the QR (quick release) See video number 3 for this.
Once the pressure is all released open the pot. It won't allow you to open it until the pressure has been fully released. It will NOT EXPLODE!
Stir in the cheese and milk. It will melt.
Taste. Check seasonings. Adjust.

And enjoy that you had 30 minutes of down time while it was doing it's thing to....fold laundry, help with homework, have a glass of wine, read your Christmas Cards that came today... ok ok... bills. But whatever. AND that after supper you only have ONE POT to wash!!! (and yes, it can go in the dishwasher!!!

Here are the links to my videos:

Pepper Stew 1 (Turning on the pot, sautee'ing/browning hamburger)
Pepper Stew 2  (Most of the recipe, securing the lid)
Pepper Stew 3 (Releasing the pressure, opening the lid, seeing the finished product.)

So.... Try out that new pot!!!This is SUPER easy and LOVED by kids and adults alike!!!! Post your comments and family reactions below!!!

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