Rustling up some tangy Italian beef – a salvaged Instant Pot recipe
A little bit of teething issues, but the Instant Pot came through in the end and disaster was averted
After my wife and I received an Instant Pot from my parents for Christmas, I hit the internet looking for ideas for dinners to cook in it that weren't soups and stews. I'm not too awfully crazy about soups and stews, preferring more solid, beefier foods! One of the items I found to try cooking was Tangy Italian Beef sandwiches. Why not? While not a true Chicago Italian Beef style sandwich, I was game to try it!
To start, I trimmed and quartered a roast, before searing the quarters in the Instant Pot in a little olive oil. Once that was done I removed the roast to a plate, and while still in the sauté function, white vinegar along with garlic powder, onion powder, sliced pepperoncini peppers, and sliced banana peppers were added to the Instant Pot.
I deglazed the Instant Pot in this mixture before turning it down to slow cook, adding the seared roast pieces back in, and let it go for eight hours.
Trimmed and quartered roast!
Roast quarters all seared.
I deglazed the Instant Pot and added the seared roast pieces back in.
All ready for a long and low cook!
And now we wait!
At the end of the long, eight hour cook time, I excitedly opened the instant pot, expecting to be trying tender beef. And I was surprisingly met with TOUGH chunks of quartered roast! I'm talking the kind of tough that the fork I grabbed to shred the beef with wouldn't even sink into the meat! My heart sunk, and I feared my effort was for naught and that the meat was going to be un-edible.
But a planned formed in my mind, and I quickly and easily put it into action. I sealed up the Instant Pot and set it up for pressure cooking on high for 25 minutes. At the end of 25 minutes, I let it naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before opening the vent to bleed of the rest of the pressure. And this time I was greeted by very tender and easily shredded beef!
Is it tender?
Ahhhhhhhh. Italian Beef sandwiches! I toasted some really good, fresh buns and piled some of the Italian Beef on them. I decided to top mine with a little mayonnaise and hot pepper relish for some added zing. Crispy tater tots from the air fryer were the perfect accompaniment for a hearty dinner.
This Italian Beef had a beefy and vinegary flavor to it, which sounds kind of weird but the flavors actually worked together. The flavors really reminded me of a North Carolina style BBQ, which utilizes vinegar and spices to in lieu of more traditional sauces to add flavor to slow smoked pork. Except in this Italian Beef sandwich, it's beef and the meat isn't smoked! Mayonnaise isn't typically a condiment used on Italian Beef sandwiches, but since mine was vinegary I wasn't following many rules! The mayonnaise tempered some of the vinageriness of the sandwich, and the hot pepper relish added more kick.
Yes! This was good!
I'd do this again!
I will definitely cook this recipe again. But, in a couple of weeks I am going to try preparing Italian Beef sandwiches with an Italian Beef's more traditional flavors; the way Chicagoans eat 'em!