Nina’s Tips and Techniques: Stewing with the Instant Pot

Why is making stew in an Instant Pot better than the old fashioned way?

Like I’ve said before regarding all things Instant Pot, it’s not necessarily better, just different. The two biggest pros of using an Instant Pot to make a stew are:1) reduced cooking time and 2) the consistency of the finished product. I’ve discussed before my affinity for the consistently cooked meat, beans, and more that you get from the Instant Pot. Why is this? Because under pressure the product will never boil. Stewing is another method where boiling is not your friend, as boiled meat can become tough rather than tender. But the biggest reason I love my Instant Pot for stewing is because I can have an amazing finished product in about an hour, whereas it used to be a preparation only fit for a weekend. While the slow process of making stews is something I will always adore and enjoy when I have time, I also like to get the same yummy result in a fraction of the time on a weeknight, squeezed in between picking up my kid from daycare, getting in a work-out, and making sure we all get to bed on time!

Recipe: kimchi Jjigae

6 short ribs (can leave them whole or you can remove the bones and cube them – I prefer whole)
½ lb pork belly, cubed in 1-in pieces
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
¼-1/2 cup kimchi, chopped
1 head garlic, sliced
2 scallions, sliced
2 inch piece ginger, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 6-inch piece of diakon, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp gochujang
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
¼ cup soy sauce
1 piece kombu
1 5g bag katsuobushi (smoked benito flake – optional)
chicken stock
4 servings of bean thread or glass noodles
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over high heat, add the vegetable oil and brown the short ribs and pork belly. Work in batches to make sure you get a nice brown crust on all sides of the meat. Transfer the browned meat to your Instant Pot. Deglaze the pot with a little bit of chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Pour this liquid into your Instant Pot, too! Into the Instant Pot add the kimchi, garlic, ginger, scallion, onion, daikon, gochujang, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, kombu, katsuobushi, and enough chicken stock to cover all the ingredients. Place the top on the Instant Pot and make sure the pressure valve is closed. Set the Instant Pot for 90 minutes at normal pressure.
When the stew is done open the lid and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or more soy sauce as you see fit. Remove the Kombu. You can choose to shred the short ribs or leave them whole.
In a small pot of boiling water cook the noodles. Portion the noodles into four bowls and then ladle the stew over the top.