I needed some inspiration for some snacks for my New Year’s Eve party. Meatballs in the slow cooker have always been my go to. What could be better than cranberries with a kick of chili? I raided my cupboards and found some spicy chili jelly and leftover cranberries. Then there was that huge bottle of sweet chili sauce my Mom bought last summer sitting in the fridge door. Condiments never spoil, right? Also, I always keep a pack of frozen meatballs in my freezer. This time I used Compliments lean turkey meatballs.
I used my Google-fu and found a recipe that I could use, although it was for a crock pot. Who needs a crock pot when I have two Instant Pots? One for the meatballs and the other for the hot mulled cider. We’re good to go!
The meatballs were a hit. A wall of spice tempered by the tartness of the cranberries. I used the fresh cranberries with 1/3 cup of sugar. Next time, I will dial down the sugar as I prefer my cranberries a little tart. I should have added the leftover orange juice from making orange zested cranberry sauce earlier in the week. That would have been divine.
Cassoulet is a hearty French stew of meat and beans. Perfect comfort food for Canadian fall and winter. Made easier with the Instant Pot. This recipe is modified from one no longer on the web, but it’s original remains. A classic from Thomas Keller. I’ve made it a couple of times and I quite enjoy it. I find it hard to procure chicken garlic sausage, you could use chicken sausage or even mild Italian sausage. I wouldn’t call this a traditional cassoulet but it is pretty darn tasty.
Instant Pot Cassoulet with lots of Veggies
Adapted from Thomas Keller (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/thomas-kellers-slow-cooker-cassoulet.html)
Season the pork ribs generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
Set pressure cooker to Sauté to heat up the insert. Add the bacon to the insert and cook until crisp on both sides, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Reserve the bacon fat in the insert.
Add half of the pork to the insert and brown on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining pork.
Add the onions, carrot, celery, zucchini, kale and 1 teaspoon salt to the insert and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes and broth. Turn off the Sauté feature. Add the pork, sausage, beans, rosemary, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, kombu and garlic. Stir everything to combine.
Place the lid on the pressure and lock into place. Press the Meat/Stew Button. When done, release pressure naturally. If pressed for time, NPR for 10 minutes then open the vent. Remove lid, skim off the fat, and remove and discard the bay leaf and piece of kombu. Adjust the seasonings with kosher salt and pepper.
Ladle cassoulet into individual serving bowls, top with reserved bacon and fresh minced parsley. Serve with crusty rolls on the side.
Here’s a great way have a quick stir fry that’s full of flavour. I find that kale always pairs well with a little grease, like bacon. No, wait, how about pork belly? I love pork belly as I can tweak the taste to my liking without being hit over the head with the single note flavour of bacon.