The Lingering Bean

Hi! It’s been a while, eh?

I do this, I think you know by now.. I write for a while and then vanish.. and then write again. It’s just who I am and I’ve learned to accept it. Trying to force a blog schedule just doesn’t work. So I don’t.

So! What’s new… I played my ukulele in public with my classmates. That was fun. I fell and ripped the bejaysus out of my knee.. so badly that I went to urgent care. They couldn’t even stitch it, it was so shredded. That was exciting…. in the not fun way.

What else? Oh.. yeah. I’m working hard to get more veggies and beans into my diet.

I did pretty well the first week (last week). I roasted a bunch of veggies and cooked some chicken breast for lunches and honestly, I was pretty sick of that after a few days, but I totally enjoyed my breakfast, which was a kale, mushroom and garlic saute with a poached egg. (I poached the eggs in the microwave at work. I’m still working on perfecting this. Maybe Monday, the magic will happen)

Last night, while I was digging through the cabinet looking for popcorn (we’re out and I’m horrified as this never happened before) I found a bag of Rancho Gordo Christmas Lima beans lingering in the back of the cabinet.

I’ve had this bag of beans for at least three years. I’ve been unsure of what to do with them, but since I’d never tasted them before, I sort of shoved them back there.

Today, I decided it was time to change that.

I found a post on Simply Recipes about cooking beans in the pressure cooker without soaking them, which I had tried before, but most of my beans blew out.

You know what I was missing? Salt.

I should have known that.. I mean it should have occurred to me since I know that salting your beans helps them keep the structural integrity.

So, I followed those directions to the letter, but only cooked my beans for 14 minutes since they are lima beans and should require less cooking. The Instant Pot book said 12-14 minutes but since these beans were at least 3 years old, I thought they could use the extra time. I also just let them natural release… which means I turned them off and forgot about them.. for… um.. a while.

They came out perfect. I mean seriously perfect. I had a few blown out beans, but not too many, and the cooking liquid is amazing. The garlic and bay leaf were all these beans needed to make a delicious, hearty soup.

I ate a bowl for lunch, just as they were. These beans really do taste like chestnuts! I’ll be having these for lunch every day all week and I’m super excited about it.

Pressure Cooker Short Ribs

I have long been a fan of Mel Joulwan‘s recipes. So much so that I bought Well Fed and Well Fed 2, even though I don’t eat Paleo.

Mel uses a lot of “tougher” cuts of meat which I really appreciate as I enjoy a good long braise.
But here is my problem.

I’m impatient. Like super impatient. Also, I bought an Instant Pot about 6 months ago and when people said it was life changing they WERE NOT KIDDING.

So, now I want to use it for everything. I adore Mel’s recipe for Thyme Braised Short Ribs which calls for cooking them on the stove top for four hours.

But I didn’t start cooking dinner until 6PM because I was super busy brewing beer.

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I always feel a wee bit witchy on brew day

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This is what I did.

I took Mel’s original recipe and made the following changes:

  • I turned the Instant Pot on to saute and seared the short ribs
  • After removing the short ribs from the pot, I added the veggies.
  • I mixed 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and the tablespoon of tomato paste and the tablespoon of dry thyme together and then poured that over the veggies. I skipped the water all together. I mixed it up together and cooked the veggies for a bit. Maybe 5 minutes
  • I put the short ribs back in the pot, poured two cups of chicken stock over the top
  • Then I closed the Instant Pot, set it for 35 minutes on high pressure and walked away
  • After the timer beeped, I waited 15 minutes and did the quick release of pressure because I wanted to eat.. because.. impatient
  • I used my fancy schmancy Oxo Fat Separator and then poured about a cup of the liquid into a small saucepan and reduced the drippings
  • While the liquid was reducing, I pulled the bones out of the meat and pulled off the fat bits

Tadah!

Short ribs in half the time.