I never thought I’d say this but pressure cookers are an essential kitchen appliance. Up until two weeks ago I was blissfully unaware of how useful they can be, instead I chose to view them as dangerously loaded weapons loaded with hot ingredients, ready to explode at the slightest hint of human error. I had googled images of high pressure kitchen destruction and decided for myself that it just wasn’t worth the risk. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder if the ‘new generation’ of pressure cooker enthusiasts were on to something…
I began to hear tales of the magical wonders of the Instant Pot (or InstaPot as us ‘potheads’ like to call it). Tales of meals in minutes, tales of versatility like no other appliance, tales of turning low grade cuts of meat into fabulous meals. All three of these possibilities are a part of what drew me to search Amazon.ca on that fateful day in early January. The final push in the right direction came from fellow blogger and recent Instapot convert, Carol of The Yum Yum Factor. It was virtually impossible to ignore her enthusiastic Instapot related tweets and delicious recipes. Right after I tweeted her to ask what model of Instant Pot she was using, I ordered my very own.
It arrived on a Monday afternoon, exactly one week later. I think maybe the timing of its arrival was almost fortuitous as I had forgotten to soak a portion of dried beans overnight. I wasn’t sure what we would eat for dinner and there were only a couple of hours before I had to leave for my volunteer time at the YMCA . When the delivery man rang our doorbell, I pounced on that box like it was the last macaron on the face of the earth. Within minutes the InstaPot was unpacked and I was washing the cooking bits with warm soapy water (as directed). Since it was a chilly day I thought it was important to let the unit warm up to room temperature while I read the manual. Lo and behold…the manual claimed that it was possible to skip the overnight soaking of dried beans and pressure cook them in 15 minutes! By this time, the whole family was caught up in my excitement and together we set up the pressure cooker and cooked our very first batch of beans. We were instantly hooked, or should I say that we all instantly became ‘potheads’?
Instant Pot Pork Medallions with Herbs and Mushrooms
- 2 pork tenderloins; cleaned and sliced into 2 cm medallions
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 cups cremini mushrooms; sliced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- olive oil
- flour, salt, and pepper for dredging
- Mix approximately 1/2 cup flour with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat olive oil in the Instant Pot using the Sauté feature. Dredge each pork medallion in the flour mixture and brown each side in the Instant Pot. You could use a stove top pan to brown the medallions as you will need to do this step in batches.
- Remove the browned medallions and add the fresh herbs. Deglaze the Instant Pot insert with the chicken stock for a couple of minutes, scraping the bottom to loosen all the bits.
- Return the medallions to the Instant Pot, add more fresh herbs (if you wish), then add the mushrooms on top.
- Wipe the rim of the Instant Pot insert, then close the lid, and set the pressure valve to ‘sealing’.
- Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Carefully move the pressure valve to ‘releasing’ and open lid when it is de pressurized. Remove the denuded herb sprigs.
- If it looks like there is a lot of liquid in the pot, you can simmer the sauce by turning the Sauté feature back on. The bottom may get quite hot so take extra care not to use this feature for too long.