The Most Pinned Instant Pot Recipe Just So Happens to Be a… What?!
Have you ever wondered how those insanely popular pinned recipes on Pinterest actually taste? Us too, which is why we’ve started a new series, Pin to Plate. We’re interviewing the blogger, testing out those recipes in-house, photographing our results, and sharing our experience. #PinFails, you’ve become a thing of the past.
The Instant Pot yields the most tender meat, whether it’s pork carnitas, chicken breasts, or beef roast stuffed in a French dip sandwich, as pictured below. This is no ordinary recipe — it’s Pinterest’s most pinned Instant Pot dish, with 131K saves. We tried it at home to see if the dish is really as foolproof as it promises.
Melissa Mondragon of the No. 2 Pencil blog is responsible for this viral win of a sandwich (pictured left). The recipe came from a slow-cooker French dip version that Mondragon adapted and starts with pressure cooking a roast in red wine, onions, and beef broth. “I put a lot of personal testing into the recipe to ensure that the cooking time and method were accurate for the Instant Pot,” she elaborated. “I also tried to be very clear in the instructions on how to use the Instant Pot, so it’s a great recipe for beginners.”
And thank goodness she did, because we bit our nails the entire time, worried that either the Instant Pot would melt after so much pressure cooking OR the meat would turn into a solid, stringy mess. But no! The Instant Pot practically acts as a magical cauldron, producing fork-tender beef that will practically fall apart as you remove it.
That beef and cheese slices are sandwiched between a buttered, toasted, garlicky bun and served with the strained pot juice for dipping. Oh. Em. Gee. Yes, this recipe may have a trillion calories, but you will not care when you take a bite of the luscious combo. We now understand why it’s such a huge hit (and has helped her amass 200K Pinterest followers). Mondragon added, “I think this recipe resonates with Pinners because it’s a simple, family-friendly recipe with good quality ingredients. It all blends together so well!” You can see our version pictured right. Though it looks different, we feel pretty confident it maintains the same flavor integrity Mondragon intended.
We did make some slight changes to this recipe (which are noted below). For one, we used ghee, a high-heat clarified butter that has an insanely tasty, roasted flavor. We served the beef on pretzel rolls to add to the umami taste, but you can use any roll you like. We also topped the meat with mild cheddar slices, but provolone is what she recommends. The au jus dipping sauce can be on the oily side, so we recommend skimming the fat from the top. Also, we like a sandwich that doesn’t require a lot of napkins, so we opted to butter the rolls on the inside (as opposed to the outside).
Now let’s talk leftovers. Don’t judge, but we added the shredded meat back to the au jus along with the caramelized onions and reheated it as a meaty French onion soup the next day, accompanied with a pretzel roll grilled cheese. You do you — or feel free to copy us!
Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches
(Makes 6 sandwiches)
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- 2 1/2 pounds chuck roast, rested at room temperature for 15 minutes before searing
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, plus more to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 onion, sliced with the grain for sautéing
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 6 soft rolls (we used pretzel)
- 3 tablespoons of butter (or ghee), melted
- 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 6 slices cheese (like provolone or white cheddar)
1. Season the chuck roast with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper to taste, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder on all sides.
2. Add of ghee to the Instant Pot and press the Sauté button. Using a pair of long heat-proof kitchen tongs, sear roast on all sides in the Instant Pot.
3. Remove the seared roast from the Instant Pot and set aside.
4. Add the onions to the pot and sauté just until they start to soften. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the seared bits from the bottom of the pot.
5. Add the red wine to the pot and let it simmer until it reduces by half.
6. Once the wine has reduced, add the low-sodium beef broth and bay leaf.
7. Return the roast to the Instant Pot, close the lid, and set the pressure release valve to sealing. Hit the Meat/Stew button, and increase time to 100 minutes.
8. Cook until the timer runs out, then allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 25 minutes. After, turn the valve to venting to release any excess pressure.
9. Remove the lid and transfer the roast to a serving plate (or half sheet pan) and shred. Be sure to discard the strings on the side of the roast.
10. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and serve warm for dipping sandwiches. We skimmed the top with a spoon to remove some fat. You can either discard the onions or reserve them with the leftovers for a meaty French onion soup the next day.
11. Combine the melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, and pinch of kosher salt in a small bowl.
12. Set the oven to broil, and place the sandwich rolls on a baking sheet. Brush butter over rolls (or inside them as we did to prevent greasy fingers), and toast 2-3 minutes, just until golden brown.
13. Pile the meat onto rolls and top with cheese. Return to the broiler and heat just until the cheese has started to melt.
14. Top the sandwiches with freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, and serve with warm au jus for dipping. We put the parsley into the au jus.
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