One of my goals with Tradition's Kitchen is to help my clients learn how to make fresh from scratch meals for their own families on a busy night. Last night's dinner was a great example of that.
I was originally planning on doing an easy pork chop meal in the Instant Pot with some homemade cream of mushroom soup I had leftover from making chicken pot pie a few weeks ago. But, Mr. Barefoot came home and was asking for "The Works" meal - meaning pork chops, gravy, mashed potatoes etc.
So - I had to quickly go through the steps in my head. Instant Pot TO THE RESCUE!
I knew I needed to get the potatoes going - so I had my boys start peeling while I peeled the beets and cut the onions and mushrooms.
The beets went into a pot of already boiling water to cook, and the potatoes went into the instant pot. Eight minutes on high - done!
I also knew that I wouldn't have enough meat "juice" to make a good gravy, and I don't have any chicken or beef broth to make an easy gravy too.
Hmmmm... what's a quarantine-cook to do?
I made a make-shift broth - I added some water to my frying onions and mushroom, then strained out the water into a pan, and put the mushrooms and onions back into the fry pan to finish. Then I put an onion, a celery stick and a carrot into the mushroom/onion broth, with some more water and set it on the stove to boil until I was ready to make gravy.
After the onions and mushrooms were about 75% done, I added the pasture raised pork chops.
The KEY to a great sear on your meat is a HOT pan, hot fat of some kind, and letting the meat sit undisturbed.
I cooked the chops in batches, and then added the onions/mushroom mix and prepared pork chops to a serving pan. Done!
As the last chops were finishing up, I strained the beets and put them in a serving bowl with some salt and butter. Done!
I also started a quick batch of one of our favorite drop quick breads - cheddar garlic biscuits.
Fresh garlic. Butter. Freshly shredded cheese - no wonder my kids gobble these down huh?
As the biscuits went in the oven, I let the steam release from the IP, strained the potatoes and added some milk, butter and salt. I let that sit for a few minutes while I turned my attention to the gravy. I strained out the simmering veggie broth.
Make a basic roux:
Butter. Flour. Mix.
Slowly add in the broth and mix some more.
I didn't have a lot of broth, so I added in a little milk to give it a creamy feel, as well as to make the gravy stretch a bit farther.
Pulled the delicious smelling biscuits out of the oven and while they cooled a bit I whipped the potatoes.
Dinner on the table in about 30 minutes from nothing to DONE!
It's possible and you can do it too!