I had a professor in seminary who was prone to profound proclamations, made in a thundering sort of voice. This was one of my favorites:
Our God is a God who makes order out of chaos!!!
I believe. With all due respect, though, to Walter Brueggemann, not so much yesterday. I won’t bore you with the details except to say that there is a difference between a pair of pliers and a socket wrench and it’s likely to be another couple of weeks before the Muse is thrilled with the outcome of her plan.
Instead, let me tell you about my first real experiment with the new Instant Pot.
We’ve been doing great with boiled eggs and the pot roast adventure turned out pretty well, though a major change in seasoning is in order.
This week, though, I needed soup. Bill was in Seattle and the Farmer’s Market seemed farther away that it usually does.
(I’m new at this. Please read the directions that come with your particular electric pressure cooker! You could also do this in a slow cooker or stock pot, adjusting accordingly for time.)
I started with inventory.
I had a quart of homemade beef broth. (You could use chicken, turkey, or pork!) The usual complement of aromatics and herbs. A couple of cups of tiny Yukon Gold potatoes. About a pound of green beans. Four tiny turnips from the garden with the attached greens. A bag of frozen okra. And a major prize. Three pounds of local, sustainably raised smoked ham hocks, hiding under a batch of turkey bones. Oh, and a bottle of hard apple cider.
Thursday, I thawed the ham hocks and then made the broth, placing beef broth, hocks, one yellow onion, halved with the skin on, a whole bulb of garlic, sliced in half, paper on, a bundle of fresh thyme, 3 fresh bay leaves, about a tsp. of freshly ground mixed peppercorns and the 12 ounces of hard cider in the inner pot for my 8 quart duo model.
I pushed enough buttons to set it on pressure cooking for 1 hour at the soup and broth setting, with the vent sealed.
If you’ve done this before, you realize it takes a while to come up to pressure and a while longer to release…about 2 hours, all told.
Then I pulled all the ham hocks out with tongs and picked out the meat, which I saved separately from the broth. After the broth cooled about an hour, I put it in the fridge with the handy silicone lid.
Expecting guests for lunch, it was time to work on the veg Friday morning. I started by placing the inner pot of broth back in the magic machine and setting it to slow cook on the medium setting for a couple of hours, while I went back to sorting bookcases.
I thawed the frozen okra in a small colander.
Then, I washed the potatoes, turnips and green beans and let them all dry a bit on a clean kitchen towel. I cut the potatoes and turnips in half, leaving the skins on and reserving the turnip greens, wrapped in a damp paper towel. I trimmed the green beans and cut them into bite sized pieces.
Now for the miracle!
I added all the veg, along with the reserved meat, to the warmed broth and changed the setting to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes, with the vent sealed.
Again, allowing for getting the pressure up and back down, I actually had fabulous soup with perfectly tender veg in less than 20 minutes.
Deep. Rich. Smokey, yet oddly green as well.
I shredded the reserved turnip greens for garnish.
I believe that God creates order out of chaos.
It doesn’t feel like it happens at my house every day.
But this week, comfort happened.
Next week, I devoutly hope, a bit more order.
And some left over soup!