Summer is in full swing, and we’ve had our grill fired up nearly every night! Veal loin, veal chops, veal burgers…Delicious. While we never get tired of a good BBQ, it can also be nice to switch things up a bit. Some of our favorite economical cuts of veal are the ones that usually needed to be cooked low and slow– braising in a little liquid with low heat for the better part of the afternoon is what makes osso buco and veal stew so tender and flavorful, after all! These cuts tend to not fare too well on the high heat of the grill. But turning on the oven for hours in the heat of summer is just not an option for us. Solution: The Instant Pot!
Why the Instant Pot is our favorite Summer Secret Weapon
Did you recently snag on of these glorious multi-cookers on Amazon Prime Day? Or is the Instant Pot a tried-and-true workhorse in your kitchen? We adore these machines, and deploy them for all sorts of dishes, all year long. But we love them most of all during summertime!
First off, an Instant Pot will not heat up your kitchen like oven or stovetop cooking will. If you live without air conditioning, as we do here on the ranch, you will do anything and everything to keep the summer heat out, and the cool air in!
Second, it’s super hands off. All you need to do is a quick sear in the pot, then add liquid and seasonings, close the lid, and set the timer. Then you get to walk away and go splash in the pool, run through the sprinklers, or do your summer ranch chores (er, maybe that’s just us!) while your dinner is cooked for you by the amazing Instant Pot. No need to hover over it to stir or turn or adjust it at all.
And finally, the Instant Pot has a handy “keep warm” function, so as soon as it has finished cooking your food, it will automatically keep everything hot and ready for you whenever you make your way back to it. No need to rush off before you are finished swimming laps or sunbathing or hauling hay.
Veal is The Perfect Meat for Braising in the Instant Pot during the Summer
We love using our pasture raised veal in the Instant Pot because it is so lean and flavorful! Veal has much less saturated fat and cholesterol than beef, but it’s still packed with protein and iron. It’s a great choice when you need energy for all of your favorite summer activities but don’t want to be weighed down with lots of fat and calories.
Our veal is humanely raised, which means our calves never see crates or confining pens. They are kept right alongside their mothers, drinking their own mothers’ milk and eating grass all summer long. They love lounging in the shade and moseying through the pastures! Veal that has been raised this way is wonderful for the environment, for the cows, and for you. Not only is it healthier all around, it is incredibly delicious as well! Humane, pasture raised veal is perfect for cooking in the Instant Pot all summer long.
Recipe Ideas for Summer Braising in the Instant Pot
The possibilities for using your Instant Pot for creating amazing summer veal dishes are truly endless! You might try braising a some veal stew meat with some middle eastern spices– think cumin, paprika, aleppo pepper, or za’atar. When the meat is tender and easy to shred, pile some onto a thick lavash wrap, and add a little cooling cucumber yogurt salad. Top with crumbled feta cheese and a mountain of herbs like cilantro, mint, parsley, or chives, and you’ve got a perfect summer meal that is delicious and healthy!
Or make a lightened-up version of sloppy joes, using lean ground veal instead of beef! In place of traditional ketchup and worcestershire sauce, try using tomato paste, homegrown summer garden tomatoes, and a little asian fish sauce for an umami punch. With the Instant Pot, you can toss everything in and have the yummiest, messiest dinner ever in about an hour!
But our current summer favorite must be Veal Barbacoa Tacos. Traditionally, this is made with the cow’s head, but you can use veal cheeks, or veal chuck, or any other good braising cut– they will all work in the Instant Pot! You can pick a jarred or prepackaged sauce, or you can easily make your own out of chipotles, vinegar, lime, and seasonings like cumin, coriander, oregano, and chile powder. If you have time, marinate the meat for a few hours in the sauce before you cook it!
Pat the meat dry and sear it well using the saute function on the Instant Pot, working in batches if you need to so that the meat doesn’t steam from being overcrowded. Toss in some chopped onions, a few cloves of minced garlic, maybe even some diced bell peppers or tomatoes if you wish. After a quick saute, add your sauce base.marinade and a little bone broth or water so there’s plenty of liquid. Set the Instant Pot for 40 min and prepare the rest of your ingredients for your summer taco feast! We like having thick tortillas, lime wedges, cotija or feta cheese, cilantro, chopped onions, creamy avocado, shredded cabbage, maybe a little summery salsa as well if we have some handy. YUM!
Veal braising cuts are frequently associated with winter, but we hope this post has given you some inspiration for how to use your Instant Pot to get the most out of these economical and flavorful cuts all summer long! We’d love to hear from you if you have a favorite summer Instant Pot dish, or if you decide to try your hand at cooking one of our suggestions. For more inspiration, check out some of our favorite recipes over on the Cook section of our website. Tag us on Instagram with #rossottiranch with your creations or drop us a line!
Happy Summer Cooking!