How to Cook Beef for the Freezer in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

With the arrival of spring, our days include more outdoor activities than these past few months. It’s a wonderful shift, but if your family is anything like mine, it can make for some crazy evenings trying to get dinner on the table. For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing how to cook different meats for the freezer in the  Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Knowing how to cook meats quickly in the pressure cooker and being able to stockpile your cooked meats in your freezer will allow time to enjoy both a healthy meal and family time on these longer spring and summer days.

How to cook beef for the freezer in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

First up, let’s look at cooking beef in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Here’s a quick video for you with tips for cooking beef in your pressure cooker.

Ideas for using frozen cooked beef

Beef and Noodles

  • BBQ beef for hot sandwiches or Korean beef Haystacks or Tacos.

  • Beef pot pie – Try adapting this Chicken Pot Pie by using beef broth and cream of mushroom or celery soup.  If you prefer, you can make your own white sauce instead of the soup, with this recipe for white sauce.

  • Beef tacos – add taco sauce to the beef to season it.

  • Beef Vegetable Soup

 

Tips for freezing cooked beef

  • You’ll want to have plenty of zip top freezer bags, freezer tape and a sharpie or two on hand. Even though you think you’ll remember what is in each freezer bag, it’s too easy to confuse bags once they’ve been frozen for a bit. Especially since cooked beef can be frozen for 3 to 4 months.
  • Go ahead and label them as shredded beef roast, along with the date you cooked the beef. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did later. If you have a specific recipe in mind for your beef, you’ll find some good ones listed in the next section, then include further prep instructions and sides that you may want to add.
  • Be sure to cool your cooked beef before sealing it in the zip top bags to prevent ice and freezer burn to set in.
  • If you are new to pressure cooking and the instant pot, check out my honest review of two brands I own, the Instant Pot vs. Cuisinart

Which recipe will you start with?

For those of you with an instant pot and the rest of us who now have one at the top of our wish list, it doesn’t take long to see how handy this little powerhouse kitchen appliance can be. So which of these beef recipes will you be fixing for dinner this week? Share with us in the comments and be sure to check back next week for another post on cooking a different meat for the freezer in your instant pot.

And if you don’t own an instant pot, you can use your slow cooker for this too.  Either way, it’s so nice to have the meat cooked and ready to go when you need it.

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Easy, Shredded Taco Beef in the Slow Cooker

Chicken tacos are a staple in my house. It’s an easy go-to when I don’t know what else to make. One week when I told my husband I was going to make them – again – he asked me, “Why don’t you ever make beef tacos?” After that, it became my mission to figure out a great, equally-easy beef taco recipe. This is the winner.

Shreddedbeeftacos1

This is the best kind of slow cooker recipe – you just dump and go. Even better, it only takes three ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Beef Gyros – 75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

I have made several different versions of gyros sandwiches.  I’ve made them with chicken.  I have a meatball version in my ebook.  But this time I wanted to try making a beef version.  And because we’re focusing on the slow cooker this summer, of course I had to use my favorite small appliance to make them.

slow cooker beef gyros

 

Every time I make gyros, I serve them with this simple cucumber/yogurt sauce.  I know there are other toppings, but this one is so easy and I don’t have to look up how to make it.  Easy cooking is how I roll.

The ingredients for these Beef Gyros are simple too.  You probably have everything you need in your pantry now, with the exception of dried mint leaves.

Here’s what you’l need (minus the garlic, which didn’t make it into the photo):   [Read more…]

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Beef Shwarma in the Slow Cooker

beef shwarma in the slow cooker

 

We loved this meal!  First, because it just tastes great.  It’s a bit of a change from the normal fare.  Tender beef cooked with mid-East flavors, stuffed in pocket bread.  I served it with cucumber-yogurt sauce instead of the more traditional tahini sauce.  Either way is delicious.

I also love that it cooks in the crockpot.  And leftovers can easily be reheated for lunch or for those nights when we are eating in shifts due to work and soccer practices.

I adapted the recipe from Chicken Shwarma.  Both are tasty, but I think I have a slight preference for this beef version.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:   [Read more…]

10 Graduation Party Menus Plus Desserts and Snacks!

It’s that time of year when our graduates take the stage with caps and gowns and march off to get their diplomas and take on the world! Graduating is a great milestone and it’s something that should be celebrated.

But planning a graduation party menu can feel a bit overwhelming. Feeding a crowd can be a lot of work, and picking a menu that pleases everyone isn’t always easy. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!


Whether you are looking for a casual feast in the backyard, a pizza party, or a special sit down family dinner after your Grad gets home, these ten menu ideas will inspire you with some fun ideas and make planning your meal easy and fun. There’s plenty of different kinds of meals to fit all kinds of personalities and preferences, and I must say that they all have me drooling.

Don’t forget to read to the bottom for all the dessert and cookie ideas! Instead of adding one idea to each menu, you can pick your guest of honor’s favorite…or make it a dessert bar and serve a few!

Easy and Casual BBQ Feast

Super easy BBQ Peach Pulled Pork in the slow cooker, or any other easy slow cooker BBQ sandwich for that matter!

The pork can be made ahead of time and frozen, then heated in the crockpot.  The baked beans cook in the crockpot and are easy to put together.  The only thing that will have to be done the day of the party is tossing the dressing on the Asian Broccoli Salad.

Pair this with favorite sides like these:

potatosaladdone_thumb

bakedbeansdone_thumb

asian broccoli salad done

Asian Broccoli Salad

Add desserts and probably potato chips and perhaps some cut fruit!

Grill Out

Get out the grill and make it a backyard party!  Serve any of these and your crowd will be raving.

And when you pair these smoky meats with some classic sides, you have the makings of a winning combination!

Plus, you can get more backyard barbecue side dish ideas in this post here!

Nice Family Dinner

If you are thinking a nice sit-down dinner at home after the ceremony is the way to go, these recipes are mouthwatering and so easy!

italian seasoned salt pork tenderloin done

To make this meal easy and special, pair the tenderloin or chicken with:

Enchilada Buffet

Make a buffet of a couple big pans of different kinds of Enchiladas and let everyone serve themselves!

Some of our family favorites include:

white enchiladas

enchiladas with chili-tomato sauce

Serve these with fresh things like:

Need more side dish inspiration? Check out this post about what to serve with Enchiladas!

Build-Your-Own Fajitas or Tacos

Cook up meat in your crock pot or instant pot. Set out the meat, grilled veggies and a plethora of favorite toppings and let everyone build their own fajita or taco!

You could also grill up some chicken breasts in advance or buy a few rotisserie chickens and have them all prepped and ready to go for the big day to make one of these tasty options.

Serve them up with:

Teens Party Menu

Convert this snackadium into a teen’s dream meal! Both of these strombolis were part of a meal I made for super bowl, but with a few little tweaks it’ll be a great “main course” for your graduate and his or her friends.

Keep it simple and add a variety of chips and dips, chilled drinks and cookies and candy.  Anything they can grab, munch and head back out to dance or talk with friends.

Sandwich and Salads Buffet

Make up some easy sandwich trays that your crowd can pick and choose from!

  • Get a bag King’s Hawaiian rolls or other small buns to make a plate of small ham sandwiches and a bag of croissant rolls for Chicken Salad Sandwiches. You can get Virginia Brand ham in the deli section and have it shaved.
  • We love this easy Peach Chutney Chicken salad for sandwiches. So delicious and moist!

Serve these with a plate of assorted cheese slices, mayonnaise and mustard and almost homemade pickle slices.

 

Round out your menu with an easy pasta salad, a veggie tray with dip and some chips.

pastasaladdoneclose.jpg

Pizza Party

Whip up a bunch of homemade pizza and make a party out of it! You can make this easy dough in advance, and even make super easy awesome pizza sauce. Or buy your favorite premade crust and sauce and top the pizzas in any way you like. Here’s a few of our favorite pizza combos.

Serve this with a veggie tray with ranch dip, and a fresh fruit tray and fruit dip and some favorite chilled drinks.  I love root beer floats as a dessert option with pizza!

Spaghetti Feast

Cook up a bunch of pasta and serve it with one of these easy and delicious homemade sauces and meatballs! These meatballs are freezer friendly so you can make up a big batch in advance and they are absolutely delicious!

Round out the menu with garlic toast and an easy salad! Here are a couple more side dish ideas, too.

Brats or Dogs Your Way

Cook up a bunch of dogs and brats on the grill or stove top and let your people go to town topping them however they like.

You can serve this with:

Add a bowl of chilled melon balls or just an easy plate of watermelon slices and cantaloupe chunks.

Snacks

Want to have a few snack foods on hand for easy munching? Here are a couple of our favorite snack mixes and other snack ideas that are really easy to make!

Dessert Ideas

Clearly no celebration is complete without dessert! Or better yet – desserts! Make one or more of these and your graduate will feel like the party is complete.

derby-pie

peanut butter fluff pie done

lemon cheesecake dessert slice

tuxedo bars done 2

blue velvet cupcakes 2

School color cupcakesBlue Velvet Cupcakes, Red Velvet, Green Velvet, Orange Velvet, Purple Velvet

Here’s a handy tip on how to cut cake to feed a crowd!

Cookies

Narrowing down your favorite recipes to include in your menu is sure to be easier than choosing a college major these days. Especially since any of them will leave you at the top of the class when it comes to a graduation party!

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10 Minute French Dip Sandwiches

 

I always feel like life is supposed to slow down after the holidays, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. This is one of my go-to meals for busy days – it’s on the table ten minutes after I walk into the kitchen. You really can’t beat that!

10 Minute French Dip Sandwiches EAHTonight

I recommend about a quarter of a pound of roast beef per adult to make a good, hearty sandwich. And with bubbly cheese and Italian seasoning, it doesn’t feel like you’re eating “just a sandwich” for dinner.

10 Minute French Dip Sandwiches ingr EAHTonight

We usually serve these along with a big salad or veggies and dip.

10 Minute French Dip Sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 lb. roast beef
  • 4 long rolls
  • Mayonnaise
  • Italian seasoning
  • 8 slices provolone cheese
Instructions
  1. Add the beef broth to a large skillet over high heat. When the broth starts to steam, reduce heat to medium and add the roast beef and cover. Let warm for about five minutes, until the roast beef is no longer pink.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven broiler. Slice rolls in half and place them on a baking sheet cut side up. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the top side of the buns and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  3. When the roast beef is warm, remove it from the broth using a slotted spoon or tongs and divide between the rolls. Lay two slices of cheese over the roast beef on each roll.
  4. Broil for 2-3 minutes, until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Serve with extra broth for dipping.

Kate is a home cook living and working in New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

 

10 Minutes French Dip Sandwiches

Easy Crockpot Beef Fajitas

One of the most popular recipes on my site right now is one of the newest – Easy Crockpot Chicken Fajitas by EaH writer, Rachael.

I’ve been wondering about a beef version and some of you have had that thought too.  So I decided to give it a try.  This could not be easier and it’s really delicious too.  The house smelled fantastic the whole time it cooked.

I used beef cut for Milanesa, which I found in Walmart.  It’s top round that’s been cut extra thin.  You could use other cuts of beef too, but I really liked this very thin beef for this dish.  I also used a packet of fajita seasoning instead of taco seasoning.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Slow Cooker Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce

My husband grew up in a traditional Italian family, which meant big pots of meatballs and gravy simmering on the stove every Sunday. Yes, gravy – that’s what Italians in the New Jersey area call red pasta sauce!

I have his grandmother’s recipes, but I rarely make them because I don’t have the time. These quick and easy meatballs simmer all day in the slow cooker instead of the stove, which makes them much better for a busy lifestyle. The smell of them simmering all day in the slow cooker smells almost as good as having a pot of gravy on the stove all day!

This makes very tender meatballs in a thick sauce. They’re perfect over pasta or on long rolls for meatball subs. If you want a thinner sauce, mix in some jarred tomato sauce fifteen minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Meatballs

Serves: 4 servings, double the recipe to have 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ½ large onion, shredded
  • ⅓ c. plain breadcrumbs
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ c. fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ c. parmesan cheese, shredded, plus more for serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, shredded onion and breadcrumbs. Roll ground beef mixture into 1-1 ½ inch balls. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, garlic, basil and parmesan cheese.
  3. Spread ½ cup of the tomato sauce mixture in the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the meatballs on top, and then cover with remaining sauce.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Serve over pasta or on long rolls. Top with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

Kate is a home cook living and working in New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef Teriyaki with Pineapple

This has everything I love in a meal:

It’s simple to fix.  I’m pretty sure even the slowest cook could get this started in about 2.3 minutes.

There are only a few ingredients.

Everyone loved it!

In my book, that makes a nearly perfect weeknight meal.  The only downside (and it isn’t much of a downside) is that you’ll still need to fix a veggie and make the rice right before dinner.  Since those are both easy tasks, it’s no problem.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

African Pulled Beef Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker with Yogurt-Mint Sauce

Part of my family is heading to Disney World in a couple weeks.  Because I’m in the group going, I can’t seem to stay away from the Disney stuff.  That means I’ve been avidly reading the Disney Food Blog.  Disney and food are two of my favorite things.

The other day, I ran across this review of a new sandwich found in Animal Kingdom.  I knew I had to try to create this!  Of course, I have no idea what it tastes like, other than the way it is described in the post.  Maybe I’ll get to sample the real deal while I’m there, so I can compare my version and Disney’s.

However, I have to say that the review was a great inspiration.  My version turned out full of flavor and tender.  My family loved it too.  And the fact that it uses the slow cooker is a bonus.  There’s just enough spice to make it interesting and give the meat a lot of flavor, yet it’s not burn-your-tongue hot.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these sandwiches:  [Read more…]