This is another Instant Pot recipe that is absolutely fabulous, takes very little time to assemble, and makes an appearance at our dinner table about once a month (by request, mind you!). Like all good weeknight hack recipes, it’s based on a recipe that’s based on a recipe that’s based on a recipe … you can read them below, but this is the version that has worked best for me. The quantities and seasonings have been tweaked, and I’ve managed to cut some extra corners (I don’t brown the beef, for example, because it makes absolutely no difference in this particular recipe, texture- or taste-wise). As it is an IP recipe, and no cornstarch can be used in Pressure Cooker mode because of uneven heating, the cornstarch is still added at the very end of the pressure cooking, in Sauté mode.

A really GREAT hack, though, is one I’ve started using for several of my Instant Pot recipes: I purchased an extra Instant Pot insert (the silver pot that you cook in), so I can switch out one potful of food for another without hassle and continue right on cooking. For this dish, while I’m prepping the beef, I throw in my rice. By the time it’s pressurized, cooked, and depressurized (we use the natural release for this one), my main ingredients are ready to go, and I can just pull the first pot, put in the second, and tent a piece of tin foil over the rice to keep it warm until my beef is ready to go. No emptying food into yet another vessel, and washing the pot to cook another dish, cooling the food that I moved from one pot into another, or giving me more to do when I’m trying to just get dinner on the table. It’s an easy hack, but an effective one.


Mongolian Beef and Broccoli with Rice
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  1. 3 lbs flank steak
  2. Salt and pepper to taste
  3. 1 Tb vegetable oil
  4. 5 cloves garlic, minced (see ginger note below)
  5. ¾ cup soy sauce
  6. ½ cup water
  7. 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  8. 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced (this is so easy to do if you just give it a whirl with your garlic in a Food Processor, but it doesn’t take that long to do by hand, either)
  9. ¼ cup water
  10. 3 Tb cornstarch
  11. 5 green onions, roughly chopped
  12. 1 large broccoli crown (my family goes through three, but who’s counting?) – or a big bag of broccoli florets
  1. Combine rice, 3 cups water, and ½ tsp salt in Instant Pot, and seal lid. Push Manual setting, decrease time to 4 minutes, and go prepare the rest of your food. Once it’s done cooking, you’re going to need the pot to depressurize without touching it or opening the release valve for 10 minutes (also known as “natural release”). After those 10 minutes are up, if the valve hasn’t dropped entirely, you can set it to release pressure (keep your hands away from the steam!), and pull the pot right out of the thing to inset your next pot.
  2. While the rice cooks, slice steak into ¼ inch-thick strips and prep garlic and ginger (like I mentioned above, I like to throw them both in my Cuisinart and just mash them up in three seconds, but you can always finely mince them if you prefer).
  3. Once rice is cooked and has depressurized for 10 minutes, open the Instant Pot and remove the rice (tent with tin foil and move it out of the way). Put in your second pot insert, and start Instant Pot on Sauté mode (let it default to “Hot” and “30,” though you won’t use it for more than a couple of minutes). Add the garlic (and ginger, if you pulverized them both together in the Cuisinart), and sauté just until starting to turn light gold (about one minute – don’t let it burn!).
  4. Add ginger (if you haven’t already), soy sauce, ½ cup of water, and brown sugar, and mix quickly.
  5. Add beef, and give it all a good mix. Turn off the Sauté setting (push the “off” button), and cover the pot with the lid (it won’t let you put the lid on if your Sauté setting hasn’t been turned off). Push the Manual button, and let the machine default to High Pressure. Push the arrow to decrease the timer setting to 12 minutes, and make sure the pressure valve on top is set to seal.
  6. While the beef cooks, rinse and chop your broccoli into florets (or open your pre-chopped bag of florets and laugh at the rest of us chumps who bought the whole broccoli). Throw it in a glass or ceramic bowl with a splash of water (2-3 Tb for one pound of broccoli), cover (with saran wrap or with a glass/ceramic plate) and steam quickly in the microwave. One pound will take about 3 minutes on high, but since microwaves vary, check in and add time in increments of 30 seconds if necessary.
  7. When the beef is done cooking, flip the valve open to manually depressurize (again, watch the steam!), and open the lid. Turn off the Manual setting with the Off button, then turn Sauté back on.
  8. Mix your cornstarch into your ¼ cup water, and add to the pot, mixing with a  large spoon or spatula until sauce is thickened (just a minute or two). Sprinkle with green onions to serve.
Emi Ponce de Souza

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