It’s hot, hot, hot!

No rain and our temperatures are soaring with the humidity low. I sure don’t want to cook anything and heat up the house but we have severe fire restrictions and no open flames are allowed so outdoor BBQ isn’t an option.

Luckily I have just discovered the Instant Pot. I am late to the party but they are electric pressure cookers. I had borrowed one from a friend to test out and figured it would be great for winter stews, soups and other things I normally cook in a dutch oven for hours. This heat had me looking for other ways to get dinner on the table and I figured I’d give it a try again. This is one that we’ve done several times now. You start making a large batch of meat and then change up the spices and mix for 3 different meals.

Pulled Mutton Shoulder

This is the base for 3 different meals.

3-6 pound boneless shoulder roast. Ideally thawed but it works even if it’s still frozen.
1 cup chicken stock, or water or wine or a mix. You might need up to 2 cups for a larger roast.
1 large onion diced

If the roast is thawed try to remove any large lumps of fat. If it’s frozen it still works but you’ll need to do a bit more careful pulling in the end to remove any lumps of fat that are left.

Brown the roast in the Instant Pot using the Saute button with the lid off. Then add the onions and get them a little bit browned. You might need a bit of oil if the roast is frozen but probably none if it’s thawed.

Add the liquid, put on the lid, set to pressure and cook for 45-50 minutes at high pressure if thawed or 1 1/2 hours if the roast is still frozen.

Once the pressure releases transfer the meat to a cutting board and pull out all the shreds of meat. Save all the juices and meat in the fridge. If fat rises to the surface later you can skim it off. This is your base for the next several meals. It keeps in the refrigerator for several days.

1st Night – Pulled mutton sandwiches – For this you just pile the meat onto warmed rolls. You might want some of the juice for dipping like a french dip sandwich. Have a favorite cheese? Toss on a slice or 2. Add a green salad and perhaps some fresh fruit for dessert. Cherries are in season and we live in a valley that grows lots of fruit so we’ve been eating lots of fresh cherries but almost any fruit is good. Fast and tasty.

2nd Night – Mutton Curry – In a skillet put some of the meat and some of the juices, add some vegetables, right now snow peas are in season and so are baby carrots so that’s what I’ve been using but any vegetables you like will work. Add a couple of tablespoons of the curry powder of your choice and mix up. Cook until the vegetables are done. Serve over rice. We have a rice cooker so that doesn’t heat up the house either.

3rd Night – BBQ Mutton Sloppy Joes – Toast some hamburger buns, mix some of the meat, juices and your favorite BBQ sauce in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove. Cook just long enough to warm everything up. Serve with your favorite sides, salad, coleslaw, beans, potato chips or whatever. Goes great with a good beer.

So there you have it, 3 quick meals and none of them heat up the house or involve outdoor flames or cooking.