Instant Pot Beef Shawarma

Instant Pot Beef Shawarma

A Beef Shawarma sandwich or plate!  Yum!  It’s one of my favorites.  It’s one of the things I always order when I find myself at a Middle Eastern restaurant anywhere in the world.

Shawarma is sort of like the Greek Gyro or Turkish Doner Kebab; it’s a cone of seasoned meat or meats that’s cooked on a vertical spit.  Typically beef, lamb, and chicken are combined to form the large hunk of meat which is slowly grilled as it turns on its axis on the vertical spit.  Pieces of cooked meat are shaved off and stuffed in a pita with sauces, veggies, and pickles or placed on a plate with a serving of salad, hummus, rice, and pita bread.

I believe Shawarma started out as Middle Eastern street food where the sandwiches can be taken to go and eaten on as you go.  But these days you’ll find mixed meats, beef, and chicken shawarma on fast food and restaurant menus throughout the Middle East and beyond.

We love this tasty dish so much that we make it at home since there really aren’t any good Middle Eastern restaurants where we live.  Recently I’ve started making Beef Shawarma in my Instant Pot!  It’s the easiest and fastest way to make it!

We usually make Beef Shawarma sandwiches but we’ve also made Beef Shawarma plates and bowls.  We also use the leftover meat to top hummus, assuming we havhttp://www.savvynana.com/wp-admin/e leftovers that is!

But really the secret to this Beef Shawarma that tastes like you got it from a Middle Eastern restaurant isn’t in the way it’s cooked, the secret’s in the spice mix that’s rubbed on the meat!  Marinating the meat overnight ensures that the meat is infused with the exotic flavors of the spices.  Cooking it in the Instant Pot just makes the cooking process faster, but you can actually make it in the oven or on a grill if you don’t own this handy dandy electric pressure cooker.

Once you make the Beef Shawarma you can make it into a sandwich and top with your favorite toppings such as hummus, tahini sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and I love it with Tzatziki sauce! (I know I’m mixing Arabic and Greek foods, but who cares?  It tastes great!)

To make Instant Pot Beef Shawarma you’ll first need to make some of the Shawarma Spice Mix, so click here for the recipe!  

Then scroll down for the Instant Pot Beef Shawarma recipe!

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Instant Pot Beef Shawarma
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Instant Pot Beef Shawarma
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Ingredients
Beef Shawarma
Sandwich Toppings
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Using a small knife drill 12 holes all over your roast
  2. Stuff a garlic half in each hole
  3. Mix Shawarma Spice Mix with 2 Tbs. ACV and 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  4. Rub this spice mixture all over the roast then place the meat in a covered dish or ziplock bag and let rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. I find that overnight works well.
  5. 30 minutes before cooking set the meat on the counter and let the temperature go down to room temperature
  6. Place remaining olive oil in instant pot and set pot to saute
  7. Sear the meat on all sides for about 5-8 minutes per side
  8. Add beef broth and remaining ACV to the pot
  9. Cover making sure the valve is set to sealing
  10. Set pot on Manual and adjust time to 60 minutes
  11. When pot turns off allow pressure to release naturally
  12. When pot is completely depressurized carefully open the lid and remove the meat
  13. Shred the meat and place in a bowl or baking sheet. At this point you can use the meat to make sandwiches, plates, or bowls. Or if you prefer you can crisp the ends by sprinkling a bit of the broth over the meat and popping the pan in the oven to broil on high for 10 minutes or just until the ends turn darker brown. If you are crisping it keep a close eye on the meat as it will burn quickly in the broiler.
  14. Store any leftovers with a bit of broth to keep it from drying out. Reheat in the microwave or in the over, drizzle some of the broth over the meat before reheating.
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Delicious Chicken Marsala

Delicious Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

I have been in search of the perfect Chicken Marsala for years.  I think one of the best ones I’ve had was at the Trevi Italian Restaurant in the Forum Shops in Las Vegas.  I’ve yet to find something similar and believe me I’ve tried it at many different restaurants.

Since I can’t exactly fly off to Vegas every time I’ve a yen for Chicken Marsala I did the next best thing.  I wend in search of the best Chicken Marsala recipe I could find.  I’ve actually found several that were pretty good, but with a bit of tweaking here and there I was able to come up with this delicious recipe which everyone in my family loves.  In fact it’s good enough to serve company which is what I did when my daughter’s in-laws came to visit.  They loved it too!

First of all a little background on Chicken Marsala.  I know it’s a classic Italian dish offered at many chain Italian restaurants like Magiano’s, Carabba’s, and Olive Garden.  Like I said everyone seems to have their own version of this dish!  But if you go to a local restaurant in Italy and asked for Chicken Marsala I’m pretty sure they won’t know what that is.  I can’t recall seeing this dish at any of the restaurants in Italy, sort of like asking for Fettucine Alfedo, they don’t have that there!

Chicken Marsala is actually an Italian-American dish that is more than likely a variation of the traditional Italian Scaloppina dishes of which there are many versions in Italy.  Chicken Marsala dates back from the 19th. Century and originated with English families who lived in Italy where Marsala wine is produced.

The dish is composed of thin slices of chicken breasts that are lightly floured and sauteed in a pan.  It is then covered with a sauce made from a Marsala wine reduction.  Some recipes call for the addition of mushrooms, herbs, and tomatoes.  Really the variations are many, but I prefer the simplest variation with just mushrooms so that I can savor the lovely Marsala sauce.

When I make it at home I prefer to serve it with a simple garlic mashed potato side dish, but you can also serve it with a side of Poor Man’s pasta; a simple yet tasty pasta dish.

 

Delicious Chicken Marsala
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Delicious Chicken Marsala
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine Flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow dish.
  2. Melt 2 tbs. butter in the olive oil in a frying pan.
  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and dredge thru flour mixture
  4. Fry chicken breasts in oil butter mixture until both sides start to turn brown.
  5. Remove from pan and place in a covered dish or pan.
  6. Add 2 tbs. butter to the remaining oil and saute mushrooms until juices come out and mushrooms are cooked.
  7. Add wine, chicken stock, and garlic to the mushrooms and simmer about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half
  8. Add heavy whipping cream and cornstarch mixture to the pan - it should slightly thicken. If it's too thick add up to 1/2 cup of wine to thin to desired consistency.
  9. Return cooked chicken to pan and spoon sauce over it.
  10. Cook on stove top until chicken is heated thru.
  11. Gently stir in 2 tbs. of butter.
  12. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
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Keto Friendly Chicken & Asparagus Recipe

Keto Friendly Chicken & Asparagus Recipe

chicken & asparagusMy husband recently embarked on a Keto Diet which means I either have to make him something keto friendly or find keto friendly recipes that the whole family will enjoy. Keto friendly meals aren’t really that hard to come up with, basically you just have to limit or replace the carbs.  So that means pastas are out unless you use edemame spaghetti or other flourless pasta substitutes.  But any way one of our favorites turned out to be this Chicken & Asparagus dish that my husband can eat with a small salad and the rest of the family can eat with pasta or even rice.

My grandkids and even my husband were not big asparagus fans, but after tasting this Chicken & Asparagus dish they decided it was pretty good.  One of the best things about this Chicken & Asparagus dish is that it’s super easy to make, it’s really just a stir fry and can be ready in about a half and hour!

Chicken & Asparagus – A Keto Friendly Dish!

2 Servings

Ingredients

4 Pieces Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into chunks

7-8 Stalks Asparagus cut into thirds

2 Tbs. Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1 Tsp. Lemon Pepper

1 Tsp. Rosemary

1/2 Tsp. Thyme

1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt

1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp. Parsley

1/2 Cup Chicken Stock

Directions

Combine dry seasonings in a small bowl (not the garlic)

Heat Olive Oil in a wok or deep frying pan

Saute Garlic until it starts to turn brown

Add chicken and seasoning mixture

Cook until chicken is done

Remove chicken from pan and set aside

Add asparagus to pan and cover with chicken stock

Cook until asparagus is tender

Return chicken to pan and toss with asparagus

Turn heat up and cook until liquid is mostly gone – keep stirring so it won’t burn

Serve hot.

Keto Friendly Chicken & Asparagus Recipe
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Servings
2 People
Servings
2 People
Keto Friendly Chicken & Asparagus Recipe
Print Recipe
Servings
2 People
Servings
2 People
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Combine dry seasonings in a small bowl (not the garlic)
  2. Heat Olive Oil in a wok or deep frying pan
  3. Saute Garlic until it starts to turn brown
  4. Add chicken and seasoning mixture
  5. Cook until chicken is done
  6. Remove chicken from pan and set aside
  7. Add asparagus to pan and cover with chicken stock
  8. Cook until asparagus is tender
  9. Return chicken to pan and toss with asparagus
  10. Turn heat up and cook until liquid is mostly gone Serve hot
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Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Gyros seem to be getting trendy, even the fast food chains are putting them on their menus.  Makes sense I guess since Gyro (pronounced YEE-roh) can be considered fast food meaning you can grab a sandwich and eat it on the go.  Gyro meat can be either beef, pork, chicken, lamb, or a combination of these meats.  The meat is usually ground up and cooked on a vertical spit then thin slices are shaved off as needed to make plates or sandwiches.  Having grown up in New York City gyros have always been a familiar food, I remember seeing the big hunks of meat rotating behind a window at the corner deli or diner.  Anyway trendy or not we love Gyros, specially beef gyros!

We always grab a gyro or two when we’re in Greece and sometimes in NYC, I mean it’s not like we’re going to set up a huge vertical spit and roast meat for hours.  That’s why the  Instant Pot is a great addition to my kitchen!  I can make Beef Gyros anytime I have a yen for them.  The beef gyros made in my Instant Pot tastes pretty authentic and can be made in about half an hour!  Doesn’t beat a trip to Athens or Santorini, but it hits the spot!

The Beef Gyros I make in the Instant Pot are tender, juicy, and tasty; in short perfect!  We slather the pita with homemade Tzatziki, a creamy cucumber yogurt sauce, then fill it with meat and veggies, delicious!

Here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Beef Gyros and Tzatziki Sauce, hope you love it as much as we do!

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The Beef

Ingredients:

2 Lbs. Chuck roast sliced into thin strips about 1/4″ long – cut meat against the grain

1 Large White Onion thinly sliced

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Oregano

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Black Pepper

1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Cup Beef Broth

Shredded Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce

Sliced Tomatoes

Sliced Purple Onion

Sliced Cucumbers

1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

Fresh Pita Bread or Naan

Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the Pita, Lettuce, and Tomato in the Instant Pot

Cover and make sure the valve is in the “Sealing” position

Turn pot on to Manual – high pressure

Set timer to 30 minutes

Once timer goes off allow the pot to sit for 15 minutes.  Then switch the valve to “venting” and allow the pot to depressurize.

Remove cover and stir.

While you’re waiting for the meet to cook make your Tzatziki Sauce and prepare your veggies

Place shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions on a dish and sprikle with Apple Cider Vinegar then set aside until ready to use

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

1 Cup Finely chopped cucumbers – remove seeds before chopping

1 Cup plain whole milk yogurt

2 Tbs Fresh Dill chopped

1 Tsp Garlic finely minced

1/4  Tsp Salt

Directions:

Take the cucumbers and squeeze out the liquid.  Squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

Place cucumber in bowl and add in rest of the ingredients and mix very well.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sandwich assembly:

Cover pita bread with a damp paper towel and warm in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds

Place one pita bread flat on a piece of aluminum foil

Spread bread with Tzatziki Sauce

Place a layer of shredded lettuce over sauce

Remove desired amount of meat from pot and drain liquid then place over lettuce

Add cucumber, onion, and tomato slices on top then add more tzatziki sauce if desired

Roll sandwich and foil, use the foil to hold the sandwich together.  Peel off foil as you eat.

You can also make a plate or bowl instead of a sandwich.  Any left over tzatziki can be used a dip, just place in a dish or bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Dip pita chips in the sauce for a great snack or appetizer!

 

Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
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Instant Pot Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
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Ingredients
Tzatziki Sauce
Servings:
Instructions
Beef
  1. Place all the ingredients except the Pita, Lettuce, and Tomato in the Instant Pot
  2. Cover and make sure the valve is in the "Sealing" position
  3. Turn pot on to Manual - high pressure Set timer to 30 minutes
  4. Once timer goes off allow the pot to sit for 15 minutes. Then switch the valve to "venting" and allow the pot to depressurize.
  5. Remove cover and stir.
  6. While you're waiting for the meet to cook make your Tzatziki Sauce and prepare your veggies
  7. Place shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions on a dish and sprikle with Apple Cider Vinegar then set aside until ready to use
Tzatziki Sauce
  1. Take the cucumbers and squeeze out the liquid.  Squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Place cucumber in bowl and add in rest of the ingredients and mix very well.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Assembly
  1. Cover pita bread with a damp paper towel and warm in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds Place one pita bread flat on a piece of aluminum foil Spread bread with Tzatziki Sauce Place a layer of shredded lettuce over sauce Remove desired amount of meat from pot and drain liquid then place over lettuce Add cucumber, onion, and tomato slices on top then add more tzatziki sauce if desired Roll sandwich and foil, use the foil to hold the sandwich together.  Peel off foil as you eat. 
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Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

corned beef & cabbageHappy St. Patrick’s Day!  Well it will be in a couple of days.  So what’s for dinner on St. Paddy’s Day?  Why Corned Beef & Cabbage of course!

You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day or love Corned Beef & Cabbage.  I suppose you could say that every year on March 17th.  we’re all Irish, if only for a day!  And you don’t have to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy some Corned Beef & Cabbage, you can have it any day of the year.  But you might notice that most markets don’t always stock corned beef year round, and if they do it’s very expensive.  So do what I do and pick up several packages of corned beef when they’re on sale around St. Patrick’s Day.  Just toss them in your freezer they’ll keep for months and thaw them out when you feel like having a bit of Irish during the year!

I used to make my Corned Beef & Cabbage in my crock pot, the corned beef part at least.  Then I’d boil the veggies on the stove just before serving.  Believe me you don’t want to cook your cabbage with the brisket in the crock pot; you’ll end up with mush!

Anyway since I got my handy dandy new Instant Pot last Christmas I’ve been making Corned Beef & Cabbage in there!  Now just like you don’t want mushy veggies when you use a crock pot, you don’t toss in the veggies into the Instant Pot with the brisket; but you don’t need to cook them on the stove either (that’s just one more pot to wash in my opinion!)

Today I’ll tell you how to make Corned Beef & Cabbage in your Instant Pot!  Not only do you use just one pot, you can get the meal done in less than 2 hours!  How easy is that?

Not only is making Corned Beef & Cabbage quicker and easier in the Instant Pot, it comes out better too!  We all agreed that the corned beef comes out more tender without falling apart like it does when cooked in a slow cooker.  The meat also comes out with a very nice appealing texture and it’s very tasty too!  So without further ado here’s my recipe for Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage!

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Ingredients

3-4 Lbs. Corned Beef Brisket – you might need 2 packages

Seasoning Packet included in the Brisket

1 Large Onion – Diced

6 Cloves Garlic – Peeled and cut into halves

1 Bottle of Guinness or Dark Beer

6 Yukon Gold Potatoes – Peeled and cut in half

1 Large Head of Cabbage – Cut into large wedges

2 Cups Baby Carrots

Directions

Remove corned beef brisket or briskets from packages and rinse with cold water

Place in Instant Pot Fat side down

Rub contents of seasoning packet or packets on the corned beef brisket

Add Onions & Garlic to the Instant Pot

Pour in beer being careful not to wash seasonings off the brisket

Seal the lid making sure the steam release valve is set to sealing

Set the Instant Pot on Manual and adjust time to 90 minutes

Once the pot turns off let it release the steam naturally for 10 minutes then carefully turn the valve to release the pressure

Open the lid and remove the corned beef brisket from the pot.  Place it on a serving dish and let rest.  Spoon some of the broth over the brisket to keep it from drying.

Leave the remaining broth in pot and place veggies inside.

Seal the lid making sure the valve is back on sealing.

Set the pot on manual and adjust time to 3 minutes.

When the pot turns off carefully manually release the pressure.

Open lid and place veggies on platter with corned beef.

Store left over corned beef in some of the broth to keep it from drying out.

corned beef & cabbage
Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage
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corned beef & cabbage
Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Remove brisket or briskets from package and rinse with cold water
  2. Place brisket into Instant Pot fat side down
  3. Rub contents of seasoning packet or packets on brisket
  4. Add Onions and Garlic
  5. Carefully pour in Guinness or beer being careful not to wash off seasonings
  6. Secure lid making sure valve is set to sealing position
  7. Turn pot on manual and adjust time to 90 minutes
  8. When pot turns off allow to release steam naturally for 10 minutes
  9. Carefully turn valve to release and let steam out.
  10. Open lid and remove brisket. Place brisket on to serving dish and let rest. Spoon some broth over brisket to keep it from drying out.
  11. Keep remaining broth in pot and place veggies into pot
  12. Seal the lid making sure the valve is back on sealing position
  13. Set pot to manual and adjust time to 3 minutes
  14. When pot turns off carefully release the pressure
  15. Transfer veggies to serving dish and serve
  16. Store leftover brisket with some of the broth to keep it from drying out.
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