This Instant Pot take on a Jamaican-style Sunday meal was in a recent issue of Milk Street Magazine. It is adapted from “Caribbean Cooking Made Easy” by British-Jamaican reggae musician and chef Levi Roots.
Changes that Milk Street made included swapping in flavor-packed beef chuck and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, bolstered by bright chilies and ginger, savory scallions and earthy thyme. Then tomato paste and soy sauce added umami-rich depth, while brown sugar and warm allspice rounded everything out.
For faster, more even cooking, divide the chuck roast into two pieces by pulling it apart at its natural seams and trimming away excess fat. Tying both pieces with kitchen twine compacts the meat, allowing the roast to fit comfortably in the pot. You can pressure cook the beef quickly or slow cook it for a hands-off, all-day affair—regardless, it will emerge fragrant and fork tender. We did the fast method which took about 2 hours and 45 minutes, all said and done.
It’s difficult at best to find a 5-pound chuck roast, so if you have the same experience, just purchase two 2 1⁄2 pound roasts. Break each one down along the seam, remove large deposits of fat, then tie the two strips back together with kitchen twine.
Our habaneros were on the large size and I was a bit concerned they might be overwhelming. However, when the meal was ready for plating and we tasted the stew, the chili kick was mild and added a perfect depth of flavor.
Probably one of the few people on earth who don’t own an Instant Pot, we used our large pressure cooker which worked just as well. We both agreed, this was one wonderful pot roast, and the tender sweet potato chunks and velvety sauce just enhanced the meal even more! Full of fruity, sweet and spicy notes, this roast is great garnished with scallion greens or cilantro and served with a crisp, green salad.
Jamaican-Style Ginger-Chili Pot Roast with Sweet Potatoes
- 3 Tbsp. neutral oil
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens reserved separately (reserve some greens as a garnish)
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- 2 habanero chilies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 5 lb. boneless beef chuck roast, separated at the seams into 2 pieces, trimmed of fat, the 2 pieces tied with kitchen twine at intervals
- 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select More/High Sauté. Heat the oil until shimmering, then add the sugar, tomato paste, scallion whites, ginger, chilies and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, thyme, allspice and ½ cup water, then nestle in the beef.
- Lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Press Cancel, then press Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 1 hour.
- When pressure cooking is complete, allow the pressure to reduce naturally for 25 minutes, then release the remaining steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
- Transfer the beef to a cutting board and tent with foil.
- Skim off and discard the fat from the cooking liquid. Stir in the sweet potatoes and ¼ teaspoon salt. Select Normal/Medium Sauté and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer the potatoes to a platter.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour with 3 tablespoons water, then whisk the mixture into the cooking liquid. Add the scallion greens and simmer, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Press Cancel to turn off the pot.
- Remove and discard the thyme, then stir in the lime juice. Slice the beef and arrange on the platter, then pour on some sauce. Garnish the platter with some scallion greens or chopped cilantro, and serve the remaining sauce on the side.
Recipe from Milk Street Magazine