You guys. Have you jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet? Well, why not?! We can only assume it's because you haven't heard of its glory yet, so here's the rundown: Basically, it's a pressure cooker. We know that doesn't sound that exciting. But hear us out. It's an electric, programmable pressure cooker, which means that you can set it and forget it and that it naturally releases pressure on its own so you don't have to worry about anything exploding. It has that convenience factor of a crockpot where you can put dinner in and walk away, but with the Instant Pot your food is done much, much faster. Like, really fast. It's the perfect companion for turning a budget cut of meat into a tender, flavorful meal in no time.
Oh. It also has a sauté function, so you can brown things in the same pot before closing it up to cook. It also functions as a rice cooker, yogurt maker, slow cooker, steamer, and has pre-programmed modes for stew, soup, and all kinds of things. It's easy to use, saves a ton of time, and has quickly become our very favorite kitchen appliance. It's so great that we're not entirely convinced there isn't some sort of wizardry involved with this thing. We're always looking for things that make life a little easier, and this does just that. To wit: Meatloaf and mashed potatoes cooked all in the same pot. In 25 minutes. (Okay, the steam release will take a little bit of extra time. But it's not like you have to be standing around the kitchen for that.) The meatloaf comes out tender and moist, but not soggy, and the potatoes are comforting and creamy, and you have one dish to clean. It's delicious. It's comforting. It's quick. It's filling. It's kind of amazing.
You start by chopping up a few pounds of potatoes and placing them in the bottom of the Instant Pot insert. You can certainly peel yours, but we like a rustic skin-on mash here and there, especially for a weeknight dinner like this. After all, there's no wrong way to eat a mashed potato. You pour some stock or broth over the potatoes and set the wire rack that comes with the pot on top of the potatoes.
You then mix up your meatloaf ingredients by hand. (The recipe here is a classic, basic meatloaf. And it's a good one.) You pop the meatloaf into a disposable loaf pan, or you can fashion one yourself out of aluminum foil, and you place that on top of the wire rack.
You then close the lid, and the Instant Pot will sing you a little song to let you know that it's closed, check to make sure the vent is sealed, and set the pot to "Manual" mode on high pressure for 25 minutes. It will take a few minutes to come up to pressure, but it will be done before you know it.
You can then turn the vent to "venting" to quickly release the pressure, or leave it alone to let it release naturally on its own. Then, you lift the meatloaf out by the wire rack and brush the top with ketchup...
And mash the now-tender potatoes in the pot before stirring in some half-and-half and sour cream and salt and pepper...
And then dinner is served. (You can also heat up something green to go with it, of course.) It's hard to imagine an easier way to get meatloaf and mashed potatoes on the table, and it doesn't hurt that the results are really outstanding. Suffice to say, we're pretty smitten with the Instant Pot. We promise it's a bandwagon you want to jump on.