Mock Tender Steak Chili over Bok Choy

Mock Tender Steak Chili over Bok Choy (Serves 6)

I’ve eaten a lot of tough steak over the past few months because I did not know one cut of meat from another. I kept buying beautiful pieces of meat like bottom round steak and eye round steak, searing it in my grill-pan, only to discover that beef can be beautiful and tough. I chewed my way through all of it, considering the experience part of my learning curve as a cook who learns primarily from experiments, but now I have a pressure cooker. I am going back to all those tough cuts of meat with enthusiasm. The collagen that makes beef tough breaks down under the pressure and increased heat of a pressure cooker. Give me the cheap meat! I can make it tender in minutes! Mock tender steak is one name for “a cone shaped cut next to the top blade in the chuck primal.” It’s tough, cheap, and perfect for pressure cooker chili meat. I stir-fried bok choy in coconut oil to go with my Mock Tender Steak Chili, but you could substitute other vegetables if you like.

Prep and cook time: 45-50 minutes

Ingredient list:

2-2.5 pounds of mock tender steak (or any tough cut of meat like eye round or bottom round)
2 sweet yellow onions
2 heads of bok choy
2 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Fire-roasted Tomatoes with Chipotle Peppers are fabulous)
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
Low sodium chicken or beef broth (Imagine Organic includes no sugar or soy)
Coconut oil
Chili powder
Ground cumin
Unsweetened cocoa
Dried oregano
Garlic powder
Black pepper


Chop onion into bite-sized pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of coconut oil to pressure cooker over medium heat. Add onions and let cook until soft, stirring occasionally.

Pre-heat grill pan over medium heat. Season steaks on both sides with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Sear for three minutes on each side for a total searing time of six minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board with tongs and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add meat to pressure cooker. Stir with a wood spoon or spatula until browned evenly.

Mix spices in a small bowl – 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of allspice, 2 teaspoons of salt. Add spices to the pot and mix everything well. My spice strategy is based upon Melissa Joulwan’s chili recipe, but adjusted for my taste.

Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/2 cup of chicken (or beef) broth. Stir everything together well. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 30 minutes. Turn off heat, allow pressure to come down naturally, remove top.

While chili is cooking, chop bok choy into bite-sized pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of coconut oil to a wok over medium heat. Add bok choy, and salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste. Stir ingredients well, cover, and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water to the wok if vegetables become too dry. When everything is done, arrange a bed of vegetables on a plate, ladle chili over the vegetables, and eat!

Note: A few days after finishing this chili, I made it again with ground turkey. That recipe is coming soon.

I own a Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. I’m glad I did. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three!

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