Instant Pot: Umami Sunday Pot Roast

Umami Pot Roast….Delicious!

It’s Sunday Funday, and you can cap off your weekend festivities with a non-traditional roast made in an Instant Pot. My hubs grew up with the traditional British roast of chicken, sausages, veggies, and Yorkshire puddings with a generous pour of Bisto gravy.

Since I love time-saving habits, here’s a bit of back story on Sunday Roast, Umami, and Instant Pot. I’ve also got a gluten-free recipe that will put some yum in your tummy.

British origins of the Sunday Roast

The Brits claim the Sunday Roast and it is a source of national pride and comfort. It was originally a large meal eaten after church, and soon became a tradition for the masses (without the association of religion).

The Sunday Roast typically comes with roast meat (chicken, beef, lamb or pork), roasted potatoes, assortment of vegetables (i.e. brussel sprouts, parsnips, broccoli, peas, carrots), and Yorkshire puddings (New Englanders have their variation called popovers). Gravy is poured over the meal. Since a typical Sunday roast can take hours to prepare particularly with the slow-roasting of meat, there are options to eat out at a nice local pub or carvery back in the motherland.

Tri-tip has gained in popularity

Tri-tip beef, aka triangle roast, is lean and flavorful, and is typified as the 1.5 to 2.5 pounds of beef that rests at the bottom of sirloin. This triangle section of meat is what’s found at the tip of the sirloin. In years past, it was often ground into hamburger or chopped up in cubes to be used for beef stew. Since the 1950s, culinary chefs and butcher shops made tri-tip roast and steak, while the masses generally found it ground in their hamburgers and cubed for their stews.

Fast-forward to present day and the tri-tip roast has gained in popularity for its flavor profile, leanness, and versatility with soaking in various marinades. For more on the history and tips on best use of tri-tip, check out

What is Umami?

A dictionary definition of umami is “a category of taste in food corresponding to the flavor of glutamates.” The word “umami” has Japanese origin and literally means “delicious.” Umami is considered a 5th basic taste, discovered by the Japanese. If you’re wondering what the four other basic tastes are, you’ve probably guessed it! Sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umami’s taste comes from glutamate, which represents a type of amino acid naturally coming from foods like meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. The fermentation in certain foods and sauces can lead to that je ne sais quoi savory, pungent umami flavor profile.

Instant Pot is a must-have staple

The Instant Pot has become a national obsession, and blockbuster bestseller on Amazon. I learned about the Instant Pot during a dinner at a friend’s place and inquired about his recipe for making such delicious BBQ ribs. That got me intrigued and started me on a track of buying an Instant Pot for myself, my mother and my sister. Instant Pot has a huge following and for good reason! If you had been contemplating one, I hope you scored your Amazon Prime Day Deal this past week.

The Instant Pot came from Canadian inventor and CEO Bob Wang. He founded the company in 2009 and sold the first Instant Pot on Amazon in 2010 and from there it has achieved true cult status.

The Instant Pot appeals to every kind of cook out there. I can make my favorite Korean slow-cooked meals, or I can prepare a mashup like this umami tri tip roast. The Instant Pot has become a true culinary melting pot.

Okay, so where’s the Umami beef?

Now that I’ve shared the inspiration behind the Umami Sunday Roast, here’s the basic recipe after several experiments and research. This will set you back one (1) hour. It can serve a party of four. Trivia night anyone?

Finished Umami Pot Roast
One pot meal in an Instant Pot

Brown the tri-tip in the Instant Pot
Pour the 1 tbsp of olive oil to grease the bottom of the pot. Then place the beef inside. Cover both sides of the beef with your favorite seasoning rub, and sprinkle some thyme. I happened to use TJs Seasoning Rub with Coffee & Garlic (ingredients: coffee, roasted garlic, brown sugar, sea salt, onion, paprika, red bell pepper, and Clemendgold rind).

Brown the beef on both sides
Brown the beef under sauté mode.

Brown the beef for several minutes (3-4 minutes on each side), so you get a nice sear. You can do this using the “sauté” mode on the Instant Pot. Cover the pot with a glass lid when sautéing.

Umami seasoning and rub
TJ’s Umami Paste, Red Boat Fish Sauce, Meat Rub, and Bay leaves

Add the Umami flavorings
Once you’ve browned the beef, then add the Red Boat fish sauce and TJ’s Umami paste on  the beef. If you have neither, you can substitute with Worcestershire sauce.

Pour 1/2 cup of red wine and 1/2 cup water (or broth)
Pour 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup water (or stock) over the beef, and toss in your bay leaves. Let’s get ready to pressurize!

Pressure cook for 45-50 minutes
Close the top of the Instant Pot lid and turn dial to sealing position. Then, turn on the Meat or Manual setting and ensure you punch in at least 45 minutes. I opt for 50 minutes to get a more tender, pull-apart consistency. Press the start button.

Prep the steamed rice (optional)
Since rice can take a while to cook, if you plan to have fluffy rice with your meal, this is your next step. I’ve covered how to make perfect steamed rice in an earlier post on keto Korean food.

Prep the vegetables and set aside
Peel and cube the 3 potatoes in large chunks. Then wash and chop up the carrots. If you’re using pre-cut baby carrots, just rinse them and leave out in a bowl. Take the washed bell peppers, and remove the stem and seeds. Then cut the peppers lengthwise.

Instant Pot beeps that it is done
Once 45-50 minutes has gone by, if you have the time, give it another 20 minutes or so while the pressure releases naturally. If you are on a time schedule (like I am), then vent the top, using an oven mitt or Instant Pot silicone mitt.

Toss in the veggies and pressurize for 5 minutes
Once you pop the lid, then place the potatoes, carrots and bell peppers on top / around the beef. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of water (or broth). If you want more liquids in your au jus, you can add another 1/2 cup of water. It’s entirely up to you! Make sure the top is on and in sealing position. Set the timer manually to 5 minutes.

The reason why you put the veggies last in the Instant Pot is to avoid super mushy veggies. 5 minutes to pressurize these veggies is an ideal amount of time.

Instant Pot beeps that it’s finally done!
You have the choice of letting the Instant Pot naturally vent. Or, if you’re impatient like me, then you can manually vent using a silicone mitt.


– 1.5 lb of tri-tip beef
– 3 medium russet potatoes
– 3 large carrots (or use half-bag of cut/peeled baby carrots)
– 2 bell peppers (or use mini-peppers – orange, yellow, red)
– 1 tbsp Red Boat fish sauce
– 1 tbsp TJ’s Umami paste
– (If no fish sauce / umami paste, substitute 2 tbsps of Worcestershire sauce)
– 1/2 cup red wine
– 1 cup water or beef stock
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– Seasoning rub for the tri-tip
– 1 tsp Thyme
– 2 Bay leaves
– black pepper and salt to taste

Umami pot roast
Mix it up for your next Sunday (or anytime) roast.

Serve it up for your party of four
Place the tri-tip roast and veggies in a large platter or dish. You can slice the beef on a cutting board before placing it alongside the veggies on the platter. Pour some of the au jus (from the pot) onto the meat and veggies so everything stays tender and moist.

Serve Umami Pot Roast with a side of fluffy white (or brown) steamed rice. This appeals to the Asian part of me. Or, claim your British roots and accompany with Yorkshires. Enjoy the 5th taste! Mmmm….umami.


4 thoughts on “Instant Pot: Umami Sunday Pot Roast

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