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Jan 9, 2005 06:12 AM

Pressure Cooker

  • t

My wife and I (both decent cooks) just purchased a pressure cooker with leftover holiday gift cards.

I think I know the basics, but can anyone give me some tips or cool things to make in this contraption?

Maybe some quick stocks or stews.

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  1. Here’s a recipe for Pierre Franey’s Daube de Boeuf Provençale - braised beef with tomatoes and herbs. The ingredient list is long but it’s easy to do and the effort is well worth it. The joy of using a pressure cooker is being able to make something delicious and tender from a relatively inexpensive, tough meat.

    3 pounds lean chuck steak, cut into 1½-inch cubes
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    ½ pound whole mushrooms, quartered or left whole, depending on the size
    2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
    ½ pound onions, cut into 1-inch cubes or left whole if quite small
    ¼ cup flour
    1 cup dry red wine
    2 cups canned imported tomatoes, left whole if small or cut in half if large
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    24 pitted, stuffed green olives
    1 bay leaf
    ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    Pinch of cayenne pepper
    ½ teaspoon stem saffron (optional)
    ¼ cup finely chopped parsley

    Trim all the visible fat off the meat and sprinkle the cubes with salt and pepper.
    Heat the oil in a pressure cooker almost to the smoking point. Brown the meat on all sides over high heat – in batches if necessary.
    Stir in the garlic, then stir in the onions and mushrooms. Sprinkle the flour over and stir to evenly coat the pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients – except for the chopped parsley – and stir while bringing to a boil. Put the top on the cooker.
    Reduce the heat and cook according to your pressure cooker’s instructions, 20 to 25 minutes. Then uncover per the directions.
    Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve with buttered noodles or steamed potatoes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Deenso

      Cool. I have some lesser meat in the freeze that I can use.

      I also have some really nice short ribs from a local farmer that I want to make for my sons birthday.

      Any ideas on that?

      1. re: Deenso

        Cool. I have some lesser meat in the freeze that I can use.

        I also have some really nice short ribs from a local farmer that I want to make for my sons birthday.

        Any ideas on that?

        1. re: Tugboat

          Here’s a short ribs recipe I haven’t tried. It’s from “Pressure Cookery Perfected,” by Roy Andries De Groot (Summit Books, 1978). Don’t know if this book is still in print – it’s a thick, magazine-size paperback. I just looked on Amazon and found that they have 33 used copies – cheap. There's a wonderful recipe in it for Hoppin' John that's become one of our family favorites. Anyway, I’ll paraphrase the directions. Most important, remember that the meat has to be marinated in the fridge overnight before cooking and you need at least a 6-quart pressure cooker.

          Short Ribs Poached in Aromatic Brandy
          Serves 4

          4 lbs. lean, meaty short ribs, cut up into practical serving pieces
          1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
          1 bay leaf, crumbled
          2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
          2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
          1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
          4 tablespoons good olive oil
          Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
          1 cup “good California brandy” (Note from Deenso: Don’t know why California brandy is specified – maybe lower cost?)
          ½ cup dry white wine
          Salt, to taste
          4 medium carrots, peeled
          4 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered and held in water
          4 medium white turnips, peeled

          To marinate the beef: place the pieces in a big bowl and mingle with the onion, bay leaf, garlic, parsley, thyme, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and pepper to taste. Pour the brandy over all, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, turn the beef pieces over so they’ll be moistened evenly.

          To prepare: take the meat out of the marinade and pat the pieces dry. (Reserve the marinade.) Put your pressure cooker over fairly high heat and pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is got, sauté the meat on all sides until browned. Then pour in the marinade, wine and salt to taste. When it comes to a boil, cover, bring the pressure up to 10 pounds and cook for 30 minutes.

          Turn off the heat, reduce the pressure immediately, remove the top and put in the carrots, potatoes and turnips. Cover and bring the pressure back up to 10 for 15 more minutes.

          Reduce the pressure immediately again. Remove the ribs and vegetables from the cooker and skim excess fat from the surface of the sauce. Serve in heated bowls.

      2. Buy "The Pressure Cooker Cookbook" by Toula Patsalis and every recipe will amaze you and your friends. Very simple and fantastic, definitely the best book on the subject ever written. 12- on

        1 Reply
        1. re: russkar

          I second this: making the osso buca receipe from this tome, tonight. It is by far the best we have ever tasted and each receipe from this cookbook is a winner. Thanks Russ for the rec.

        2. Lorna Sass' "Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure" is another good pressure cooker cookbook.


          1. My favorite uses for my pressure cooker are making risotto and stocks. I've learned a lot about pressure cooking methods and times from Lorna Sass's books on the subject.

            Risotto can be made in less than 12 minutes from start to finish and does not require constant stirring.

            Chicken stock is so easy and fast to make that I hardly ever bother with commercially-made products anymore. In 45 minutes, you have a pot full of incredibly rich stock that can be enjoyed as soup and/or frozen for later use.

            When I am making a giblet broth for turkey gravy, I always cook the giblets in the pressure cooker. Starting with chicken stock, the resulting giblet broth makes an exceptional gravy. And, in 30 minutes, the neck meat is falling off the bones and the gizzards are meltingly tender.

            1. Thanks for all of the tips. I look forward to reading those books.