I have another of Lorna Sass’s book, her Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure, and I have used my pressure cooker quite a bit to make recipes out of it…She gives good instructions on using them as well. I particularly love the Thai Chickpea recipe….it’s delicious and quick and my kids even like it 🙂
i use 3 different pressure cookers on a regular basis, i use them more than my microwave 🙂 some people think of them as a saucepan or pot with a tight lid, but really it’s more like a high-speed steamer (like those electric black & decker steamers) so the same recipe rules apply. and, you can use pans inside the cooker (on the supplied trivet that comes with the cooker)for cooking dishes that you don’t want boiled. brown rice is my favorite thing to cook, since it takes only 20 minutes and turns out perfect every time.
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
Shoot! Can’t find the book that came with my cooker. It had a pretty simple beef stew recipe, what I consider the "traditional" technique of flouring and browning the meat first so the flour becomes the thickener.
This one, slightly adapted from Cooking Under Pressure (Lorna Sass, 1989), is good. It is unusual in that chopped potatoes disintegrated in the cooking become the thickener. That and the mix of veggies gives it a real fresh flavor. It may give you ideas of how you could adapt your own recipe. Note that if the meat and veggies were cut smaller, the cooking time would be reduced. Also note the technique of adding tender, quicker-cooking items after pressure cooking.
2 lb. (about 16) medium new potatoes, scrubbed (you may peel, your choice)
2-1/2 lb. beef, trimmed and cut in 1-1/2 inch cubes
3/4 lb. (about 9) white boiler onions, peeled
3 large carrots, peeled and cut in 3-4 chunks
3/4 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut in thirds (if they are large, cut large ends in half or thirds)
1 – 2 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb. mushrooms, quartered (halved if small)
One fourteen oz. can tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
1/2 cup stock or red wine (I like my stew soupier and use both)
1 tbs. Worcestershire
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried mustard
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Finely chop about 1/4 of the potatoes. If they are larger than called for above, cut the rest in large chunks. Place everything on the list through the allspice in the cooker and stir to mix and make sure some liquid has seeped to the bottom. Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Reduse heat just to maintain pressure (just so some steam is spitting out of the valve) and cook for 16 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure drop at least 10 minutes (I have a stainless cooker which takes much longer than aluminum). When the pressure is released, remove lid, tilting it away from you to deflect steam.
Test meat for doneness. If it’s not sufficiently done you may re-pressure for a few more minutes and let the pressure drop naturally again, or just cook without pressure until done.
Add peas and parsley, simmer for a couple of minutes to just cook. Season to taste.
And here’s a pretty basic Risotto with Gruyere and Parmesan. It may not be exactly like the real thing, but it also doesn’t require 35-40 minutes of constant stirring.
2 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup finely minced onion
1-1/2 cup Arborio rice
3-1/2 – 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup grated Gruyere (4 oz.)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Heat butter and oil in cooker. Saute onion until soft. Stir in rice and coat thoroughly with fat. Stir in 3-1/2 cups stock.
Lock lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Adjust heat to maintain pressure and cook for 6 minutes. Reduce pressure with a quick release method (run cold water over cooker in sink if your cooker doesn’t have a specified quick-release mechanism, don’t just pull off the regulator). Remove lid, tilting it away from you.
Taste rice, and if not sufficiently tender (has never happened to me) add a bit more stock and cook, stirring, until done. Add cheeses, salt if you wish, and serve immediately.
And our favorite, Seafood Risotto
1 lb. mussels, scrubbed (Note: we usually buy a 2 lb. bag of the farm-raised mussels which require a lot less scrubbing and de-bearding and omit the shrimp, but that’s our taste)
1 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup water
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound bay scallops (or sea scallops, halved)
One 8 oz. bottle clam juice
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. unsalted butter
1 leek, washed, white and pale green part finely chopped (we use the leaves to make vegetable broth, you may substitute onion for leek)
1/2 tsp. d,22,247227.005,1,29660,22.214.171.124
247231,247227,247227,2006-11-03 18:06:57,RE: Pressure cooker help needed.”
I have some stainless steel low pressure/ waterless pots that do pretty much the same thing, and you go by the same rules. I use them allot! I have a real pressure cooker but it just sits unused now. Thanks for the tips and links yall!
I pretty much agree with Uncle Vic. As clarification, you can use oil/butter just as you would to saute something in preparation for stewing (maybe this varies with manufacturer?), but don’t fill the cooker with oil unless it’s a pressure fryer. The basic issue, I understand, is that frying-temperature oil can melt some gaskets resulting in "ka-boom!" A water-based pressure steam gets hotter than 212 F, but not that hot.
Also, if the cooker’s aluminum, you won’t want to cook high-acid stuff (like tomato sauce) in it, just as in any other aluminum pot. And some manufacturers discourage cooking beans, as occasionally a skin flies into the steam valve and clogs it (I’ve never had a problem with my T-Fal).
Haven’t been using mine a lot lately, but in general it will cook anything you’d normally stew. Generally you want to use LESS liquid than you normally would (although you need some to keep food from burning and some manufacturers specify a minimum amount of water), as there is virtually no loss of steam, and pressure cooking tends to extract more juice from many items (similar in result to a crock pot).
Other rule I learned is that with beef, you always must let the pressure drop naturally (rather than running water over the cooker or using a quick-release valve). For some reason, beef toughens from the rapid change in temperature while other meats do not.
Lorna Sass’s "Cooking Under Pressure" has a pretty good selection of recipes. It includes pressure cooker risotto, which is the only reliable method I know of to make good risotto without constant stirring. Some of the recipes on those websites look interesting. I know the first thing I cooked in mine was a beef stew.
Dont use oil unless it’s designed for it. Think of it as a soup pot with a cover (tight one at that).. I normally pack it with my food (take pork hocks, sauerkraut, potatoes, carrots and onions for example).. I pour enough water to come up to almost the top of the food (3/4 quarter of the way) and let it run for 40 minutes. When I say run, Once it starts rocking I start the timing and turn it down a few notches on the heat.. Enough to keep that rattler on top rattling..
One thing though, it may have a safety lock that wont let ya turn the cover off until it’s cooled. Quick cool way is to run the pot under cold water (you’ll know it’s cooled when ya take the rattler off and no steam flys out).
OHHH.. And one important thing, you may want to replace the gasket if it’s been sitting for 20 years. Nothing expensive, and alot cheaper then having to sit there and scrub your stove.. (Most department stores, and places like Meijers and Walmart should stock them)…
As far back in my kitchen cabinet as it could possibly be, sits a brand new but at least twenty year old pressure cooker. No instruction book, no past history, no clues on how to use it. I searched our archives here but nothing really gave me anything I could use to give it a try. I could use some basic advice such as you must use oil, never use oil, make sure you have at least X amount of liquid in it; that sort of thing. Those who use theirs regularly, how about some easy beginner recipes to try? What is it best at and what should I skip?
Pressure cooker help needed.
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