|Pot Roast with garlic mashed potatoes and corn.|
I have recently discovered the joys of my pressure cooker. I used to be afraid of this device. Too many memories of my mother treating it like it should only have been handled by expert hands. I had many flashbacks of gravy on the kitchen ceiling. Although our pressure cooker only blew up once, that’s all it took to scare me off.
A few years back, during a nostalgic phase, I purchased one. They have changed quite a bit since I had seen my mother’s retro yellow one on the stove. It is quite something. They are quite lovely - with stainless steel, heavy bottoms, strong and heavy seals, and sturdy pressure release valves. It truly is an awesome piece of equipment.
Through trial and error, I have come to realize that I should use my pressure cooker as a tool, rather than a pot to cook an entire meal in. I use it to tenderize tougher cuts of meat in about half the time as simmering in a crock pot or in a Dutch oven.
The problem for me, in using it to cook an entire dish is that you may end up inadvertently obliterating not only the meat, but any vegetables you put inside the pot! I prefer instead to soften up the meat, then add extra flavours or thicken up the sauce into rich gravy, as desired.
Here's the resulting recipe from my Sunday afternoon experiment
1 kg boneless cross rib roast
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup sliced white onion
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 398 mL can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried summer savoury
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Worcerstershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
3 cups of low-sodium stock or water
|A nice sear will bring out the beefy flavour|
In a medium sized skillet, heat the vegetable oil and sear the roast on all sides until brown all over. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the rest of the ingredients in the pressure cooker. Put the roast in. Depending on the size of your pressure cooker, you may need more or less stock. You want it to be at least halfway submerged in the liquid.
Put the lid on the pot, lock in place and bring to a boil. When it starts hissing, turn the heat down to medium-high and continue cooking for 90 minutes. Check it for doneness at this point. Be sure to let it cool down before you open it! (The newer pots won't let you open them until the pressure has subsided - running the pot under cold water helps speed this up).
The meat should be almost falling apart here. If it's not, put it back on the stove, under pressure for another 30 minutes then check again.
When the meat is cooked to your desired doneness, take it out of the cooking liquid and reduce the gravy. To do this quickly, heat an empty saucepan on the stove until scorching hot. Add about 1 cup of the cooking liquid and let it simmer rapidly until reduced to your liking. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Enjoy with some creamy whipped mashed potatoes and vegetables of your choice.