Cooking Under Pressure
Cooking Under Pressure
January 6, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Winter is all about braising, but truth be told, I don’t have patience for traditional stew recipes. If only less expensive cuts of meat could shine in less than the few hours it takes to create tender, succulent bits of beef studded with carrots, mushrooms and potatoes, if you’re into adding them (I prefer my stew over egg noodles). Well, you can.

In less than 30 minutes, you’ll be ready to dig into a hearty meal simply by using a pressure cooker. I’d been a fan of stovetop pressure cooking for at least a decade. It started during my years as a personal chef. Pressure cooking allowed me to prepare intensive menus in the four hours allotted at each client’s house. Now as a busy, working mom of two, they’re saving my dinnertime. Electric models regulate the pressure automatically, so there’s no fiddling with the burners to get it right. Just program the cooking time and walk away, worry-free until it’s time to set the table.

Beef Stew
Serves 4

1.75 pounds stew meat, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 medium onions (9 ounces), quartered
3 large carrots (11 ounces), sliced ½-inch thick
4 large white button mushrooms (3.5 ounces), quartered
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup (225 ml) water
2 tablespoons tomato paste, double concentrate
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon flour
freshly chopped parsley, to garnish (optional)

  1. Preheat your electric pressure cooker to the “brown” feature. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the pressure cooker until it shimmer. Add half the meat to the pot and cook, turning every few minutes, until each side is nicely browned. Transfer, using a slotted spoon onto a paper-towel lined dish.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, mushrooms and garlic to the pressure cooker, and saute until mushrooms and onions turn slightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the water, tomato paste and molasses together in a small bowl. Return the beef back to the pressure cooker, and sprinkle the flour over the meat and vegetables, stirring well to coat. Pour in the liquid mixture and stir well.
  4. Set the pressure cooker to HIGH and cook for 25 minutes. Serve garnished with chopped parsley over noodles, rice or with a crusty baguette, if desired.

January 18, 2011 10:00 PM
Yum! I love using my Cuisinart Slow Cooker to make similar meals. For example, http://vinointhekitchen.blogspot.com/2011/01/cure-for-cold-winters-daysoup.html :-) - vinointhekitchen
May 2, 2011 11:48 PM
Jennifer, this looks delicious! Would love to see more pressure cooker recipes from you! Ciao, L - Laura P
September 29, 2011 9:25 AM
I just got my Cuisinart pressure Cooker and love that you put this on. My goal is to cook double batches and freeze to have on busy nights. And to try and cook dinners for the whole week for two people in one day. Can't wait to try it out! - Kim G
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