Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

I was pleasantly surprised this Christmas to see that my husband paid attention to our kitchen equipment gift guide – especially when I found a pressure cooker under the tree.

It took me a while to finally give the cooker a try.  Sam (my youngest) and my DH started to wonder if I was afraid to use it . (I was! I've never seen anyone use a pressure cooker except on TV and I kept envisioning a kitchen explosion if I put the lid on wrong.) Amy kept assuring me it was foolproof – and she was right (see her recipes for Midwestern Vegetable-Beef SoupShrimp Curry and Potato Soup.) I am now a convert!

I took the plunge with a pot roast. Every time I cook one in my slow cooker it comes out a little dry. Not so with the pressure cooker. This roast was moist and packed with flavor. The boys loved it and there were hardly any leftovers.

The cooking process was pretty fast and easy –  once I got the hang of turning on the pressure cooker. It shut off on me twice after just a few minutes. I eventually realized that I didn't let the cooker cool off long enough after browning the meat and sautéing the onions.

After solving this problem, it was smooth sailing. I did text Amy at the end of the cooking process to figure out if I really needed to follow the manufacturer's recommendation for using the Natural Pressure Release when cooking roasts. This is when you let the pressure reduce on its own (as opposed to releasing it all at once) while the cooker is on the "keep warm" setting. This method also extends the cooking time.

I ended up doing a quick release after letting the pressure cooker sit for about 20 minutes and I'm glad I did. The roast might have become dry if it continued to cook much longer.

So, dear readers, do you use a pressure cooker? What's your favorite recipe for this kitchen appliance?

Mangia! Mangia!

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

1 3-pound pot roast (bottom round)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup beef broth, low sodium preferred

Use a sharp knife to score (or cut an X into) any large portions of fat on the beef. Season beef on all sides with salt and pepper.
My Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker. 

**Note: If your pressure cooker does not have the brown and sauté functions, simply use a large non-stick skillet to brown the meat and sauté the onions, and then place them into the pressure cooker.

Select browning function on the pressure cooker. Add olive oil to cooking pot. When hot, add meat and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove meat and put it on a plate.

Change setting to sauté, and add onions and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add thyme, basil and oregano and cook for another 5 minutes. Add drained tomatoes and beef broth an cook for another 5 minutes.

Return the meat to the pot and cover with some of the onions and tomatoes. Let cool for 5 or 10 minutes.

Cover with lid and lock into place. Select High Pressure and set timer for 99 minutes. When beep sounds, do a quick pressure release. Be sure to tip lid away from you when you open it, to let the steam escape.

Place the pot roast and most of the tomatoes and onions on a serving platter and keep warm. Skim fat from sauce in pot. Select simmer function and cook for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.

Slice pot roast and serve with sauce.

1 comment:

  1. I was skeptical of the round roast choice, since most pot roasts that are braised use chuck roast. I also had 39 minutes to cook it. It was delicious! Even super-picky Finn ate seconds!
    I think next time I will do 45 minutes cook time. Thanks for the great recipe!