Pressure Cooker Sauerbraten

Marinate, Schmarinate! Sauerbraten without the wait!


Three to ten days! I ain’t waitin’ no three to ten days! Who has that kind of time and patience? Not me. Yet that is the standard marinating time for authentic sauerbraten. If I tried to make it the authentic way, I would probably have lost interest by the time it’s done marinating. Who knows if I would still be in a sauerbraten mood after all that? Or I might just forget about it, and when I finally discover it, I would wonder who the hell left their science project in the fridge. But the pressure cooker makes it possible to get some authentic flavor in less than a couple hours.


One thing I have noticed about the pressure cooker is that you can infuse a lot of flavor into things without marinating at all. Sure, you would probably notice a difference in a side by side taste comparison, but you can get pretty authentic flavor with the pressure cooker alone.


When making German-style dishes, the true test is when I set it in front of the S.O., who is from Germany, and if she can identify the dish without me giving any hints, then that is what I consider a success. And like the pressure cooker Rouladen before it (but I am guessing the rolled meat surrounding bacon, pickle and mustard could possibly be a giveaway without even tasting it), she took a bite and proclaimed “Mmmmmm… sauerbraten!” So, I know that at least the essence of the flavor was there.


I happened to be feeling lazy this particular day, so while at Trader Joe’s I picked up a container of pre-cut mirepoix, but in the recipe I wrote it the old fashioned way, since one doesn’t always have access to the lazy man’s version.


I served the sauerbraten with red cabbage and homemade Spaetzle. It would also go great with boiled or mashed potatoes and a vegetable such as green beans or roasted Brussels Sprouts.


Slice and serve! As usual, your feedback is appreciated and welcomed.

Pressure Cooker Sauerbraten
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: German
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
The German classic, which usually takes as long as ten days, ready in less than a couple hours
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 pounds bottom round
  • 2 Stalks Celery, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup broth (beef or chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 generous tablespoon pickling spice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 sprigs dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat
  2. Brown the meat on both sides, then remove to plate
  3. Add the celery, carrots and onion to the pressure cooker pot and saute until they start to soften
  4. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so
  5. Add a little salt and pepper
  6. Add the red wine, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce and broth
  7. Put pickling spice and bay leaves in a spice bag or cheesecloth and add to pan
  8. Add raisins, brown sugar, ginger and dill
  9. Place meat back in pan
  10. Place cover on pressure cooker, turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  11. When pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 25 minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let the pressure come down naturally.
  13. When pressure has released, remove the roast to a plate.
  14. Put pot with sauces over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes).
  15. When sauce has cooled enough to taste it, adjust salt and pepper.
  16. Slice sauerbraten and serve topped with sauce.


Pressure Cooker Juicy Lucy Burger

More Fun With Burgers And Cheese!


Once again, a rerun of Man Vs. Food gave me an idea for dinner, a Juicy Lucy burger!

The Juicy Lucy is from the Minneapolis area where there are two rivals who both claim to have invented it (though one of them spells it “Jucy”. I, of course, decided to adapt it to the presssure cooker, but not claim that I invented it.


The traditional cheese is American, but I used some sharp cheddar. I served it up “steak” style, meaning on a plate without a bun, but it would also be great “bun-ified”.


On a bed of butter lettuce with some tomato and sweet pickle, topped with fried eggs and caramelized onions, mmmmmmmmm… Sorry, I just ate lunch but I’m making myself hungry!


Served alongside my latest addiction, duck fat potatoes, it was quite yummers, as the kids say these days. I used a pound of grass-fed beef for two Friday-night sized portions, but the recipe can easily be doubled (or tripled), the only limitation being the size of your pressure cooker (but they could easily be made in a couple batches.


I started by slicing up a large onion and started sauteeing it in a tablespoon of oil over medium heat, since the caramelization can take a bit of time. Once that is under way (if you choose to have caramelized onions with yours), add the meat to a mixing bowl along with a few shakes of Worchestershire Sauce and salt, pepper and garlic powder to your liking. Lightly mix it together, then divide it into four somewhat equal size balls (I just eyeballed it, but sometimes if I’m feeling extra OCD-y, I will weigh it).


Next, flatten each ball into a circle (I find a small plate works great for this). In the center of two of the meat circles place a few small squares of cheese. If you are using slices, fold a slice into quarters and this should be perfect. I used a block of cheese so I just guestimated about an ounce (I can’t believe I said “guesstimated”, what’s next, “threepeat”?) Take the two non-cheesed hunks of meat and slap them on top of the cheesealicious ones and press the edges together well so you don’t end up with leakage while they are cooking.


Put about a half-cup of liquid into the pressure cooker pot. I used beer, but to be honest you probably wouldn’t notice a difference were you to use water (hey, it was Friday night, so beer was close at hand). Put the steamer tray in the pressure cooker, turn the heat to high, place the burgers in the cooker and place the lid on the pressure cooker.


Bring to high pressure, then turn down heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for five minutes. When timer sounds, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally.


Serve on plates with lettuce, tomato, pickles, fried egg and caramelized onions. Oh yeah, if you started cooking those onions at the beginning of all this (you’ve been keeping on eye on them, right?), they should be about perfectly done about now.


Be sure to exercise caution when first biting into the burger, as the molten cheese could give you a serious case of “Pot Pie Syndrome”, so named because no matter how long you think you’ve let a pot pie cool, the first bite is still sure to burn several layers of flesh off the roof of your mouth. So, be careful out there!

I know you could just put cheese on top, but there is something about the hot melted cheese oozing out of the center of the burger that makes it tast so much better.


Pressure Cooker Juicy Lucy Burger
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
A Pressure Cooker adaptation of the Minneapolis favorite
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 slices or 2-3 ounces cheese of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • ½ cup beer or water
  • Sauteed onions (optional)
  • Tomato, sliced (optional)
  • Pickles (optional)
  • Lettuce (optional)
  • Fried Eggs
  • Buns (optional)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, Worcestershire Sauce, and salt and pepper to your liking
  2. Divide beef mixture into four balls
  3. Flatten each ball with a plate
  4. Place approximately 1 oz of cheese in the center of two of the circles
  5. Cover with the other two circles, pressing the edges together well, so the cheese stays inside while it is cooking
  6. Pour ½ cup (or the minimum for your pressure cooker) liquid into pot
  7. Insert steam tray
  8. Place burgers on steam tray and turn heat to high
  9. Cover pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  10. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for five minutes
  11. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally (with minimum amount of liquid, pressure should come down in just a few minutes)
  12. Remove from pressure cooker
  13. Serve with any of the optional ingredients that you like (or add some of your own!)


Pressure Cooker Paprika Chicken

And It’s Paleo, Too!


I don’t like to tout any particular diet on this blog, but with the S.O. trying to stick to the Paleo diet (with no help from yours truly), I have been adding a few Paleo-friendly dishes to my pressure-cooker repertoire.


This isn’t quite chicken paprikash, but I was definitely inspired by it, so I just called it Paprika Chicken, which I assume is what Chicken Paprikash means, so I guess I still called it Chicken Paprikash, but in English. Oh well, so much for being creative. It’s like a chef I used to know who made a special dish called Chicken Poulet, and Poulet being french for chicken, the dish was basically called Chicken Chicken… Sorry, I’m back now.


For frugality’s sake, I have been buying whole chickens lately and cutting them up myself, which I highly recommend. I admit that it can seem a bit daunting at first, but once you work up the courage to try it, it only takes around five minutes and depending on what pieces you normally buy, it can be as much as five bucks a pound cheaper. And (I’m sorry, I’ve gotta say it) that ain’t chicken scratch. There are many YouTube videos around the interwebs demonstrating how to cut a chicken. Oh look, here’s one now!

I used a 4-pound chicken cut in ten pieces, so if you still aren’t ready to cut your own, buy an equivalent amount of pieces, but I would reccommend thighs and legs, they are so much more flavorful than breasts. If you do cut it yourself, it is very important to check the cavity first for any giblets, liver, neck etc. before you start (don’t ask).


I also used a combination of almond and coconut flour as well as coconut oil, but if you’re not concerned about it being Paleo, all-purpose flour and any cooking oil will work.


However, I don’t reccommend substituting anything for the coconut milk. I have been using it a lot lately. It adds the creaminess of dairy cream, but plays better with the pressure cooker than dairy products tend to. And although I didn’t used to be a big coconut fan, I have since warmed to the flavor it adds to dishes (I still don’t like sweetened coconut flakes, I feel like I’m eating suntan lotion).

But the real star of this dish is the paprika, so get the good stuff! I used a mixture of smoked and hot Hungarian paprika, and that turned out to be just the right combination to give a little heat and an almost bbq taste to the bird.


I served it with colcannon (just because I had potatoes and kale on hand). It went really well with the chicken, though.


So, whether you’re on a paleo diet or not, give it a try. Come on, don’t be poulet…

Pressure Cooker Paprika Chicken
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Hungarian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A Paleo version of Chicken Paprikash, substituting coconut milk for the sour cream
  • 1 broiler-fryer chicken (or an equivalent amount of pieces)
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika plus 1 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Mix the two flours and 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and hot paprika in a bowl
  2. Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat
  3. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then brown in coconut oil. You will probably need to do two or three batches.
  4. Remove chicken to a plate
  5. Sauté onion and bell pepper until it starts to soften
  6. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so
  7. Stir in the white wine, chicken broth and coconut milk
  8. When it comes up to a simmer, stir in the tomato paste and then the paprika
  9. Add some salt and pepper
  10. Add the chicken back into the pan
  11. Turn heat to high, put the cover on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.
  12. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for twelve minutes.
  13. When time is up, remove from heat and release pressure naturally.
  14. Remove chicken to plate, put pan with sauce over medium-high heat and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens.
  15. Add chicken back in, simmer for a couple minutes longer, and serve.