Pressure Cooker Steak Picado

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With Steak Picado

Steak Picado6

Living in Southern California, there is no shortage of Mexican food, and I have eaten many different dishes going by the moniker “Steak Picado”. Sometimes it is a skillet dish that seems more akin to fajitas or a stir-fry. But I was inspired for this recipe by  “Guisados“, a local place here in the Los Angeles area that was featured on one of the food shows I watch, or “my stories” as I call them. I don’t claim that this recipe is anything like theirs, but merely inspired by their idea of serving homestyle braises, which would simmer on the stove the entire afternoon. But through the magic of the pressure cooker, you can have a tasty, falling apart flank steak in a tangy sauce in about an hour. Perfect over rice, on warm tortillas, or a little of both!

Steak Picado Ingredients

I prefer to use Serrano chiles, which are a little hotter than Jalapeños, but I am led to believe that the Serrano chiles may not be as easy to find in some areas, whereas Jalapeños can be found just about everywhere, so feel free to use the Jalapeños. I leave the seeds in when I chop them, but you can remove the seeds if you prefer a milder flavor.

Flank Steak Pan

This recipe is for approximately 2-2.5 pounds of flank steak. The flank steak that I used was unusually large at about 2-1/4 pounds, but you may need to use two smaller ones.

Start out by browning the steak on both sides in a couple tablespoons of oil, then remove it to a plate.

Flank Steak Browning

Sauté some chopped onions, green peppers and the Serrano or Jalapeño chiles until the onions just start to take on a little brown color, then add in the garlic and continue for another minute or so.

Steak Picado Sauteed Veggies

Add in 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of chili powder of your choice (I like to use Penzey’s Chili 9000), 2 teaspoons of cumin and 1 teaspoon oregano.

Stir for a minute or so until the spices become fragrant.

Pour in a can of roasted tomatoes with green chiles (such as Ro-Tel, but I used Trader Joe’s brand).

Steak Picado Sauce

Pour in 1/2 cup beer and 1/2 cup water, then add 1 teaspoon of beef flavored Better Than Bouillon. You can add 1/2 cup beef stock in place of the water and Better Than Bouillon if you prefer.

Top it off with a couple of bay leaves, then put the top on the pressure cooker.

Steak Picado Pre Cook

Bring to high pressure, adjusting heat once high pressure is reached to maintain.

Set time for 40 minutes. I know this may sound like a long time, but it should give you that good, falling apart texture that requires hours of braising without the pressure cooker.

Steak Picado Finished

When time is up, remove the meat to a plate. Put the sauce back on medium-high heat and let it cook down a bit (around 7-8 minutes, until the meat is ready to add back in).

Let the meat rest for five minutes, then cut into approximately 1-inch chunks. Some of the meat will probably fall apart in shreds. That’s fine. This is a rustic recipe, as they say when things don’t quite work out as planned.

Steak Picado Chopped

Stir the meat back into the sauce, then remove from the heat.

Serve with rice and warm tortillas.

Steak Picado1


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Pressure Cooker Steak Picado
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 large portions
Mexican-style braised flank steak with a medium spice level. Excellent for tacos.
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2-2.5 pounds flank steak (1 large or two small steaks)
  • 1 onion, halved then sliced
  • 2 green peppers, cut in strips
  • 2-3 serrano or jalapeño chiles, chopped (remove seeds if you want it to be milder)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 can roasted tomatoes with green chiles
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup beer
  • 1 teaspoon beef flavored Better Than Bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Heat the oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  2. Brown steak on both sides (depending on pressure cooker size, you may need to cut steak in 2 or 3 pieces)
  3. Remove meat to a plate
  4. Sauté the onions, green peppers and chiles until onions start to show a bit of brown
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  6. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and oregano
  7. Stir for about 30 seconds until spices become fragrant
  8. Pour in the roasted tomatoes with chiles
  9. Add the water and beer
  10. Stir everything together
  11. Stir in the teaspoon of Beef Better Than Bouillon (or substitute ½ cup beef stock for the water and Better Than Bouillon)
  12. Add the meat back to the pot
  13. Toss the bay leaves on top
  14. Lock cover on the pressure cooker
  15. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  16. When high pressure is reached, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure
  17. Set time for 40 minutes
  18. When time is up let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  19. Remove meat to a plate and let it rest for five minutes
  20. While meat is resting, put sauce back on medium high heat and bring to a simmer
  21. Let simmer for five minutes
  22. After meat has rested for five minutes, cut into approximately one-inch chunks. Some of the meat might end up shredded when you try to cut in cubes, that is fine.
  23. Stir the cut meat back into the sauce and remove from heat
  24. Serve with rice, beans and warm tortillas


Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup? He likes it, Hey Mikey! 


When I was a youngster, probably my least favorite thing to eat was split pea soup. I absolutely hated it. Just the thought of it brought visions of the Exorcist. No, the movie wasn’t even out yet. I mean the actual exorcist. I wasn’t a very well-behaved kid so my parents brought in an exorcist once a month to give me a “tune up”. Not really, I kid, I kid!

But seriously, I couldn’t stand split pea soup, but I had never eaten a homemade version. It was always from a can. On a good day, it might be from the familiar red and white can, which was only slightly less disgusting. But most of the time it was the dreaded “store brand”, words that send shivers down my spine.

Split Pea Ingredients

Then one day recently, while watching one of the many cooking shows that I watch, or “my stories” as I refer to them, I saw a recipe for split pea soup, and thought “hmmmm, that looks pretty good”, (I think it was this recipe) so I decided to set aside my former opinion and give it a shot.

My opinion has completely changed. I am sure that if you were to set a bowl of that grayish mush from a can in front of me, I would still hate it, but now I know that, as with most things, there are good versions and bad versions. And I like to believe that this is a good version.

Remember that when cooking any grain or legume in the pressure cooker, never fill it over 1/2 full.

Veggies Chopped

Start by chopping up some onion, celery, carrots, garlic and ham. I only had two celery stalks in the ingredients picture, but I decided to add another at the last minute.

Heat up some oil and sauté the onion, celery carrot and ham for about five minutes or so, until the onion starts to become translucent.

Ham and Veggies

Add in the garlic and continue for another minute or so.

Now toss in the Herbes De Provence, cayenne and a little salt and pepper and cook for another 30 seconds or so.

Add the peas.

Peas Veggies Ham

Pour in the Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, chicken stock and water.

Toss the Bay Leaves in, cover the pressure cooker and turn the heat to high.

When high pressure is reached, lower the heat to maintain high pressure and set the timer for fifteen minutes.

Soup Finished

When time is up. let the pressure come down on its own.

When pressure is released, open pressure cooker very carefully.

Give it a stir to break up the peas.

Serve it with toppings of your choice. A little cubed ham, some Feta cheese. And I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought onion rings would go great with this. So the next day, I served the leftovers with onion rings on the side and topped each bowl with an onion ring. And it turned out my hunch was right, they went great together!

Split Pea Soup Bowl

As an added bonus, this is a perfect way to use up that leftover Easter ham!

Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5-6 servings
A great way to use that leftover Easter ham, this flavorful and filling soup is perfect for cooler weather.
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 16 ounces split peas, rinsed
  • 1 pound ham, cut into cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons Herbes De Provence
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker over medium heat
  2. Sauté onions, carrots, celery and ham until onions start to become translucent, about five minutes
  3. Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  4. Add Herbes De Provence, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper
  5. Sauté for another 30 seconds or so
  6. Add the peas
  7. Add in the Worcestershire Sauce, liquid smoke, chicken stock and water
  8. Toss in the bay leaves
  9. Cover pressure cooker, turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  10. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for fifteen minutes
  11. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure release naturally
  12. Remove lid carefully
  13. Stir to break up peas, soup should thicken
  14. Serve in bowls with toppings of your choice. I like it with a little Feta or Cotija cheese, or with an onion ring on top


Pressure Cooker Rogan Josh

This Rogan Josh Is tasty, and that’s no joshing! 

Rogan Josh5

Since Easter is right around the corner, I thought it was time to add another lamb recipe to my repertoire.

One of the more popular dishes in Kashmiri cuisine, Rogan Josh Wikipedia description here is one of those things that no matter how you do it, everyone is going to tell you that you are doing it wrong and that it is “not authentic”, but don’t let that deter you. I’m not claiming that this is authentic, just good.

Rogan Josh Ingredients

My version probably leans a little more towards the version you would get at a British Curry House, but since I have never been to a British Curry House, I cannot verify that either. Much like Chili and Gumbo, there is the Tomato/No Tomato debate here as well. And yes, I do use tomatoes. A lot of recipes use yogurt, but I use some coconut milk, mainly because it works so well in the pressure cooker. I do top it with a little yogurt, though. You can skip this if you would like a paleo version.

Lamb Cubed

I found some good lamb at my local butcher and they even offered to cut it up for me, so I couldn’t very well turn that down. Either leg or shoulder would work well for this. The shoulder was a few bucks per pound cheaper, so shoulder it is!

I know two onions looks like a lot, but they will totally break down and you will end up with a tasty, oniony sauce.

Onions Garlic

Just as a lot of recipes start out, this one starts with browning the meat. I just brown it on one side. That is enough to add the caramelized flavor without taking too much time.

After the meat is browned and set aside on a plate, toss the onions in the pot, adding a little more oil if the pot looks dry. Let them cook until they start to darken just a bit, about ten minutes. Toss the garlic and ginger paste (or freshly grated ginger) in and sauté another minute or so.

Now its time to add the paprika, cayenne, cardamom, cumin, coriander, Chinese 5 spice, garam masala, fennel and turmeric. Sauté for just about 30 seconds, stirring constantly so nothing burns.


Pour in the tomatoes, coconut milk and water.

Now, return the meat to the pan and stir everything together.

Onions and Spices

Toss in a couple bay leaves, put the top on the pot, bring to high pressure and set time for 15 minutes.

Let the pressure come down for about ten minutes, then do a quick release.

Rogan Josh Cooked

If it looks really liquid, turn heat to medium and let it boil for about ten minutes, stirring frequently, until it thickens a little.

Serve it on plates or bowls with rice and naan or pita bread.

Rogan Josh on Plate1

I like to top it with a little yogurt, but you can leave it off if you want a paleo version.


Pressure Cooker Rogan Josh
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • 2-1/2 pounds lamb, cut into 1-1/2" to 2" cubes
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste (or freshly grated ginger)
  • 2 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon fennel
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Heat oil over medium heat
  2. Working in batches, brown lamb on one side only and remove to plate
  3. Sauté onion until it starts to brown just a bit (about 10 minutes)
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté another minute
  5. Pour in the paprika, cayenne, cardamom, cumin, coriander, Chinese 5 spice, garam masala, turmeric and fennel
  6. Saute for about 30 seconds
  7. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and water
  8. Add the lamb back in and stir everything together
  9. Add the bay leaves
  10. Put the lid on the pressure cooker, turn heat to high (for electric pressure cooker, set to high pressure) and set timer for 15 minutes
  11. When timer goes off, remove from heat and do a quick release
  12. If it looks really liquid, put over medium-high heat (for electric, use sauté or brown function on medium) and let boil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to thicken.
  13. Serve with rice on plates or bowls.
  14. Top with yogurt (optional)


Pressure Cooker Lamb Recipes

Hippity Hoppity Easter’s On Its Way! Pressure Cooker Lamb Recipes!

I’ve noticed an increase in searches for Lamb recipes the closer it gets to Easter, so once again I’ve used the bad sitcom idea of the “clip show”, to bring you a “very special” Easter episode of Pressure Cooker Convert.

So here are links to a couple of pressure cooker lamb recipes perfect for your Easter meal. And if all goes well, I will have a brand new lamb recipe this weekend.

1. Pressure Cooker Leg Of Lamb


A delicious leg of lamb with yogurt mint sauce. A tasty holiday dinner.

2. Three Season Lamb Stew


A slightly lighter stew, great for the warmer spring weather.

And don’t forget to stop by this weekend for a brand new lamb recipe!

Sneak Peek – Pressure Cooker Steak & Stout Pie

Coming This Weekend – A St. Patrick’s Day Treat!


Because I am always getting my special holiday recipes posted at the very last minute, I thought I needed to try to get ahead of the game this time, so this weekend I will  post my St. Patrick’s Day recipe in plenty of time!

It was originally going to have a different name (that starts with a “G”), but since my local store did not have single cans of “G”, I had to use “M”, which worked out fine but necessitated a name change.

So check back this weekend for the recipe!

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

A Fat Tuesday Treat! Gumbo_Finished

When I realized that Fat Tuesday was almost upon us, I knew I needed to come up with something to honor the day. After all, it is the last day before lent, which means I will not be able to indulge in this type of thing again until Easter. …BAZINGA! I had you going there for a minute, didn’t I? But even if I don’t stop eating meat for a month doesn’t mean I can’t have an overindulgent meal to celebrate. The recipe may seem a little involved, but fortunately both the roux and the chicken can be prepared ahead of time, so by the time you are ready to put the gumbo together, the entire thing can be done in less than an hour.



I admit that I was pretty stressed out about the Roux. That mysterious substance upon which good gumbo is built. Yes, I read all the the horror stories and heard all the warnings. “You can’t make roux, you dang yankee!”, “You’re gonna burn it hundreds of times before you finally get it to turn out right!”, “you can only make a roux if your mama made roux, and her mama before her, and her mama before her, and her mama before her and the ape that she evolved from made roux.” And “you cannot make gumbo unless you are in possession of The One Ring To Roux Them All. But I managed to put that out of my mind, steeled my nerves and did what any red-blooded American boy would do… I cheated! Well, only a little. Rather than stand over a hot stove, stirring for up to 90 minutes until my arm is ready to fall off, I used this method (just the roux part, not the entire recipe) popularized by Alton Brown, and made it mostly in the oven. I made the roux a couple days in advance. It keeps fine in the fridge for a few days. And making it in advance gives you plenty of time to do it over on the off chance that something does go awry. Since this was a special recipe for Fat Tuesday, I went all out and used lard, but you can use vegetable oil if you like. When making a dark roux, it is best not to use butter, as the milk solids can burn and ruin the roux. If using oil, you just need to combine the oil and flour and pop it in the oven. Since I was using lard, I started it on the stovetop over medium-low heat until the lard was melted, then I put it in the oven.

The Chicken


I like to cook the chicken and make the stock at the same time. Starting with a 3.5-4 lb. chicken, throw it in the pressure cooker along with some carrots, celery and onion plus a little salt. Add about six cups of water. You can add a little more water if there is room in your pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure for 25 minutes, do a quick release and carefully remove the chicken to a plate. It may come apart some, but you are going to pull the meat off anyway so that is fine. After the chicken is removed, strain the liquid and save for the gumbo. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones.


The Gumbo


If you made the roux and chicken ahead of time, take them out of the fridge and hour or so before starting the gumbo. Now that the stressful stuff is out of the way, you can relax and get going on your gumbo. Chop up a couple green peppers, a large onion and some celery (known as “the trinity” in Louisiana cooking) and some garlic. Chopped_Veg

Slice a package of Andouille sausage into approximately 1/2″ slices. In a tablespoon or so of fat, in the pressure cooker pot, brown the sausage, then remove to a plate. Sauté the onion, green pepper and celery in the sausage oil until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for a couple minutes more. Saussage_Sliced Add in a couple tablespoons of the roux.

At this point, the roux is just for flavoring so don’t add too much. If it is too thick, you will have a problem getting it to reach pressure. Mix with vegetables and cook for a couple minutes. Add the sausage and all the chicken to the vegetable mixture. Add in the spices and stir for a couple minutes. Add four cups of the stock (more or less depending on how liquid it looks. You don’t want it to be too watery. In my 6 quart electric pressure cooker, 4 cups was perfect. Add 1 tablespoon better than bouillon chicken flavor (this is optional, I like the extra flavor it ads, but it would be fine without). Toss in the bay leaves Turn heat to high, place top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.


When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure (if using an electric pressure cooker, it will do this step for you). Set timer for seven minutes. When the time is up, do a quick release. Lower heat to medium to maintain low boil. Add in four or five tablespoons of the roux (depending on how thick you like it, I used five) while stirring to help avoid lumps. Serve it over rice with some crusty bread, or the traditional potato salad. Or both! It is Fat Tuesday, after all. I know, I am using Fat Tuesday as an excuse to break all the rules, but it’s as good an excuse as any. Some people even put the potato salad right into the gumbo. I may be a bit “northern” to try that.

Gumbo_4 I know I have said this before, but it bears repeating: Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez! 

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Cajun
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
A tasty, spicy gumbo made in the pressure cooker
For The Roux
  • 8 oz. by weight fat (I used lard. Vegetable oil will also work.)
  • 8 oz. by weight flour
For The Chicken
  • 1 3.5-4 lb. Chicken
  • 2 carrots, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in 2 in pieces
  • ½ large onion, cut into 2 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups water
For The Gumbo
  • 7 Tablespoons Roux
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced about ¼-inch thick
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed with a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon cajun or creole seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt to start (then to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper to start (then to taste)
  • File Gumbo for serving
  • 4 cups chicken stock (made with the chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Flavor (optional)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Meat from a 3.5-4 pound chicken, removed from bones
  • 1 package (12-16 oz.) andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch slices
For The Roux
(Adapted from Alton Brown)
This is best when made a couple days in advance
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Over medium-high heat, in an iron skillet or dutch oven, put fat in pan
  3. When fat is liquid, add flour and stir until combined
  4. Put into oven
  5. Stir every 20 minutes until desired color is reached (I left it in oven for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes until it reached a dark brown color). Dark brown gives it a very smoky taste. If you prefer a bit milder, just cook until approximately the color of peanut butter
  6. Keep in oven until slightly lighter than desired color, it will continue darken some after removing from oven
  7. If saving for later, let it cool then put in a container and refrigerate
For The Chicken
  1. Put chicken, carrot, celery, onion and salt in pressure cooker
  2. Turn heat to high and cover pressure cooker
  3. When high pressure is reached, turn heat down to maintain high pressure
  4. Set timer for 25 minutes
  5. When time is up, do a quick release of the pressure
  6. Carefully remove chicken to plate
  7. The chicken may not still be in one piece, so carefully remove all pieces to the plate
  8. Strain the stock in another pot
  9. If doing this ahead of time, wait until cool enough, then put in container and refrigerate until needed
  10. When cool enough, remove chicken from bones, discarding skin
  11. Put into a container and put in refrigerator until needed
For The Gumbo
  1. In 1 tablespoon fat or oil, brown sausage over medium-high heat
  2. Remove sausage to plate
  3. In sausage fat, sauté "the trinity" (Onion, Celery, Green Pepper)
  4. When it starts to soften, add in the garlic
  5. Sauté for another couple minutes
  6. Add two tablespoons roux and stir
  7. Add the cajun/creole seasoning, thyme, cayenne pepper
  8. Add the sausage back in
  9. Add the chicken to the pot
  10. Add 4 cups broth
  11. Add salt and pepper
  12. Add 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken (Optional)
  13. Toss in Bay Leaves
  14. Place cover on pressure cooker and turn heat to high
  15. Bring to high pressure
  16. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure (electric pressure cookers will do this automatically)
  17. Set time for seven minutes
  18. When time is up, do a quick release
  19. Adjust heat to maintain a low boil
  20. Add in 4-5 tablespoons roux depending on thickness desired, stirring constantly
  21. Cook for an additional 5 minutes
  22. Sprinkle with File Gumbo when serving
  23. Serve in bowls, with rice or potato salad and warm bread