Whole “Roasted” Pressure Cooker Cauliflower

 An Easy Pressure Cooker Cauliflower RecipeCAULIFLOWER_SAUCE5 While leafing through a recent issue of Bon Appetit, I was intrigued by a picture and recipe for Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese, which apparently is a specialty of Domenica restaurant in New Orleans. CAULIFLOWER_INGREDIENTS Generally I am not a big fan of cauliflower, in fact when I order something in a restaurant that comes with "steamed vegetables", if one of those steamed vegetables is cauliflower, it always survives the meal, while the broccoli, carrots and various other vegetables disappear around it. Up until now, the only cauliflower dish that I usually eat is the Cauliflower Mash that I make at home, and that's only because I add various spices and dairy products so that it masks the cauliflower flavor. CAULIFLOWER_IN_PRESSURECOOKER But something about that photo of a majestic whole cauliflower, in all its charred goodness,  with a knife protruding from the top sent one thought running through my head: Challenge Accepted! The challenge in this case being how to take this recipe, which requires 15-20 minutes of boiling (after the liquid comes to a boil) and 35-40 minutes of roasting, and making it into a quick, easy pressure cooker dish. CAULIFLOWER_DRYING2 The method I came up with for getting the char on the cauliflower may not appeal to everyone, since some of you may not own a blowtorch, and some who do may not be interested in igniting it in your kitchen. But hey, I'm an urban apartment dweller and have nowhere to operate a grill, so I need to satisfy my inherent "quest for fire" in other ways. CAULIFLOWER_TORCH4 For those of you not wanting to buy or use a blowtorch, you can put it in the broiler, the only problem being that unless you have an unusually huge broiler a whole head of cauliflower will not fit in it. In this case, you can cut the cauliflower in smaller pieces and place in the broiler for 3-4 minutes. Sure, it will take away from the presentation a bit, but you are going to cut the cauliflower into portions eventually, so it won't make that much difference. For a good size head of Cauliflower (I'm guessing mine was a couple pounds), ten minutes turned out to be a good time. If you have a larger or smaller head, you will need to adjust the time in either direction. If it is larger, I would still try ten minutes, then test with a knife inserted into the center. If it feels too firm in the center, put back under pressure for another minute or so. CAULIFLOWER_BROWNED2 I also simplified the whipped goat cheese from the original recipe, and came up with more of a "goat cheese sauce". So again I rely on dairy products to make cauliflower tasty, but this is tasty indeed! I am including separate recipes for the cauliflower and goat cheese sauce below. The entire thing takes less than 30 minutes. I can't vouch for the similarity to the original since I have never had it, but I can say that this is pretty tasty, even if you aren't a big cauliflower fan.
Whole "Roasted" Pressure Cooker Cauliflower
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Inspired by a recipe for Whole Roasted Cauliflower that I saw in a magazine, this quick and tasty pressure cooker version saves a lot of time and labor.
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower (around 2-2.5 pounds)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the cauliflower in the pressure cooker pot
  2. Add all other ingredients
  3. Turn burner to high and cover pressure cooker
  4. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for ten minutes
  5. While cauliflower is cooking, prepare the goat cheese sauce (recipe below)
  6. When time is up, release pressure immediately using cold water method
  7. Place whole cauliflower on a metal baking pan
  8. If you are using the blow torch (if using the broiler, skip to next step), turn it on and go over surface of the cauliflower with the flame until the surface is browned
  9. If using the broiler, cut cauliflower into pieces, place on baking pan or broiler pan and place in broiler. Check every couple minutes until nicely browned, turning if necessary to evenly brown.
  10. Serve topped with goat cheese sauce, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt

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Goat Cheese Sauce For Whole "Roasted" Cauliflower
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author:
A creamy topping to be used for the Pressure Cooker Whole "Roasted" Cauliflower
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 4 ounces ricotta cheese
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and white pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in bowl and blend with immersion blender (can also use blender or food processor). Spoon onto cauliflower portions

 

Pressure Cooker German Potato Salad

A Super Quick Pressure Cooker Version of Classic German Potato Salad

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Classic? Maybe. Traditional? I’m not so sure.

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The first time I set this dish in front of the S.O., who is from Germany, she asked me what it was. I replied, “Warm Potato Salad, like in Germany!”

“That’s news to me. I’ve never had warm potato salad in my life, and I used to have potato salad all the time in Germany!” was her reply.

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Of course, it’s entirely possible that it is a regional thing, and she happens to be from the “Cold Potato Salad” area of Germany.

But, authentic or not, one thing for sure is that this is pretty dang tasty.

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And also, a disclaimer: just because this is mayo-free, it is by no means “low-cal” or “healthy.” It is full of bacon-y goodness. If you are in the market for something a little lighter and healthier, give the “Italian Potato Salad” a try at hippressurecooking.com. It looks delicious as well.

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The most time-consuming thing about this recipe is cooking the bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, everything else just takes a few minutes. If you plan ahead (I never can, but maybe you can), cook some extra bacon for breakfast one day, and save it (along with some of the grease), and this will go even quicker.

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I used small red potatoes, and cut them into around 1/2″-3/4″ chunks. And try to get extra thick bacon, it works best with this dish.

After opening, adjust the salt and pepper to taste, making sure it has cooled enough to taste first. Or should I say: “Making thure it ith cool enough to tathte firtht (the tongue bandages come off next week). You may not need much salt depending on what bacon you use.

This goes great with sausage and sauerkraut (of course), but also could be a good alternative to fries, served with a corned beef sandwich or hot dog.

I usually serve this just a little warm, not “hot”, but I have also had it cold and it is good that way, too.

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So give it a try for the true taste of the “Old Country” (if by “Old Country” you mean somewhere in Minnesota).

Pressure Cooker German Potato Salad
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A speedy pressure cooker preparation of the classic warm German Potato Salad
Ingredients
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon (about ½ lb.)
  • 2 lb. red potatoes, cut in ½"-3/4" chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 splash worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard (grainy or Dijon both work fine)
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf (italian) parsley
Instructions
  1. Put pressure cooker pot over medium high heat
  2. Roughly chop the raw bacon (you can leave it whole if you have a large pot, but I do it this way because it fits better)
  3. Put bacon in pot and fry until crisp (around 15 min. total)
  4. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate
  5. In the bacon fat, saute onions until translucent (do not brown)
  6. Chop the crisp bacon fine and add back to the pot
  7. Add potatoes to the pot
  8. Add in vinegar, broth, worcestershire sauce, mustard, celery seed, sugar and a little salt and pepper
  9. Turn heat to high, cover pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  10. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 5 minutes
  11. When timer sounds, remove from heat and let sit for two minutes then do a cold water release
  12. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
  13. Stir in the parsley, then let it cool (it can be served warm, or put in the refrigerator to be served later (I served it cold).

 

Pressure Cooker Paprika Chicken

And It’s Paleo, Too!

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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

Pressure Cooker Paprika Chicken
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Hungarian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A Paleo version of Chicken Paprikash, substituting coconut milk for the sour cream
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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.

 

Pressure Cooker Rouladen Update

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Well, it has taken longer than I had originally planned, but I finally was able to update the photos in my original post, Pressure Cooker Rouladen.

One thing I have discovered is that Rouladen is an inherently unphotogenic dish, but seeing as how my original rouladen photo looked like a soggy stogie languishing in an ashtray, i think these photos are an improvement. Add to that the fact that with the original post I had to reformat my memory card in the middle of trying to prepare the dish, thereby erasing the photos that I had already taken so I didn’t have any photos of the various steps.

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I have to admit, though, that I had a better gravy in the previous batch. With this batch, I just used the pan sauce without getting too fancy, but most of the time I like to make a richer gravy.

I usually serve this with red cabbage and potatoes, but having just been to the local farmer’s market, I served it with sweet potatoes and sugar snap peas which I already had on hand.

Hopefully these additional photos will better help demonstrate the steps of the recipe.

Pressure Cooker Currywurst

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Having bought some good German bratwurst on the weekend, I decided that I wanted to do something else with it besides the usual sausage & sauerkraut (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but something in the pressure cooker of course!

Then I recalled that one time last year I got dinner from the Currywurst Truck (which as far as I can tell is no longer around). Currywurst (Wikipedia definition here) is one of the most popular snack foods in Germany, and is basically sliced sausage with a tomato-based curry sauce on top, and quite tasty. Like many things, there are many variations as far as sausage used and the sauce.

The usual accompaniment is French fries, but I served it with duck fat fried potatoes (to which I am currently addicted).

The sausage is first steamed, then grilled or fried. I did both steps in the pressure cooker, first steaming a couple hours before dinner and refrigerating, and then slicing, browning and cooking in the sauce just before serving.

It’s one of those things that wouldn’t be too difficult without a pressure cooker, but it saves a little time and I always have my pressure cooker on the stove and ready to go, so for me it is more convenient to use the pressure cooker.

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If you can find good fresh German style sausage, that’s what works the best, but you can use your favorite sausage. I just wouldn’t use anything too spicy because it might conflict with the sauce. Also, if you can only find the precooked brats you can skip the steaming step.

It’s usually served with toothpicks for spearing the sausage, or a tiny wooden or plastic fork, but I served it with toothpicks just to be semi-authentic (because I had no tiny forks), but of course it can be eaten with a normal fork (I won’t tell!).

So, if you are looking for a different way to prepare sausage besides the usual sandwiches and sauerkraut, give it a try. Es schmeckt so gut!

Pressure Cooker Currywurst
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: German
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A pressure cooker version of the famous German street food.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or fat (I used duck fat because I had some)
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds fresh bratwurst
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 cups strained tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
Instructions
  1. Steam the sausage: add ½ to 1 cup water to the pressure cooker, insert the steamer basket and steam sausage for 7 minutes at high pressure. Release pressure naturally. Remove sausage to plate and drain water from pressure cooker pot. (The sausage can be steamed in advance, then refrigerated until ready to use.)
  2. Slice the sausage on a bias
  3. Heat oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  4. Saute the sausage on both sides until lightly browned
  5. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan, being sure to scrape up any brown bits that are stuck to the pan
  6. Add the strained tomatoes and stir
  7. Stir in the rest of the ingredients
  8. Turn heat to high and cover the pressure cooker
  9. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 5 minutes
  10. When time is up, let pressure come down naturally
  11. Put on plate and spoon more sauce over the sausage

 

Pressure Cooker “Game Day” Chili

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OK, I’ll admit it right off the bat. I never understood the attraction of “The Game”. I don’t watch “The Game”, and just stand there with a blank expression on my face when someone asks me what I thought of “The Game”. And now I am led to believe that this coming weekend is not only “The Game”, but “The BIG Game”. Which means a week of people at work asking me who I “like” in “The BIG Game”, and once again I will offer my patented blank expression.

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Although I may not understand the attraction of “The BIG Game”, I most definitely understand the attraction of drinking beer and eating tasty snacks. I have noticed over the past few days an increase in the number of views for my “Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork“, which leads me to believe that due to the Great Chicken Wing Drought of ’13, people are looking for alternatives to serve during “TBG”.

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I have long delayed posting a chilli recipe, mainly because I am constantly tweaking my recipe, trying to come up with the perfect bowl of chili. Secondly, because many people have a very specific definition of what constitutes chili, and anything that I post is not going to fit into some people’s definition of proper chili.

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But, “What the hey?”, I thought. If people are looking for chicken wing alternatives, at least I can broaden their choices a little bit, so I decided to call this particular version of my chili recipe “Game Day” Chili. Why did I call it “Game Day” chili? Why, just to jump on the bandwagon, of course!

I made this with no beans, for no other reason than that is how I like it. If you prefer beans, stir in a can or two of your favorite beans after pressure cooking and let it simmer for a few minutes. It won’t send me on a wild rampage up the nearest clock tower screaming “CHILI DOESN’T HAVE BEANS, DAMMIT!!!” To each his own, I say. I’m sure some will already give me flack for using ground meat instead of cubes, not to mention the inclusion of tomatoes. This recipe is a bit of an amalgamation of various styles, for instance, I borrowed the allspice from Cincinnati chili, but now it is something I put in all my chili, helping to create what I consider my perfect chili.

For the beef, I bought some bottom round and ground it myself, which is something I’ve been doing lately, and if you already own a stand mixer, I highly recommend that you spring for the meat grinder attachment. I got one for my Bosch, and if you have a Kitchen Aid, they make one also. I think it makes a big difference compared to just buying a package of pre-ground “hamburger”, but if you don’t have a grinder, don’t worry, it will taste fine. I went many years without one.

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This recipe makes 4-6 servings. If you have a big gang coming over, you can easily double (as long as your pressure cooker is large enough).

So, give this a try for “The BIG Game”, and as always your comments are welcomed and encouraged. Enjoy!

Pressure Cooker "Game Day" Chili
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Just a little spicy, this chili should satisfy many tastes
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1-1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
  • 1 onion, diced (plus more diced onion for topping)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 12 oz. can beer
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 package chopped tomatoes (26 oz.) (I use Pomi in the box, but an equivalent size can will work fine)
  • 1-2 tablespoon chili powder (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tablespoon hot sauce (I like Tabasco or Frank's)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder mixed with 4 tablespoons water (you can substitute flour or masa for thickening)
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, lightly brown the sausage and beef together in 1 tablespoon oil
  2. While meat is browning, melt the other tablespoon of oil in the pressure cooker and sauté the onion and bell pepper until they start to soften
  3. add in garlic and saute for another minute or so
  4. Add the beer, broth and tomatoes
  5. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, allspice, oregano, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, hot sauce and lime juice
  6. bring to a simmer
  7. add the brown sugar and bay leaf
  8. add the browned meat to the pressure cooker
  9. sprinkle with salt and pepper
  10. turn heat to high, put cover on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  11. when high pressure it reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 15 minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally
  13. Remove lid and put pressure cooker on low heat to simmer and stir in the arrowroot mixture and simmer for a few minutes, stirring until mixture thickens a bit
  14. When cool enough, taste and adjust salt and pepper
  15. Serve in bowls with toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onions and oyster crackers

 

Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew

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With the weather we have been having lately, you never know how the heck you are supposed to shop. You buy your groceries when it is 45 degrees, then two days later when it is pushing 80, you don’t know what to make with the stuff you bought to prepare lots of heavy, wintry dishes. Such was my dilemma recently with some lamb that I had earmarked for a hearty winter meal.

Once again, TV to the rescue! I was watching an episode of My Little Paris Kitchen, and Rachel Khoo, who hosts the show (and manages to cook some good stuff in a kitchen even smaller than mine) made a Spring Lamb Stew, which seemed to be just right for the warmer weather. I used her basic recipe as a jumping off point and made a few of my own changes. I would have used a cheaper cut of lamb if my store had it, but I ended up using some bone-in lamb steaks. I threw the bones in with everything else and removed them before serving.

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This is a much lighter stew than the heavy, gravy-rich stews that you would serve to warm your chilled bones in the cold winter weather. It is somewhere between a soup and a stew. Served in bowls, it is substantial enough to serve as a meal, but not so much as to induce hibernation. In fact, I think this would be appropriate for all but the hottest summer days, which is why I called it Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew.

It was a Friday evening so I just wanted to make something quick and easy. I used packaged pre-peeled carrots and probably would have used pre-cleaned beans as well if the store would have had them. It needs to cook at pressure for only twelve minutes, but the time it takes to bring to a simmer and the natural pressure release brings the cooking time to about 30 minutes. It is very tasty topped with Dijon mustard.

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For the pearl onions, I used this method on StartCooking.com to peel them so as not to drive myself crazy peeling many tiny onions.

You could serve this with a salad on warmer days or some good bread on the cooler days, and you’re all set.

I’d love to hear your feedback!

Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American/French
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A French-inspired rustic lamb stew
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds lamb, cut into one inch chunks. If your lamb has bones, save for the pot and remove later
  • 2 tablesppons oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can beer (12 oz.), lager works well for this recipe
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 generous tablespoon Herbes de Provence (I use Penzey's, but it is a pretty standard blend, so use your favorite)
  • 1 package (around 20-25) pearl onions
  • 4 stalks celery, cut in chunks
  • ½ pound baby carrots
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed
  • ½ pound tiny potatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. In the pressure cooker, Brown the lamb in the oil on all sides
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it starts to soften
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for a minute or so
  4. Add beer, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, Herbes de Provence and thyme
  5. Bring to a simmer
  6. Add the celery, pearl onions, carrots, green beans and pototatoes
  7. Season with a little salt and pepper
  8. Put the top on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  9. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 12 minutes
  10. When timer sounds, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally
  11. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
  12. Remove any bones and thyme stems
  13. Serve in bowls and top with Dijon mustard

 

 

Pressure Cooker Rouladen

Roll Your Own… Beef, That Is! 

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Rouladen (Wikipedia definition here) is probably my favorite thing I have made in the pressure cooker thus far. Having never had rouladen before I made it myself, I wasn’t sure about the authenticity of it, but the S.O., who was born in Germany, gave it her seal of approval by calling it “really good rouladen”. In fact, I felt a sense of relief when she walked in from work and saw the finished product on the plate and said “You made rouladen!” Just the fact that it was recognizable as what I intended it to be was a good sign.

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In doing rouladen research on the interwebs, I noticed that rouladen is one of those things that if you look at 100 different recipes, every one of them will be different, and every one of them will claim that it is the only true and properly authentic way to do it, much like chili in the U.S.

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Rejecting the many  versions on the internet, once again I was inspired by a TV show, this time it was Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, in an episode where host Guy Fieri visited the Chicago Brauhaus. This was what inspired me to try my hand at rouladen anyway, so I just developed the recipe based on what I saw on the show. When I saw the cook at the restaurant rolling up beef stuffed with bacon, mustard, pickle and onion I thought to myself “Wow! It’s nature’s perfect food!” and I knew right then and there that I had to give it a try. Of course, the version on the show was not prepared using the pressure cooker, but like most things I make, I had to adapt it to my favorite cooking method.

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Unfortunately, I lost most of the step-by-step photos that I took  during the preparation process when I had to perform an emergency reformatting of my memory card on my camera in the middle of everything, so I just ended up with a few photos of the end of the whole thing.

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Next time I prepare this, I will again take photos and add them into this post.

 

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Probably the most difficult part of preparing rouladen is finding the best cut of meat. I have tried it with top round and I have tried it with flank steak, and I have found that the shape of the flank steak lends itself well to this dish. One tricky part is to slice the flank steak through the center so that you end up with two thin flanks steaks. If you have a good butcher that can do this for you, then take advantage of it.

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Pressure Cooker Beef Rouladen (Rindsrouladen)

1-1/2-2 pounds flank steak

Salt

Pepper

Hungarian Paprika (I like to use the hot variety, but the regular will work as well)

Whole grain mustard (I’ve used Dijon in a pinch, but I prefer the grainy type)

4 strips thick cut bacon

1 medium onion, sliced as thinly as possible

4 pickle spears ( the pickles found in the refrigerated section of your market work the best, because they maintain their crispness better when cooking).

For the gravy:

1 medium onion, chopped

2 Stalks celery, sliced

2 small carrots, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup red wine

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

 2 bay leaves

1-1/2 cup beef broth

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons flour

Cut the flank steak into 4 pieces. First cut in half, then cut each of these pieces through the center, so that you are left with 4 thin pieces of steak

Pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until steak is of uniform thickness, ideally around 1/4 inch thick

Sprinkle each piece of steak liberally with salt, pepper and paprika

Starting at the end closest to you, spread some of the mustard, going about half way to the far end (going all the way to the other end will be a lot messier when you roll it. I found this out from experience).

Next, it’s time to baconize these puppies. I like to cut each strip of bacon in half, then lay side by side on the steak, so that there is more bacon per bite.

Put a layer of the thinly sliced onions over this, again going about half way to the other end.

Place a pickle spear ( I usually take a large pickle and cut into four spears, but this time I could only find smaller-sized pickles, so I just cut them in half) near the edge of the steak closest to you.

Now, for the rolling. I always use kitchen twine, but you can use toothpicks or skewers, I just find the twine to be easier. I usually cut eight pieces of twine before I start rolling, to make it easier.

Starting at the pickle end, roll the meat over the filling jelly roll style.

Secure each one with two pieces of twine (unless you are using toothpicks or skewers, then use those, but I guess I didn’t really have to tell you that.)

Using a little vegetable oil over medium-high heat in the pressure cooker pan, brown the rouladen on all sides, then remove to a plate.

Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot. Flank steak is pretty lean, so you probably won’t need to drain any of the oil. Saute for a few minutes until the onions become translucent and the carrots and celery just start to soften. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so.

Add the red wine to deglaze the pan being sure to scrape up any yummy bits from the bottom.

Add the worcestershire and dump in the broth

Add the bay leaves

Add salt and pepper to taste

When mixture starts to simmer, add the rouladen back to the pan.

Cover the pressure cooker and let come to full pressure, then reduce heat to maintain pressure and set timer for 15 minutes.

Pour a glass of the red wine that you were using for the gravy and relax for 15 minutes.

When the timer sounds, take pan off heat and let pressure release naturally.

While waiting for the pressure to come down, mix two tablespoons of flour with enough water to form a thin paste.

When pressure is down, again remove the rouladen to a plate.

Bring juices to a simmer over medium heat. I have tried this several ways, you can strain the vegetables from the juices, you can use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables into the juices, or you can just leave the vegetables as is, which is my favorite way to do it.

Stir in the flour mixture and simmer for five minutes or so, until the mixture thickens.

Put the rouladen on plates, I usually count two of them as one serving, albeit a quite generous serving, but with enough side dishes, this could easily serve four.

Cut the twine with kitchen shears and remove. Top the meat rolls with gravy, and enjoy! I top with some chopped parsley if I happen to have some on hand.

I usually serve this with red cabbage and steamed buttered potatoes.

Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

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