I have found that people either love a pressure cooker or they are scared to death of one. I love mine, but don’t use it as often as I should. Now I am still using the first generation pressure cooker. I have this one made by Mirro. I have had it since the beginning of time and have never even had to replace the gasket. I have been investigating getting a newer one, but do I really want to spend $80 on a new one when there is nothing wrong with the old one? There is even a Third Generation pressure cooker out there now. It is electric and has lots of bells and whistles on it, but it is cumbersome. I really prize my cabinet space. I don’t want to clutter it up with an object that is way too expensive, takes up too much space, maybe won’t even get used that much, and since it’s operation system is a computer chip it could go out at any time. And you know what that means, throw out the appliance because it will cost more to repair than it would to by a new one. So I’m sticking with my First Generation pressure cooker.
I always include a lesson on using the pressure cooker in my class. About a fourth of my students have them at home and are used quite frequently. The other three-fourths should know how to use one. It is safe and easy as with any other appliance if it used properly. I love this beef stew recipe and it has been a hit in my class since day one of teaching foods. So if you have a pressure cooker give this a try. It is a quick way to use a cheap cut of meat and make it really tender in about 45 minutes which includes peeling potatoes and carrots. If you don’t have a pressure cooker and want to learn how to use one there is plenty of information out there on the internet. Check out Gourmet’s how-to video on YouTube. Or you can just sign up to take my class and I’ll teach everything that you need to know about using and buying one. And just forget all those horror stories about using a pressure cooker.
Yield 4-5 servings
- 2 Tablespoons Crisco
- 1 lb. Stew Beef cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 4 small potatoes peeled and quartered
- 4 carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch slices
- 1 14 ounce can tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup water
- Make sure that you have read thoroughly the directions for using your pressure cooker.
- Have all the ingredients ready to add when needed or you will lose heat. This will increase your cooking time.
- Heat the cooker on medium high heat or until a drop of water dances in the bottom of the pan.
- Add Crisco and quickly add stew beef.
- Stir with a wooden spoon as it browns.
- Quickly add sliced onion, then carrots, potatoes and last tomatoes. I cut potatoes and carrots into much larger pieces for the pressure cooker because if they are cut too small they will disinegrate to nothing when they are cooked.
- Quickly close the pressure cooker and place on high heat.
- When the regulator starts to jiggle set the timer for about 11 minutes.
- Use the quick cool method by placing the pressure cooker in cold water then running water over the top to reduce the pressure quickly. Do not get water in the safety valve.
- Make a slurry with flour and water and pour into the beef stew.
- Stir to mix and break up tomatoes and potatoes.