Monday, February 24, 2014

Pot Roast in a Pressure Cooker

I am a big fan of my pressure cooker. It will take a tough cut of meat and transform it into a delicious meal in no time. OK, it takes about an hour, but that's a lot better than 3-4 hours. And, it's no one-trick pony either. You can use it to speed up cooking of beans, brown rice, and take the stirring out of risotto. Not a bad deal.

For this recipe, brew some extra coffee in the morning. Or, you can use instant coffee. I wouldn't drink the stuff, but it works fine in a recipe! I added just a touch of honey to the original recipe because it balances the bitter notes in the coffee. You don't want it to be sweet - you get a little sweetness from the tomato paste too - so it needs just a smidgen. I also added the can of beans to stretch the meat.

Pot Roast Flavored with Coffee
(serves 6)

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 ½ pounds chuck roast, in one piece
1 cup black coffee
1 3-ounce can of tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup of water
1 15-ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons honey
about 1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Season chuck roast well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add chuck roast and brown on all sides. Remove from cooker and set aside. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the coffee and scrape up any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the cooker. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and water. Stir to dissolve tomato paste. Add back in chuck roast. Lock top into place, bring up to pressure, reduce heat to maintain pressure, and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to drop until you can take the top off. Carefully remove the top - lots of steam! Put cooker back on medium heat, add beans, honey, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Remove meat from the cooker and slice or shred, removing any gristle-y parts. Serve over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes, ladling on plenty of gravy.

Adapted from Miss Vickie's Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes by Vickie Smith, John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

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