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Saturday, 25 March 2006

Comments

RONW

a pressure cooker was just the pot I was planning to purchase myself next week. Defrost in the micro....toss into the pressure cooker. That's a handy tip about the spices, even a bouquet garnie, infusing too strongly of itself because of the higher pressure in the pressure cooker. If I read that right. Oh BTW....kaboom.

Passionate Eater

WHOO-HOO!! You did it, you really did it! Congratulations Kirk, I am proud of you! See, using the pressure cooker wasn't that bad! Also, given the way that the food turned out (and the way the Boyz are eagerly looking at the hot meaty stew), it seems like it was a clear success!

mizducky

My congrats too on braving your pressure cooker at last. And lamb stew is certainly an excellent dish to do under pressure.

Another way to avoid mushy vegetables is to add them to the cooker towards the end of the cooking period--you do have to depressurize and then re-pressurize the cooker to do the addition, but it can be done. I must admit I'm usually too lazy to be bothered and just put everything in at the beginning, compensating by cutting the vegetables into larger chunks than I would have otherwise. The veggies do get very soft, but if they're big enough they stay reasonably intact rather than dissolving into nothing.

Question about your recipe: you wrote that you put the liquid ingredients in first, and then put in the meat to brown. Does it really brown that way? I always put any liquids in after I've browned or sauteed or sweated whatever needs those steps. Just wondering ... :-)

Rachel

Ohhh I really want a pressure cooker now!! You did not reveal to us if you were getting less afraid of the cooking time bomb!
I looove the picture of the doggies!!! I think it is the cutest one I've seen of them to date. My mum used to do "pure meat" stews and have veggies on the side. Mmmm That sounded like such a great recipe kirk!! I might try that in the slow cooker even!

Joseph E

Kirk,

Nice lookin' stew ya' got there. I did not realize a pressure cooker could mimic a long-simmered broth. As for the vegetables, perhaps you can add some at the beginning to add flavor to the broth and meat, but then strain them out. If you then add fresh ones and cook it all on the stovetop for a few minutes, both the vegetables and meat would be nicely done.

Kirk

Hi RONW - I was impressed at how quickly everything cooked.

Hi PE - The dish did turn out pretty well, so I'll be using it more in the future.

Hi mizducky - The meat was so tender and flavorful, I don't think the usual browning that I will do for most of my stews will make much difference - I just got my pressure cooker cookbook, and in Her Beef Stew recipe Lorna Sass doesn't brown her meat. I'm thinking of a two-step cooking process as well - meat first in pressure cooker along with veggies and other aromatics for flavor, then transferring to a stock pot for vegetables and such.

Hi Rachel - After starting I had no more "Fear of the bomb"

Hi Joseph E - That's exactly what I'm thinking of doing next time. Somebody told me that the pressure cooker was like the microwave of the 60's.....


milgwimper

Kirk,

YAY!! HUGZ I am glad you survived, and I will have to keep this post in mind. :) I am still too afraid! ;P

Kirk

Hi Mills - It was pretty easy, and amazingly fast!

JS

I too was confused by your browning comment. Meat only browns when cooked dry or with a little oil. Cooking in liquid won't give you the caramelized sugars that browning does. If I was making this recipe I'd brown the lamb cubes in a skillet (not non-stick, very important) with a little oil. Once browned, I'd add the lamb to the pressure cooker then deglaze the skillet with the Guinness.

JS

Duh, forgot the important part, after adding the Guinness scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, then add the lot to the pressure cooker. You should get a much richer lamb flavor that way.

Another thing you might want to consider is throwing in a shank. Bones add a lot of flavor.

Kirk

Hi JS - I would usually cook in the manner described, brown and deglaze like my NRM:

http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2005/10/niu_rou_mein.html#comments

- but since this was my first "crack" at using the pressure cooker, I went by what I read in other pressure cooker recipes. And since this was my first try, I didn't want to do too much, nor waste any good materials - thus the costco lamb. Do you use a pressure cooker alot?

JS

Well, no. Your story hit close to home - I too live with a woman who gripes about my infrequently-used kitchen equipment. I've been wanting to get a pressure cooker for a long time now, but I'm not allowed. ;)

However, I do cook a lot, and I know when I'm going to make any meat using a moist cooking method I always brown in a pan first and then deglaze. I actually like the Costco lamb. I will buy the boneless leg, trim it and butcher it into smaller grillable pieces. It's not the best lamb in the world, but it's a cut above what I can get at Vons.

Whole Foods is better, but too spendy. For just a little more than the pound price I can get 3x as much at Costco. For everyday meals, it's totally passable.

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