500 Easy Recipes for Every Machine, both Stovetop and Electric.
My pressure cooker has been packed in storage for the last 9 months. I had not really been using it, so when we moved I didn’t think I would need it in our temporary home’s kitchen. Then I had the opportunity to review this new book – The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book – and I wished we hadn’t buried it under so many boxes.
The pressure cooker is a quick way to bring traditional food to your family. Welcome to one pot meals. There was a time when every American household had a stovetop pressure cooker and more and more people are picking up this forgotten cooking method today. Now electric models often outsell the stovetop ones.
How does a pressure cooker work?
Liquids are incorporated into each recipe and they come to a boil under a locked lid. The steam is trapped and pressure rises. As the pressure rises, so does the temperature. In fact, it alters the boiling point of the liquids and fats in the pot, cooking the food in less time.
Is it safe?
Well of course it is! Just like a pressure canner, they make them fool proof. There is really no way you can make that thing blow up. If the lid is not on properly, the pressure will not build. If the pressure builds, the built-in safety measures keep you safe. Go on – don’t be a scaredy-cat! Make tasty meals.
3 Things I like about The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book:
- They are “fake free” meals. These recipes use only real ingredients that will bring the most flavor to your meal. No cream of chicken soup and bottled sauces. You’ll learn how to make your own natural sauces like grandma used to make.
- I found a wide variety in the recipes. From main dishes to one pot meals, to desserts; it’s all there. Some people have complained that there aren’t a lot of pretty pictures showing the process or finished product. That doesn’t bother me one bit. This book is 503 pages long. Can you imagine how heavy it would be if every recipe had a picture too? For me, recipes are more important than pictures.
- This book has easy to follow directions. Each recipe has separate suggestions for cooking on a stovetop or electric cooker.
Last night we had chuck roast cooked in the pressure cooker, which is used to make the less popular meat very tender. Boy did it work wonders on that chuck roast!
Yerba Mate-Braised Chuck Roast with Balsamic Vinegar
Effort: a little Pressure: High Time under pressure: 75 minutes
Release: Natural Serves: 4
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
½ teaspoon cumin seed or powder
One 2-pound boneless beef chuck roast
1 cup very strong Yerba Mate (substitute coffee, or another herbal tea blend)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (substitute any citrus rind or juice)
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in an electric pressure cooker turned to the browning mode. Add the onions and cumin and cook; stirring often until the onions begin to brown (about 5 minutes).
- Push the onions to the side and brown the roast on both sides (about 4 minutes each side) Add the remaining ingredients and stir slightly.
- Lock the lid onto the pot and set the machine to cook at high pressure for 75 minutes.
- After 75 minutes, turn off the machine or unplug it. Allow the pressure to release naturally, about 25 minutes. Remove the lid and enjoy your meal.
This recipe called for taking the liquid and making a sauce from the skimming. I didn’t find there was enough liquid to bother with a sauce. We served this with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.
Recipe Note from the book: You may not have known it, but a chuck roast is a whole reason you got a pressure cooker. This cut makes a moist and flavorful pot roast. I completely agree!
Breakfast Recipes of note: Apple Ham and Grits Casserole, Breakfast Risotto with Strawberries & Cream, Bacony Bread Pudding, Tortilla Breakfast Casserole, Cinnamon Honey Applesauce.
Soup Recipes of note: Cheese Sausage Soup, Turkey and Rice Soup with Lemon and Sage, Summer Vegetable Soup, Winter Vegetable Soup, Carrot Ginger Soup, Chunky Potato and Celery Soup.
Meat Recipes of note: Italian-Style Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole, Classic Meatloaf with BBQ Gravy, Meatball, Cabbage & Rice Casserole, Pork Ribs with Mediterranean Spices, Red-wine Braised Pork Shoulder Chops, Pork Loin with Cranberries, Ginger & Honey.
Poultry Recipes of note: Chicken Thighs with Green Chiles, Cumin & Ginger, Chicken Thighs with Olives and Lemons, Salsa-Braised Chicken Leg Quarters, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Drumsticks, Cajun Wings, Cheesy Turkey Pasta & Veggie Casserole.
Vegetables, Beans & Grains Recipes. Not only will you learn how to steam individual vegetables in the most efficient way, you will also find recipes for every kind of grain and bean imaginable. Try these: One-Pot Bow-Tie Pasta with Mushrooms and Cream, Lentil Sloppy Joes, White Bean & Pumpkin Stew, Spicy Chickpea Stew, Brown Rice & Lentils with Caramelized Onions, Kamut & Kale.
I first learned about the wonders of a pressure cooker from Chef Brad on his Fusion Grains Cooking Show. That man can make any kind of grain in his electric pot.
Dessert Recipes of note: White Chocolate Lemon Pudding, Pumpkin Pie Pudding, New York Style Cheesecake (and about 15 variations), Spiced Apples.
Who is this book for?
If you are trying to save money in your grocery budget by utilizing less popular meat, you’ll find many ways to add flavor and tenderness to your recipes.
If you are trying to add more beans and grains to your diet and cook them efficiently, there are 61 pages of recipes to try.
If you have a pressure cooker and have run out of recipe ideas, you most certainly will find one here. The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book: 500 Easy Recipes for Every Machine, Both Stovetop and Electric is a fantastic addition to my cookbook library and one I will certainly turn to again and again.
What about you, do you regularly use a pressure cooker for easy meals? Share your ideas in the comment section below. There are affiliate links in this post and I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I can honestly say it has earned its place on my cookbook shelf. Thanks for supporting PreparednessMama in this way.
Ideas from Amazon: