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What’s for dinner? Put this in your pressure cooker tomorrow

Amber Graefen

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Oct 3rd, 2017

Have you heard about the new, improved pressure cookers and how much time and effort they can save you?

Even those who think “not another gadget” can find themselves wowed by the versatility of this cooking dynamo. It’s the only gadget that pivots from a pressure cooker to a slow cooker to a rice cooker to a steamer to a yogurt maker to a sauté pan to a warming pot. Amazing. No need to store seven gadgets when just one will do.

And it’s safe. Unlike your mother’s pressure cooker, these babies have multiple safety mechanisms so you’re much less likely to burn yourself.

And it’s fast. You’ll whip up hearty meals in a fraction of time — up to six times faster — while using up to 70 percent less electrical energy. We love anything fast and energy efficient.

Have one? Well, here are two great recipes to help you utilize some of the pressure cooker’s culinary wizardry. One is for meat lovers and the other for vegetarians/vegans.

Garlic and Mushroom Pot Roast
(serves 4)

2 1/2 pounds chuck roast
1 tablespoon Signature Select olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
8 white mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon Signature Kitchen soy sauce
1 pinch of dried rosemary
1 pinch of thyme
1 bay leaf
4 potatoes, quartered
4 carrots, quartered
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water

Set pressure cooker to medium-high heat. While heating, use paper towels to pat dry the roast, then season it with salt and pepper.

Once the pressure cooker is hot and the indicator light illuminates, brown the roast for appearance and juiciness. First, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread to coat entire bottom of pressure cooker. Then, add seasoned roast. Brown on each side for about 10 minutes each. Remove roast and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, sauté. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper and stir. Cook onions until they are soft, about a minute or two. Add mushrooms, then stir and cook for 2 minutes.

Pour in red wine vinegar and with a wooden spoon deglaze the bottom of the pressure cooker. Stir in chicken stock, soy sauce, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf.

Return roast to pressure cooker. Close and lock lid. Cook at high pressure for 45 minutes.

Turn off pressure cooker and let rest for 25 minutes, then open the lid carefully to avoid steam.

Remove roast from pressure cooker, cover roast with aluminum foil and set aside.

In pressure cooker, add potatoes first, then chopped carrots on top. Close lid and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Use the quick release to relieve pressure. Open the lid carefully.

To make gravy, use a slotted ladle to remove the potatoes and carrots from the pressure cooker. Add a mixture of cornstarch and water to remaining hot juices. Stir until desired thickness reached. Salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Garlic Mashed Potatoes Topping
(serves 6)

4 medium russet potatoes, peeled, cut in fourths
1 cup vegetable broth
6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/2 cup soy or other nondairy milk
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
salt to taste
vegan margarine
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced turnip
1 cup green lentils, rinsed and picked over to remove debris
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
1 to 2 tablespoons browned flour*
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (or substitute A.1. Sauce)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 cup diced tomatoes

How to make the mashed potatoes topping:

Using the pressure cooker, add the potato pieces along with the broth and garlic. Lock the lid. Bring to high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Remove the lid carefully. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add nondairy milk. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or hand mixer. Blend in parsley, salt and margarine. Stir to combine and set aside. Clean pressure cooker.

How to make the filling:

Set pressure cooker to medium heat, sauté. Add onion, carrot, and celery and dry sauté for 3 minutes. Add turnip, lentils, thyme, bay leaf, rosemary and broth. Lock the lid. Bring to high pressure and cook for 10 minutes. Let rest for about 25 minutes.

Remove lid carefully. Add browned flour*, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and tomatoes. Stir. Lock the lid in place and let sit for 3 minutes. Turn the quick release valve to release the pressure. Remove the bay leaf.

Ladle the filling into one large casserole dish (or 6 small) and top with mashed potatoes. Finish under the broiler to lightly brown.

*How to make browned flour:

Over medium high heat, add flour to dry stovetop skillet. Heat until the edges get darker and the flour smells toasted but not burned.

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