As frozen dinners and other quick meal solutions became common place in the U.S., the use of a pressure cooker diminished. By the 1970’s, cooking with a pressure cooker was rarely considered. Well, the pressure cooker is no longer a thing of the past and I have one! And I must tell you I was delighted with it for many reasons.
The fact that it cooks food about 70% faster was definitely one, but there are also health reasons, too. I discovered that pressure-cooked foods retain more vitamins, minerals and flavor because there is less water or moisture into which the nutrients can dissolve. Who knew?
So, for a recipe with my new Pressure Cooker I decided to go with something that would feature different vegetables and meat (or not!) that would become a well-seasoned dish, but not a stew. I found my answer in a variation on a Mediterranean dish that is served over rice or couscous. Choose firm vegetables and don’t cut them in small pieces. You want even cooking.
MEDITERRANEAN BEEF AND VEGETABLE PLATTER
2 lbs beef chuck, cubed into 2” cubes
2 tblsp Garam Masala
2 tblsp olive oil
1 cup baby carrots
1 red bell pepper, quartered
1 zucchini, cut in large pieces
2 cups assorted baby squash, whole
1 cup beef broth
1 cup pearl onions
1 cup mushrooms, halved
Place oil in the bottom of the inner cooking pot and heat with the Brown setting. Rub the Garam Masala seasoning over the cubed meat and brown on all sides. Turn pressure cooker off.
Wrap carrots, bell pepper, zucchini and baby squash in individual foil packets. Add broth to the pot and place vegetable packets on top of the meat. Close the lid securely and set the steam vent to “closed.” Set to high pressure and cook for 25 minutes. Release the pressure.
Remove vegetable packets and set aside until ready to plate.
Place meat in a bowl and cover with some of the meat juices. Add pearl onions and mushrooms to the inner pot and quickly saute in 2 tblsp of the meat juices.
Place the meat and vegetables over rice, noodles or couscous and garnish with chopped cilantro.