Monday, June 06, 2011

THE PRESSURE GOES ON


Having been somewhat seduced by cooking with a pressure cooker in recent weeks, after reviewing The New Zealand Pressure Cooker Cookbook, I decided that I couldn’t keep borrowing a friend’s pressure cooker and so I went out to research the market and get one of my own.

There must be at least a dozen models to choose from out there but in the end mine came from a company called Steel Fern’s online site and I’m delighted with it. It looks good, it is efficient and easy to use; I chose the combo set (rrp $320) which means effectively I got two pressure cookers, one with a 5 litre capacity (standard size) and one with 9 litre capacity, especially good for soup and large cuts of meat. When it arrived I found the package contained:

1 x 5 litre base
1 x 9 litre base
1 x Pressure Lid that you can use between the two bases
1 x Glass Lid that you can use between the two bases
1 x Small Steamer Basket & Trivet
An instruction manual with Kiwi recipes.

You can check out their website – www.steelfern.co.nz for details and pictures and for any deals they may have going.
Other pressure cookers I looked at ranged in price from $100-$400 but did not provide two different bases, just the standard 5 litre version, so I feel mine was especially good value.
They also threw in The New Zealand Pressure Cooker Cookbook but I’m not sure if that is standard. If you do contact them say you saw on my blog that they included the free cookbook and could you have the same package!

Last night I made the following, taken from The New Zealand Pressure Cooker Cookbook, (thanks to Steel Fern I now have a copy at the bach and another in the city), which was a great hit with our holiday weekend visitors:PA
CKCINSitre base Pressure Lid that you can use between the two bases
1 x Glass Lid that you can use between the two bases
1 x Smal Steamer Basket & Trivet
with an instruction manual with Kiwi recipes
 Corned Beef with Mustard Glaze

Corned beef prepared in the pressure cooker gives a fantastic result in a fraction of the time. Try it finished with this sticky mustard glaze.

1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2–3 small pickling onions, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and each cut into 3 chunks
4–6 whole peppercorns
4 whole allspice (optional)
2 sprigs parsley or thyme
1.5 kg piece corned beef or silverside

Glaze
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

1. Place all the corned beef ingredients in the pressure cooker pan and add enough hot water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil, uncovered, and skim off any froth with a spoon.
2. Position the lid on top and lock it into place. Set to high pressure (2). Bring up to pressure and maintain this pressure for 30–40 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the pressure to reduce naturally.
3. While the beef is cooking, mix together the ingredients for the glaze. When the cooker has depressurised, remove the meat and vegetables from the pan, discarding the cooking liquid.
4. Return the meat to the pan and pour the glaze over it. Heat over a medium heat for 3–5 minutes, spooning the glaze over the meat to coat. Transfer the meat and the vegetables to a serving dish and slice. Serve with any remaining glaze.

Serves 6–8

Here’s a Tip: If your piece of corned beef is smaller or larger than that specified, simply allow 10–15 minutes per 500g of meat.
The glaze proved especially wonderful. Next time I make it though I will include more carrots and more onions.
And we had leftovers today in sandwiches which were simply delicious. The butcher at Nosh in Ponsonby told me he preferred his corned beef cold. I’m not sure, I loved both!

Last week I made Traditional Pumpkin Soup from the same recipe book and it too was a triumph. The publishers have again kindly allowed me to reproduce it here on the blog:

                   Traditional Pumpkin Soup

 Pumpkin soup is an all-time favourite for many people, especially if you add a hint of nutmeg and some crumbled bacon. It’s a really quick and tasty soup to make in a pressure cooker.

1–2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 rashers bacon
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, sliced
850g peeled and deseeded pumpkin, cut into 4cm chunks
750ml liquid chicken or vegetable stock
large pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
salt and pepper
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)

1. Place the pressure cooker pan without the lid over a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and fry the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan and allow to cool, then finely chop and set aside until required.
2. Add a little extra oil to the pressure cooker if required and return to a medium heat. Sauté the onion and celery for 2–3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, stock and season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper.
3. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and lock it into place. Set to high pressure (2).  Bring up to pressure and maintain that pressure for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and reduce the pressure using the quick release method.
4. Transfer the contents of the pressure cooker to a blender or food processor and whizz the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and add the bacon. Gently reheat and serve with a swirl of sour cream if desired.

Serves 6–8

Here’s a Tip: Start with a piece of pumpkin weighing approximately 1.2 kg. 


Footnote:
To read my earlier column in which I review two pressure cooker cookbooks link here. Includes recipe.
And for my report on the launch of The New Zealand Pressure Cookbook, and a recipe, go here.
Tonight I am making minted pea soup to be served with crusty ciabatta.

2 comments:

elle pee said...

Once you start pressure cooking you can't go back to just cooking!

Your new pressure cooking set looks great... now you need another set for the beach, too! ; )

Ciao,

L

hip pressure cooking
making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

Vanda Symon said...

I can't wait to hear about more of your successes with your new toy. I am so tempted to invest in one...