pressure cooker, how I love thee
Stirling bought me a pressure cooker for my birthday. So far it has done nothing but delight me. You stick things in, saute them a bit if you like, put the lid on, seal it up, turn the temperature down when it starts hissing, then half an hour later you release the pressure, take the lid off, and deliciously tender, braised foods come out.
In particular, my pressure cooker does spectacular things to pork chops. Last night I threw a couple pork chops in there with some diced onion, diced apple, white wine, chicken stock, a couple bay leaves and some salt and pepper. Simple - yet so so much better than doing the same thing on the stovetop or in the oven. And, start to finish, about 45 minutes. The chops were tender, juicy and had delicious apple-y flavour all through.
Also very tasty were the beef ribs I did last week. Again, totally simple - I threw onion, diced nectarine, beef ribs, barbecue sauce and some white wine in the cooker, sealed it up and let it do its thing for just over half an hour. Result: meltingly tender bbq ribs. The nectarine was a nice addition, too.
The pressure cooker also does a nice barley risotto in less than half an hour - and most of that time is from cooking the onions and toasting the barley. The "under pressure" time is about 10 minutes.
I am definitely a fan of my pressure cooker. No longer will I make stew in a stew pot and serve it before the meat is tenderized because it just takes too long and I am hungry. No more will I think "bummer, not enough time for stew" on a wintry evening when I work late.
All hail the pressure cooker.