A couple of months ago we were contacted by a cookware manufacturing company by the name of Magefesa. They wanted to know if we would try out their cookware and then report on it on this blog. We were delighted to do so. They sent us a complete set of cookware, 2 frittata pans and a pressure cooker. Our first post was here. We used the frittata pans and the covered pots to make this meal. We enjoyed using them and continue to use them almost every day. (P.S. They have some great recipes to try here. They also have all kinds of informative videos with tips about how to use the pressure cooker, frittata pans, cooking tips, etc. Check it out!)
We really wanted to try out the Pressure Cooker but Yes!Chef! had never used one before and we wanted to find a recipe that would showcase the cooker. Yes!Chef! would suggest things like beans (of which I am not a big fan), or other food items that take a long time to cook conventionally, but would work well in the PC (Pressure Cooker). We searched around the internet, but nothing seemed right. And worse, all the PC recipes we found seemed more suited to cold weather and it was still pretty warm out.
Enter the Cold Weather
A couple of days ago the cold weather moved in. I know my last post indicated that it had snowed in Lake Tahoe, but this time it snowed here in the mid-Sierras. Now, it was time to bring out the PC.
Yes!Chef! found a recipe for a quick and easy Pressure Cooker Chili to try it out. It looked pretty good to me, but what do I know?
I know photography…sometimes. I had a couple of great shoots and one not so great, which we will never mention again. I am in the thick of High School Senior season, which is photography that I truly love.
And I had a great Engagement shoot on another beautiful fall day in Apple Hill, Camino, CA.
Then, of course, there was the monster shoot in the graveyard.
So, you can see that I have not been sitting around twiddling my thumbs, waiting for some new and unusual food to pop in front of my camera.
Back to the food…
Yes!Chef! and I are from the era that we remember our moms and grandmothers using a pressure cooker, but we have never used one ourselves. Ever since the microwave came into play, the pressure cooker has gone by the wayside. After using the pressure cooker, I do not understand why that happened. No one really uses microwaves to cook things. In fact, Gordon Ramsay gets all wonky when he finds out cooks are using the microwave on Kitchen Nightmares because the food does not taste good when it is microwaved. Don’t get me wrong. We use the microwave all the time to warm up a little leftover soup or chili or melt some chocolate or butter. But we don’t cook with it. It cannot create the depth of flavor that comes from other types of cooking.
Since we were novices at this type of cooking, Yes!Chef! had the Users Manual close by the stove. But, once he figured out how to put the top on and what all the buttons were for, he was good to go.
We used our induction cooktop for this experiment. He was able to brown the meat and saute the aromatics in the PC.
He also made a pan of sweet cornbread to go with the chili.
After that, it was all pretty easy. He just added the rest of the ingredients and stirred them around. Yes!Chef! is very good about his mis en place (getting all the ingredients ready before he starts cooking.) Sometimes (more times than I would like to admit), I begin my cooking before I have all the ingredients out and ready to go. That causes bad things to happen. Don’t try that at home.
Once the ingredients were all stirred around inside the pot, Y!C! put the top on, made sure it was secure, arrows were all pointing in the right direction and clicking sounds were made when the top was in place. Then, he turned on the burner, waited for the little red button to pop up indicating it was up to the proper pressure and set the timer for 8 minutes, as per the recipe.
After checking the chili after 8 minutes, he felt it needed a little more time because the chili was a little soupy. So, he pressurized it once again and let it go for a couple more minutes. We decided that there is some experimentation necessary because it began to scorch a little on the bottom of the pot. I couldn’t taste it, but the pot bottom was a little brown when I washed it. Y!C! felt that it needed to cook more than 8 minutes, but less than 15. We probably need to review their video again.
The top right picture (below) shows the first time he checked the chili after 8 minutes.
Above, Y!C! dishes out the finished chili and grates some cheese over the top.
This chili (below) was what the chili looked like after the additional 7 minutes.
And, VOILA! Finished Pressure Cooker Chili.
Here’s the recipe:
Pressure Cooker Chili ( adapted from allrecipe.com)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (14.5 oz.) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoal powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 2 cups beer or 2 cups good quality beef stock
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or to taste
- Place the ground beef in the pressure cooker over medium high heat; cook until brown and crumbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the ground beef, and drain off the excess fat.
- Return the open pressure cooker to the burner over medium heat, pour in the olive oil, and stir in the onion, green pepper, and jalapeno pepper. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, and cook and stir for about 30 more seconds. Return the meat to the pressure cooker, mix in the kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, cocoa powder, red pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin salt, and beer or stock.
- Lock the lid, bring the cooker up to pressure, reduce heat to maintain pressure, and cook for 8 minutes. Remove cooker from the heat, and let the pressure reduce on its own, 5 to 10 minutes.
- When the pressure is fully released, remove the lid, stir the chili, add the Sriracha, and serve. Add shredded cheese, if desired.
Again, we found the chili too soupy after 8 minutes, so you might want to cook it a bit more.
I will also say, that there was a surprising amount of depth of flavor. I did not think that cooking chili for such a short time would allow the flavors to get to know each other, but the pressure infused lots of flavor. The original recipe called for water instead of beer or stock, but the flavor will not be as deep with water.
We enjoyed using the Magefesa Pressure Cooker. It was easy to use and worked like a dream. Today we had some more of the chili for lunch and it was really excellent.