Someone was kind enough to give me a gift card for Bed Bath & Beyond for Christmas. Browsing through all the goodies they have to offer at that store is like porn for me. I bought a pressure cooker, which doesn't seem very exciting to some. But, the prospect of cooking at high pressure (which equals high speed) is very attractive to a young mom with two kids running about. According to the manual, the pressure cooker can reduce cooking time by up to 70%; today I put it to the test.
I bought a chuck roast yesterday at Publix, which is the meat I cooked today. Now, making beef stew is kind of a crapshoot here at my house; sometimes it's very tender, sometimes not so much. Today I browned the meat in a bit of vegetable oil with some salt and pepper. Then I added a bit of garlic and oregano, my favorite aromatics (carrot, celery, and onion) and a potato. I topped that with a bit of tomato sauce, clamped on the lid, and let her rip.
It was the most tender stew I have ever made. Now, it wasn't without it's issues; namely, it needed more seasoning. I did add some more salt and pepper to it after the stew was done, and it turned out just fine. I was concerned about adding too much seasoning up front because pressure cooking--according to the manual--does tend to intensify flavors. Other than that, the experiment was a great success: full, happy bellies confirm it.