I had errands to run, after work, so it was almost 6:00 by the time I got home. I realized I was cutting things too close in having dinner ready by our usual 6:30-7:00pm window. All three of us start our jobs pretty early in the morning, so it's lights out by 9:30pm. Plus, I try not to going to bed with a full belly. The pressure was on... What to do?
My recipe index, in my head, started flipping-- do I make Pioneer Woman's newest pasta recipe she posted? Do I defrost one of my freezer meals? Then I realized, that darned piece of chuck roast needed to be cooked... I didn't want to freeze it. Speaking of that piece of chuck roast-- when the butcher "trainee" presented me with this piece of meat I didn't know what to say! It was... well, BIG and very round! I had envisioned something a lot different, but I politely took it, though it looks nothing like the illustration in Cook's Illustrated. (He was so polite and helpful, and I'm a sucker for that. )
I had saved Kevin's (Closet Cooking) recipe for his pot roast, and then I looked the Cook's Illustrated version with my online subscription. Fuggitaboutit! I decided to play Amateur Iron Chef and just go with my gut instincts and I got my pressure cooker out of my garage pantry (how many of you folks in small living quarters have one?). I found whole carrots, some Yukon Gold potatoes that were reaching their prime, onion, garlic and some whole button mushrooms. I grabbed a bottle of red wine, that had about 1/2 cup left in it, some dried thyme (I dry it myself from my garden) and salt & pepper. I was ready to give it a go!
NOTE: My photos did not turn out to be very stellar because a) I was tired and racing the clock b) it was dark outside, and flash photography and food isn't the best combo c) my husband was standing over the pressure cooker looking like he was very anxious to eat I'm looking forward to Daylight Times so I can take better pix. Anyway...
How to Tie a Top-Blade Roast, from Cook's Illustrated
1. Slip 6-foot piece of twine under roast and tie a double knot.
2. Hold twine against meat, and loop long end under and around roast.
3. Run long end through loop.
4. Repeat procedure down length of roast.
5. Roll roast over and run twine under and around each loop.
6. Wrap twine around end of roast, flip roast, and tie to original knot.
I started cooking the meal at 6:15 and we were eating at 7:40pm.
I added a little more oil, onion, carrots, thyme and mushrooms and cooked them for about 3 minutes, then a little fresh chopped garlic or another minute. The vegetables were piled onto the seared meat.
Next, I deglazed the pan with about 1/2 cup of red wine, and then some chicken broth and beef stock (it's a Cook's Illustrated kind of thing). I didn't measure, but I'd say a total of 3 cups of stock. I added about 1/4 cup of tomato paste and poured the liquid into the pressure cooker.
I set the timer for 45 minutes and cleaned up my mess, tossed a green salad with a vinaigrette and sliced some fresh French bread.
I had a LOT of gravy that I thickened with a slurry of flour and water:
It was tender and very flavorful. The french bread was a very un-ladylike way to mop up the gravy, but it was delicious!
I don't think that there's really a need to post a recipe. I think it's pretty hard not to make a good pot roast. Tonight, I made a vegetable beef soup with the leftovers and it was even better-- especially with Pioneer Woman's Cheesy Garlic bread. I will post that tomorrow!
NOTE: After I posted this, I watched Ina Garten's show I had recorded and she was making pot roast-- almost like mine! Here's the link to her recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/barefoot-contessa/comfort-and-company/index.html
I hope that I've inspired you to consider buying a pressure cooker. The one I have, now, was recommended to me by my best friend several years ago. It's easier to us, you don't have to run cold water on the lid to release the steam...I just push a button. I steam artichokes, cook beans, braise meat and make stews and all kind of wonderful dishes.
You can find info about my specific pressure cooker model right here: