no pressure cooking (with a pressure cooker)

as i said in my previous post, peter and i celebrated our 5th anniversary last weekend. we exchanged gifts over the course of the weekend and i was so excited to give him his! he had been asking for a pressure cooker since he got back from colorado in march. i just love watching people open the gifts i got for them!

as he opened it we decided that we needed to cook with it that night. neither of us had actually ever used one before. peter had eaten a meal cooked in one before (thanks to dean for the great gift idea!), and i had only seen it on iron chef in the heat of battle in kitchen stadium. we had no idea what we were doing or how to do it, but what better way to find out, than by doing it, right!?! assuming it probably wouldn’t turn out perfect really took the pressure off of us. in the kitchen you have to be ok with failure, it’s a part of the learning process.

we went shopping and after talking about meals for the week, we decided on some pork spareribs. we love coca cola spareribs, so we thought why not try to make those? we didn’t have a real recipe, but in our heads we knew we needed veggies (we had onions, garlic, carrots and tomatoes at home), the meat and cooking liquid (in our case we used the coke and some chicken stock as well as some bbq sauce).

not the best pictures of my life, but here’s a quick recap of what we did:

ingredients & prep, broil ribs in over (or brown in pressure cooker), add liquid and it's ready for the lid

next was the fun part (or scary, depending on who you ask). once everything was in the pot, and the meat was covered with liquid (apparently the liquid is the most important part in the pressure cooking process because it’s what allows the pressure to build) we had to close the pot with the lid (heat set on high). we had to wait till the pressure gauge popped up before we could start the timer and lower the heat (to medium). the pot started steaming and jiggling just the tiniest bit and i ran from the kitchen thinking the pot was going to explode.

the pressure cooker came with an instructional video (which we of course watched as we washed the pot and readied it for the meal), so i knew there would be some sound, but you never know what to expect the first time you try something.

close the lid, wait for the pressure to come up, cook, release steam and uncover!

after 15 minutes were up, we released the pressure from the cooker (on the steam setting, although we could have placed the pot under cold running water to cool it fast…but we didn’t want to take any chances, so we followed the exact instructions on the tutorial dvd). if you try this at home, cover your ears…it is LOUD and it’ll last for about a minute or so. Once the pressure drops, the gauge pops down out of sight and you can unlock the lid to open it.

the reveal, strain the meat, finishing the sauce...and dinner is served!

we survived and the meal was delicious. after we took the meat out, i took out some of the liquid, reduced the sauce and added a bit more bbq sauce to thicken it before adding the ribs back to the sauce for another minute or so to coat them. SO delicious and super duper easy one-pot meal. not to mention, pressure cookers can reduce cooking time by up to 70%. that is AMAZING. it’s a bit of an investment, but for people who want delicious meals fast with one pot, this may be the way to go!

so proud of us. what a delicious meal. peter was chef and i was sous chef tonight!

let me assure you, it was a fun (inexpensive and easy) at-home adventure date night, and we will definitely be doing this again!

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