Under Pressure

This article was originally published in April 2017

barley for breakfast, lunch and dinner

If you’re pinched for time but want a warm, hearty meal, a pressure cooker could be your new best friend. Foods that take hours to cook with other methods can be done in about 45 minutes in a pressure cooker, and most cook even faster!

Most modern pressure cookers, including stovetop and electric countertop varieties, have built-in safety features and pressure release systems, so there’s no need to fear the explosions of your grandmother’s day.

These kitchen wizards are especially good for making soups, stews, beans, risotto and even things you wouldn’t expect, such as cheesecake and hard-boiled eggs (the eggs become very easy to peel). They also work magic on tough cuts of meat that typically require slow cooking, rendering them succulent and tender in a flash. And speed isn’t the only virtue: The intense heat of pressure cookers lends food deep, complex flavors you simply can’t achieve through regular steaming.


1. Cuban-style Mojo Pork

Inspired by a classic Cuban dish — Lechon Asado — which can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to make, this recipe reduces the cooking time by more than half, thanks to pressure cooking. The tender outcome is incredibly versatile: Slice the pork to make Cuban sandwiches, shred it to use in tacos, or simply serve it with rice and black beans.

2. Pressure Cooker French Toast Casserole

This hybrid of bread pudding and French toast makes a wonderful dish for springtime brunch. You can prepare the ingredients the night before and finish it in the morning for ease. Top it with your favorite ingredients; for a truly seasonal take, try our Strawberry Rhubarb Compote.

3. Fava Beans with Pancetta

Finished with Pecorino Romano, this Roman-style side dish is simple yet elegant, thanks to the rich, buttery flavor of fresh, seasonal fava beans. To shell them, remove the beans from the thick pods, boil in salted water for 2 minutes, blanch them and then slip off their skins.


Ready for dessert?

Try our recipe for Pressure Cooker Cheesecake and get all four pressure cooking recipes.

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