Sunday, September 1, 2013
What a Little "Pressure" Can Do
I am a kitchen appliance junkie. I freely admit this. Whenever I go into a department store, I head straight for the kitchen section and you can find me either looking at utensils (can you ever really have enough and don't they make some fantastic utensils?) or appliances. You can imagine my intrigue, when I saw a Facebook post from a fellow foodie showing off her new pressure cooker. Upon checking it out, I discovered that said pressure cooker also had a slow cooking feature (of sorts). After reading all about the pressure cooker and realizing my oven also has a slow cooking feature, it didn't take long for me to begin looking at my trusty slow cooker in a diminished light.
Long story short, I gave my slow cooker to my daughter and purchased the pressure cooker. It arrived just the other day and had perfect delivery timing. I just started school and a new job, so the phrase "fast meals" has taken on whole new meaning.
Isn't she (all of my appliances are female) beautiful?
For the maiden voyage of the new pressure cooker, I decided to make one of our favorite slow cooker recipes, so I would have a good reference point for comparison. I made Easy Pork Ribs (sans the slow cooker). All you need to make these tasty ribs is:
2 - 3 lbs. country-style pork ribs (thawed, if using a slow cooker)
salt and pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 - 12 oz. can of Coca-Cola (you can use Pepsi, but I have better results with Coke)
barbeque sauce (use your favorite kind)
To make these ribs (in a pressure cooker or slow cooker), all you need to do is sprinkle both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper (pork loves salt, so you can be somewhat generous). Place the ribs in the pressure cooker (or slow cooker) and sprinkle the red pepper flakes over the ribs. Pour the entire can of Coke over the ribs and cover. If slow cooking, you'll want to cook the ribs on the low temperature setting for about 6 to 8 hours. BUT! if you are pressure cooking, not only can you start out with frozen ribs (which is what I did), you will only be cooking them for about 30 - 40 minutes. Follow the instructions for use included with your pressure cooker, for best results. I initially set my timer for 30 minutes, but after checking them, decided I wanted mine just a little more tender, so I reset the timer for an additional 10 minutes.
As you can see from the photo above, the end cooking results were more than good! I was completely satisfied with how well the pressure cooker performed.
To finish the ribs, just remove the ribs from the cooking chamber, drain the liquid, and return the ribs to the chamber. Pour as much barbeque sauce as you like over the ribs and continue cooking on low (for a slow cooker) or "keep warm" (for the pressure cooker) until the ribs are heated through.
In the meantime, you can prepare your side dishes. In the interest of a fast meal, I served french fries and green beans with our ribs.
The entire cooking process (side dishes and all), took about 45 minutes. And, I'm happy to report, I didn't notice a difference in the taste or texture of the ribs. I'm thrilled with the results and have moved on to what else I can make in the pressure cooker!