When I moved to Switzerland, I brought along a pressure cooker from Singapore. It was just sitting there, still in its box, in the store room. Along with, I found brand new bed sheets, a kettle, bread machine and a 6 piece wine glass set with decanter. It’s really useful to have a compulsive shopper mother and a hoarder father when it comes to flying-the-coop day. I saved plenty of money on house ware for my new home!
I also had an ice-tray of frozen leftover wine in the freezer that was annoyingly leaky and so I decided to use it up and make beef bourguignon in my pressure cooker. As this was only my second time using a pressure cooker, I watched the pot from behind the kitchen door. I kept picturing it exploding like a kitchen grenade and killing me with shards of metal. But everything went well!
- 1 kg of beef chunks
- 5 small carrots
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- Small floury potatoes
- Thyme, rosemary, oregano
- Sea salt, pepper, sugar
- Tomato paste
- 3 cups red wine
- Beef stock/ bouillon powder
Cut small potatoes into halves or thirds. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and oregano. Spread cut-side down on a foil-lined baking tray and roast at 180C until golden and fluffy. Let the potatoes cool completely and they’ll release themselves from the foil. If you try to remove them while they’re hot, all that beautiful potato crust will be stuck.
Brown the beef in some olive oil directly in the pressure cooker and set aside. Throw in carrots and 2 tbsp of sugar, cook on high until carrots are caramelised. Return the beef to the pot and add in the wine, quartered onion, chopped garlic, 3 tbsp of tomato paste, 2 cups of water, herbs and spices. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Cover the pot and lock the lid of the pressure cooker securely. Return the pot to the stove and set the heat to medium. Maintain steady pressure by toggling the heat as necessary and cook for 20 minutes. Make sure to let the pot de-pressurise completely before opening the lid.
If there is too much liquid in the pot, return to a boil, uncovered. Make a slurry of flour and water and stir into the gravy to thicken. Don’t cook for too long or the texture will go from fork tender to resembling-pulled-pork. Serve with potatoes and baguette!