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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pressure Cooked Round Roast

Certain cuts of beef tend to be less tender than others.    As a result, these cuts tend to be less expensive but when you buy beef on the hoof as we do, the price is the same over all cuts of beef.  What this means is we end up with a few cuts of beef that are not quite as tender as other cuts but that does not mean they cannot be turned into a delicious dish.  There are a few ways of dealing with this problem ranging from marinating to long, slow cooking, stewing or braising.

round roast in pressure cooker ready for cooking
Acidifying is another common way to break down the meat fibers and cartilage but one overlooked old fashioned method of dealing with tougher cuts of meat is cooking in a pressure cooker.  This is one of my favourite ways to cook tougher cuts of meat because it eliminates the long, slow cooking yet gives excellent, tender results.

I recently bought a Geneva Professional Quality Stainless Steel pressure cooker to compliment my collection of pressure cookers.  A couple of nights ago, I cooked a round roast, from frozen without thawing in under two hours in the Geneva.  This roast was beyond simple to prepare.  I simply put the frozen roast in the pressure cooker, topped with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce, onion pieces and a little water.  I put the lid on and brought the pressure cooker to pressure then reduced heat just enough to maintain pressure and let it cook.

round roast ready for shredding
Cooking under pressure raises the effective cooking temperature from 212ºF to 240ºF/250ºF but because the moisture under pressure permeates the food, the end result is tender, delicious meat.  The round roast cooked this way was not only very flavourful, it was fork tender, easily shredded, just perfect for pulled beef sandwiches.  Unless you cook a round roast long and slow, you simply cannot get the gorgeous tender results the pressure cooker is capable of doing.  The nice thing is the pressure cooker gives this wonderful result in a fraction of the time of the long cooking methods.

pressure cooked round roast dinner
I shredded the beef using two forks then served it with oven baked potatoes topped with the au jus.   The au jus could have been thickened for a gravy but it was quite rich, making a lovely sauce as it was.  All around this was a simple yet delightful meal. 

A pressure cooker can be one of the most valuable piece of equipment in your kitchen.   It helps but nutritious, healthy food on the table in the fraction of the time it would take using the slow cooker.  In fact, many meals can be cooked in a pressure cooker in 40 minutes or less.  I have heard that dry beans will cook in 3 minutes using a pressure cooker but have yet to try that method.  It is on my list of culinary experimentation this week.  If you don't have a pressure cooker and would like to buy one, I would suggest at least a 6 qt stainless steel, second generation (pressure control in the handle) model bought on sale of course.  With a bit of patience, you should be able to find one for under $40.  The pressure cooker will quickly pay for itself in both money and time savings!

3 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

Thanks, GG! :o)

American Cooker said...

This recipe looks just delicious! Cannot wait to try it, might be Sunday Dinner this week! Thanks so much for sharing! Will definitely be keeping an eye on your blog for more recipes and tips.

Mary said...

I was unable to find this recipe. I have a heel of round roast that we have been hesitant to roast due to being a tough piece of beef. I would like to try in our pressure cooker but haven't been able to locate any recipes. Am I missing something?