As a pretty big ‘foodie’ family, it’s actually surprised me that considering how many kitchen gadgets and the like that we have, that I have never had or used a pressure cooker before. Which, having read up on them, is actually a bit of a travesty considering as a busy working mum of 3 I’m always trying to find ways to save time, especially when it comes to mid-week meal prep and a toddler dangling off my leg.
When Prestige got in touch with me to see if I would like to give their pressure cooker a go, I thought “why not?”, and was hoping that using one would be a game-changer when it came to the tea time meal slog. Pressure cookers are renowned for being time saving, and using a Prestige Smart Plus Pressure Cooker means that tasty dishes generally take a third of the time to cook than normal, something I was keen to see whether or not was true.
The Prestige Smart Plus Pressure Cooker also locks in nutrients as the lid seals them in, as well as being safe to use. I must admit that the words ‘pressure cooker’ can make the thought of using one sound a little daunting- I have visions of lots of pressure and then my dinner exploding everywhere! HOWEVER, the one I was sent to try is both safe and smart to help alleviate my fears- clever features include a visual pressure indicator that raises to indicate when the cooker is at pressure. The directional pressure regulator ensures safe release of steam away from you.
The pressure cooker has a mechanical locking device (a special cam locks the lid and body of the pressure cooker for safety) and there are two pressure settings for versitility (8lbs and 12lbs).
My cooker came with a whole heap of recipes to try in the instruction manual, and I opted to have a go at a family favourite, chilli con carne.
Here is the method, and also how I got on with my pressure cooker…
Pressure Cooker Chilli Con Carne
You will need
- 100g dried red kidney beans
- boiling water to cover
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 450g minced beef
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 250ml beef stock
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 225g long grain rice (to serve)
- 375ml water
- Put the beans in the basin. cover with boiling water and leave for one hour.
- Heat the oil in the open cooker and fry the onion and garlic until lightly browned. Lift out and drain. Add the minced beef and fry lightly. Drain off any excess fat from the cooker. Stir in the chilli powder, tomatoes, stock, salt, pepper and tomato puree. Add the drained kidney beans, and bring to the boil.
- Close the lid, bring to pressure and cook for 9 minutes.
- Release the pressure SLOWLY.
- In the meantime line the separator with foil. Put the rice, boiling water and salt in the separator. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper tied securly with string. Stand separator on top of the meat. Close the lid, bring to pressure and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Release pressure SLOWLY.
Thicken the meat sauce if necessary. Arrange the meat on a bed of rice, and serve with warm garlic bread.
Chilli Con Carne in a fraction of the time
So how did we get on with our pressure cooker?
After being slightly nervous with using anything that involved the word ‘pressure’ as I mentioned previously, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use, and I can’t wait to try out a few more dishes. My rice also turned out really well which I was chuffed about, as I’m usually a disaster in this area if cooking it the usual way and opt for microwave rice unless I’m cooking risotto! If I’m being honest, using the greaseproof paper and string was a little bit of a faff so I may still use my microwave rice in future, but in terms of the actual chilli con carne it was fab. The flavours were great (just make sure you drain off any extra liquid well), and I can’t believe you can rustle up something that tasty in that amount of time. My Mother-in-law uses one and she said she’s had success with stews before that usually take hours, so I’m looking forward to giving them a go.
All in all a huge success as I’m a convert now, and I definitely recommend anyone with a busy lifestyle to make houseroom for a pressure cooker- it’s now a Freeman family kitchen staple!
See some of my other recipes
A big thank you to Prestige for partnering with The Spirited Puddle Jumper, all words and opinions my own