I'll admit: I was more than reluctant. I was afraid.
I'm not afraid of much when it comes to the kitchen, but there are a few things I've never done out of fear. Using a pressure cooker was one of those things.
My friend Brooke and I were going through dinner options when I said "I have a roast, but it's frozen." The conversation stopped for a moment. A 3 lb. roast is nothing to scoff at. I took it out of the freezer and we just looked at it, hoping somewhere on it there was an easy button.
How long was it going to take? Let's calculate.... if we defrost in the microwave we can shave off some time... We'll still be here til 11pm before we even get to taste it... and it could be dry...
And then it hit me. "I have a pressure cooker..."
I knew EXACTLY where my pressure cooker was, but I'd never used it. So, as with all things I've never done before, I turned to the internet. It offered little insight into the particular 1953 model that I was wielding. On the handle was printed pressure, and different dishes with their respective cook times. No other information.
So I just went for it. I was excited as much as I was nervous about using it. The roast was already defrosting. I started chopping the onions, carrots and potatoes, thinking: at least we'll have SOMETHING to eat if this goes badly. I'm basically making a bomb in my kitchen, it's just made of meat.
Approximately one hour later, we were successfully eating one of the best beef pot roasts I've ever had (or made).
One Hour Pot Roast
- 3-4 lb Beef Roast at Room temperature
- 2-3 medium potatoes, chopped into large chunks
- 1 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
- 1-2 handfuls of mini carrots, chopped as you like
- 1/2 jar of marinara sauce, or any tomato sauce
- 1 can or dry packet mushroom gravy
- 1 packet McCormick Pot Roast in a bag (ditch the bag)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Fistful of Flour
- Salt and Pepper
Heat a deep skillet with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.
Salt, Pepper, and lightly flour the roast on all sides.
Sear the roast all over til it's crispy and brown.
Place the Roast in the Pressure Cooker, fat side up.
Sprinkle about 1/2 of the Pot Roast Seasoning over the meat, followed by a cup of water, and 1/2 jar of marinara sauce. Crush or chop half the garlic, and add to the liquid.
Secure the lid tightly, and depending on your pressure cooker, set it to 10lbs of pressure. Put it on medium heat on the stove, and set your kitchen timer to 50 minutes.
In the same skillet, add 2 cups of water, the remaining pot roast seasoning and 1/2 the mushroom gravy over medium heat, until it bubbles.
Add Chopped potatoes first, then carrots, then onion, then crushed or chopped garlic with 4-5 min between each.
Allow it to boil, and turn the heat to medium low and cover.
All of this can sit unattended for a little while, stir the skillet once in a while.
Your pressure cooker is going to make some noise, don't be too alarmed, it's releasing some of the steam.
Once the timer has gone off, carefully release the steam valve, but don't open the pot until it stops shooting steam.