Friday, October 29, 2010

A Beef Chili That's Great Under Pressure

I've gotten a ton of food wishes for a pressure cooker demo, all unfulfilled due to my serious lack of a pressure cooker. So, when my friends at IMUSA asked me if I was interested in testing their pressure cooker, I answered with an enthusiastic yes.

When you ask someone why they don't use a pressure cooker, one of the most common replies is something to the effect of, "I'm really not into being killed by an exploding stew."

Well, I'm here to tell you, if used properly (meaning you actually read and follow the directions), the chances of a pressure cooker injuring you in an explosion is in
credibly slim. You have a better chance of breaking your toe by dropping a bowling ball on it, and this assumes you don't bowl.

While the video features a quite acceptable beef stew-style chili recipe, which I've always called chili Colorado, the point of this post is to give someone new to pressure cookers an overview of the basic steps, tips, and techniques. I've listed the ingredients below, but this will work for any similar recipe.

As you'll see, these marvels of pressurized heat are very simple to use, and really do significantly reduce cooking time. Simply put, by increasing the pressure in the pot, you raise the boiling point, which cooks the food faster. For more info, ask anyone else.

I want to thank IMUSA for sponsoring this demo, and if you want more information about the model I used, you can get that here. Like I said in the video, no matter which brand or model you use, the method is basically the same. Enjoy!

Beef Chili Colorado Ingredients:
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1-inch cubes
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (10.5-oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon ground corn chips, optional
cilantro and chopped green onions to garnish


Frieda Loves Bread said...

Thanks for the demo! I received a pressure cooker as a wedding gift and its the BEST way to get a slow cooked flavor in the shortest amount of time and retain more of the vitamins from veggies.

Pressure cookers now have the safety features you just described, making them much safer than the ones made years ago.

I just made a fresh pumpkin puree by cooking quartered sugar pumpkin in the pressure cooker. It only took TEN minutes (vs 90 min. in the oven) from the time it reached full pressure (when that thingamabob begins to dance). I'm excited to post this recipe soon, as it made the BEST pumpkin pie we'd ever tasted~

David said...

No beans, Chef John? Texans would love you.

If I want beans, I would add them after removing the lid, right? Any other suggestions?


Chef John said...

Yes, beans at the end. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

I realize my question is really subjective but what is the spice (heat) factor of this dish? I think more heat the better but my family is picky. Thanks John.

Chef John said...

cant really answer, like med hot?

Firenze Mom said...

I love this and love your website.

I use the pressure cooker all the time. But I like to brown the meat in my pressure cooker pan first to use the drippings to saute the onions etc. I only have to wash one pan that way.

For the person that asked about beans. If they are canned add at the end, they are soft already. If you want you can cook dry beans in a quick cook or use the overnight soak and then you would throw them in before and pressurize them. Just watch the water amount and make sure you have enough for them to soak up and not burn your meal.

Rita said...

only if i have a pressure cooker. siiigh.

blogagog said...

Can't believe you made chili without Rotel. That's blasphemous here in the South.

Non-Chef John said...

Chef John, that's the chili recipe I've been looking for! Thank you for posting and also for the great demo. Question: Were you using Mexican oregano?

Anonymous said...

Nice dish and thank you for the PRessure Cooker demo! I just received your new Best of Home Cooking cookbook today and see several stews and chili's in there to also try with a pressure cooker!

Anonymous said...

1 can (10.5-oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies == Rotel

Ron said...

I've been thinking about a pressure cooker, but haven't bought one because the non-aluminum ones are very pricey, and I always thought you weren't supposed to use tomatoes with aluminum. Since I have a galley kitchen without any spare space at all, I don't buy aluminum anything, though it's a great cooking material, since I don't want to spare space for a pot I can't use for certain things.

Then I looked at this, and you did use tomatoes in it, despite it being aluminum.

What don't I know, Chef John? Can you perhaps fill me in on why this is safe? Is there an amount of tomato limit? How about tomato paste?


Chef John said...

I believe these are non-reactive, but you can check with the maker. Most pots in the pro kitchen are aluminum. I believe you just can't store long term in it with acidic food.

Kruzon said...

bbeef i a chilli, when wild game meat is not available, is my favorite all in one meal.

Unknown said...

I hope you don't have to give the pressure back.. yet. You can do Bain Marie, in the pressure cooker (Creme Caramel and fluffy cheesecakes in 10 minutes under pressure). Steam any vegetable (with flavorful liquid) in less than 5 minutes. And my personal favorite... make a perfectly respectable risotto in 7!

Thank you for sharing your recipe, and taking the fear away of this fantastic cooking method!


making pressure cookers hip again, one recipe at a time!

redforever said...

My mother faithfully used her pressure cooker for 50 some years. Well, actually, she was on her second one, not that the first one was broken, but she could no longer find the rubber ring that sealed her old model.

One thing she found is you can use less liquid than traditional cooking since you are cooking in a closed environment and no liquid can really escape except a bit of steam through the pressure control valve.

I think it is the same principle as for slow cookers, you can use less liquid with that style of cooking too.

Only thing you really have to be careful of is backing down on the heat when the pressure steam control valve starts rocking. New pressure cookers are of course made much safer, with hand locks and the like, but I would not want to risk using a pressure cooker on high heat for the duration of the cooking time.

Eric said...

Great Video Chef John! I use my pressure cooker frequently for pork butt and corned beef but I don't I ever made chili with it. 30 minutes of cook time and 4 pounds of chuck roast were fork tender and deeelicious. A good stainless PC should be a standard tool for every home chef. They last a life time and will make the less expensive cuts tender in short order.


Anonymous said...

this was delicious!!! especially the next day with some corn chips sprinkled on top...I didn't miss the beans at all and the meat came out just melt in your is spicy but not overpowering...just leaves a pleasant tingle in your mouth so you know its there...

philogaia said...

I finally have a good pressure cooker and I'm totally hooked for beans, chickpeas, and braised meats. Concerning the question earlier about beans, I cook the meat first since it takes 15 minutes, cool and open the cooker, add the soaked beans and more liquid if required. Close it back up and pressure for eight more minutes. Perfectly soft beans. I think if the beans were to go in with the meat they would be overcooked. If other pressure-cooker cooks with more experience have found otherwise I'd like to know.

Pressure cookers are popular in India where they eat a lot of beans and braises and are more concerned with fuel conservation than we are. If you are using an Indian recipe I've found that 1 whistle = 10 minutes pressure time.

Amy said...

Hi Chef, this look terrific and I can't wait to make it for supper this evening. Do you have recipes for the rice and beans that are shown with the Chili Colorado? I would be most grateful if you'd post.

Chef John said...

They are just plain white rice and a can of pinto beans smashed into re-fried beans. I have a rice video posted.

Sabahat M. Siddiqui said...

Thank you for the recipe! I just made it with ground beef (and I didnt even had all the spices)... but it all turned out great!!
Thank you! :D

David, Easton PA said...

Made this today for the whole family by adding red beans at the end. It came out delicious and everyone loved it. It was missing the paprika because I did not have any at hand and still was great. Served it with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream over the chili to cut the heat. Thank you Chef John for such a great recipe !!

Nepenthe said...

I want to make this tonight but I don't own a pressure cooker. Can this be done stovetop or slow cooker? I know, I know, it's for pressure cooker and there are other recipes out there, but I want Chef John recipe!

Chef John said...

Sure! Just simmer in a pot.

Nepenthe said...

You never disappoint! It is now simmering and it's smelling heavenly! Thanks, Chef John!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to try this with chuck, but I don't have a pressure cooker, so I used the slow-simmer method of cooking braciole in tomato sauce. After I sautéed the onions with the spices I added the meat and juice (I seared the meat first and deglazed the pan with beer). It took about an hour and a half of simmering, but it came out so tender and juicy, and the sauce was really rich and thick.

Unknown said...

I left something out - I used tomato juice to simmer the meat, not tomato sauce.

Afan said...

Hello Chef John,
What's you're opinion pn electric vs. stovetop pressure cookers?


Unknown said...

My Grammy gave me her Presto pressure cooker from the 1940s. Lemme tell you, that thing was built to last! It's in incredible shape and it makes everything I make in there taste amazing. My favorite dishes to make with the pressure cooker are split pea soup, chili, and pasta sauce. I will be trying this awesome chili colorado of yours. Thanks, Chef John. You're my fave.

Unknown said...

I made Colorado Chili Pot Roast in my Instant Pot. I had a 2 pound chuck and I just didn't feel like cutting it up so I dry rubbed it with a portion of the spice mixture and browned it on the two largest sides for about 6 minutes per. The rest of the way I followed the recipe, but I always use far less liquid than is called for in every recipe. Just the can of Rotel and about a quarter of a can of water.

Pressure cooked for 50 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. Slice across the grain or make pulled Pot Roast. Delicious! Tender! And next day you can make sandwiches!

The Willy Mayes of Bolognese said...

would doubling the recipe be okay?