A pressure cooker tenderizes meats while cooking very quickly. Less tender cuts of steak such as round steak, chuck steak or cubed steak are often pressure cooked, but other cuts can also be used. Vegetables added to the pot cook at the same time, cooking the whole meal in one pot. Expect your steak to be well done and form its own gravy.
Brown the Meat
While browning the steak is not strictly necessary, it does add color and flavor to the meat. In an electric pressure cooker, use the browning function for this step. Otherwise, heat a small amount of oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker over medium-high heat. You can season and flour the steak before browning, if desired. Brown the steak quickly on both sides. Add required water, seasonings, and any desired vegetables to the pressure cooker after browning. If you are new to pressure cooking, read the instructions completely before using your cooker.
Pressure Cook the Steak
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, close the pressure cooker lid and place the pressure regulator on the vent pipe. Bring the pressure up until the regulator rocks gently and begin timing. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a slow rocking motion. Recipes vary on recommendations of cooking time and pressure, but 15 to 25 minutes of cooking is needed at 10 to 15 pounds of pressure, depending on the thickness of the meat. When the cooking time is complete, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and allow the pressure to reduce naturally. Allowing the pressure to reduce naturally results in a more tender steak.
Thicken the Gravy
Once the pressure has dropped completely, open the pressure cooker and remove the steaks and vegetables to a serving dish. Thicken the gravy, if desired, with a mixture of cornstarch or flour in water. Bring the gravy to a low boil and cook until it is thick. Adjust seasoning as needed.
Optional Flavoring Ingredients
Many different optional flavoring ingredients can be used in the pressure cooker. For more flavorful gravy, try substituting a little wine for some of the water. Add herbs and spices such as garlic, onion, parsley and bay leaf. When cooking vegetables with the steaks, leave them in large chunks.
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Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.
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