Monday, August 31, 2009

Pressure Cooker Chili

Last night was Pressure Cooker Chili night! I was really excited to do this recipe because I have never used a Pressure Cooker before! Luckily instead of having to buy one, my Father-in-law who is also an AMAZING cook had one that he let me borrow. As you can probably guess our guests of honor last night were my Mother, my Nephew and my amazing 2nd parents Sonja and Andy! Once again all the ingredients were bought at Kroger (Side note: Kroger should really pay me for as much as I advertise them!) EXCEPT Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce. This is where the adventure begins. My Mom and I looked EVERYWHERE at Kroger and couldn't find this ingredient (this was Saturday), so figured we would go on Sunday to Tom Thumb and surely they would have it, right? Well of course, we go and search Tom Thumb high and low and even ask Customer Service for help and the 16-yr-old that informed us in all his years working there (1 year) he has never even heard of this ingredient. I said I knew what it looked like and it does exist, just can't find it. So after he took us up and down every isle we had already looked on, we called Adam (who usually can provide me some insight as to where to go) and he said to try Whole Foods or La Michoacana. He highly suggested La Michoacana because he thought he had seen them there before. Of course we start on our way to Whole Foods, because I wasn't too excited about going to "Mexico" where if we ran into any problems between my Mom and I, no one could help us because all we can say is Si and No! BUT on the way I had a feeling and Adam is usually right about these things so we stopped at La Michoacana and BAM...first isle my Mom and I walked on it was right in front of us and looked as if a light from Heaven was shining on it, leading us towards it! Ok not really, but that's how I felt because I really needed this ingredient, it was a main component to the dish! So anyway, enough about Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce! I got home and the first thing you do is take the 3lbs of meat out of the package and put it in a large bowl and mix it with the peanut oil and salt. Just incase you didn't know I hate touching raw meat, this is usually Adam's job when we are cooking, but this is all about challenging myself, so I just went for it! My hands were freezing because the meat was so cold and I was totally disgusted but it was over quickly! Next you are suppose to heat your pressure cooker to high (lid off) and place the meat in there to brown in 3 batches (so basically 1lb per batch). So I go to place the first batch and WOW, it looked like I was trying to burn the house down! It started smoking uncontrollably and the fire alarm went off, I couldn't see anything, Kai was saying "shut it off" to the fire alarm, my Mom was saying "What's wrong" and Adam was scrambling to shut off the fire alarm and open the back door! No worries though, I stayed put and probably got a little smoke inhalation and browned that first batch of meat REALLY good! HA! It was over in a matter of minutes and I turned the heat down. So word to the wise, when it says to place it on high, I would do maybe between a 6 and 7! The next 2 batches went smoothly and browned perfectly! I then took the meat out and you are suppose to use a "medium ale" beer to de-glaze the brown goodness on the bottom. Backtracking a little, when I was at Kroger I asked about 3 men at the beer station what a good "medium ale" beer is and of course they had no clue and looked at my like I was crazy! Where is a beer connoisseur when you need them? UGH! So I just went with some Hawaiian Pale Ale beer I saw. Once you de-glaze everything you throw the rest of your ingredients into the pot and shut the lid. Wait until is hisses and then turn the heat down to a low simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Super easy to do and cooks really quickly! After the 25 minutes I opened the lid and this is really a recipe you shouldn't judge by its cover. It looked like dog food, but smelled delicious! So we all sat down around the table and dug in. I provided either bread, saltines or tortilla chips to go along with it. First bite was a surprise to all, it was really spicy! Of course I LOVE spicy food, but everyone else doesn't have taste buds of steel like I do, so they added extra crackers/chips/bread to theirs to soften the blow of the heat. I then went around the table and did a little survey of what everyone thought of the recipe, what they would change, etc...The general concensus was that they would cut the meat into smaller cubes and maybe do a few tweaks to the ingredients for next time, but overall it was a hit! Adam even said it was his favorite recipe of all the 3 I have done so far. So success with yet another recipe!

Recipe Rating: Easy
Good Leftover: Yes, actually a little better because all the ingredients have time to meld
Tip: Have a fan readily available, in case of heavy smoke
Stay tuned in 3 weeks- Eggplant Pasta

You can find the Pressure Cooker Chili recipe here:


  1. That does not sound easy to me! My idea of easy requires about 8 less steps and 2 fewer trips to the grocery store. I admire your perseverance!

  2. Brittany,
    I just bought a pressure cooker last week from Target $35 and waaaaay better than the one mom used.
    Cooked my artichokes in 15 mins instead of the usual 90 mins.
    Very happy boy I am.
    Can't wait to try the chili recipe!
    You rock!