Test #1 of the CooksEssentials 4.5 Qt. Microwave Pressure Cooker
First of all, I’m going to do a bit of housekeeping and apologize to Jane. .. the rest of you can look at the picture for a bit.
You’re absolutely right… this isn’t your exact recipe. The spice blends are there.. and basically, it’s the same. However, I had to make a couple of alterations in order to keep it from turning to just mush in the pot, and a couple of things had to change to cope with the shorter cooking time. The vegetable chunks are larger, but generally, it has the same feel, taste, thickness, and richness.
And… We’re back.
So, like I said yesterday, you’ve got to futz with the settings a bit to sync the temps and times up to your own microwave. For example – I use a 1200 watt micro, so the bulk of what I do is at 60% power and 10 less minutes on the unit for any of the recipes in the provided cookbook. Because of that, I’ve adopted that same cooking sense to the sauce. The time and power levels are:
38 Minutes at 60% power for Stage 1 of the recipe
10 minutes at 100% for Stage 2
If you’re cooking with a 900 watt – up the power settings to 80% and plus 10 minutes for stage 1.
A word about meat
To be honest, it isn’t necessary to brown any cut of meat off before using the pressure cooker. Yes, it does give it a little color, but as far as tenderness or retaining flavor goes, it just doesn’t matter. I have, however, browned off the ground beef before making the sauce simply to keep the ground bits from sticking together and making a honkin’ big meatball in the bottom of the pot.
Jane’s 8-Hour Spaghetti Sauce
Makes 2 quarts-ish of Sauce
2 Pounds Ground Beef (The leaner the better. However, I typically use 80/20 ground beef, because in my book – fat is flavor.)
1 Large Onion – Large Diced
1 Cup Carrots – Large Diced
2 Ribs Celery – Large Diced
1 28 ounce Can Diced Tomatoes with liquid
1 Cup Fresh Parsley – Minced
2 Cloves Garlic – Minced
1/4 Cup Tomato Paste
1 Cup Red Wine
1/2 Cup Beef Stock
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
3 Whole Cloves – Crushed
2 Bay Leaves
1 Teaspoon Each Salt & Pepper
1 Cup Beef Stock
1 Teaspoon Sugar – if needed
Brown off the meat, reserving all fat and juices. Add the meat and all STAGE 1 ingredients to the pot.
Give everything a good stir – attach the lid – check the seals
and cook in the microwave at 60% power for 38 minutes
Carefully remove from the micro and let the pressure release naturally
Remove the lid and skim off all the fat
Add the Stage 2 ingredients and give it a good stir.
Replace the lid – check the seals
Cook for 10 Minutes at 100% power
Carefully remove and allow to depressurize naturally
Give it one last stir and pour it up in a big pot with plenty of garlic bread and pasta.