Sunday, February 21, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

Saints in the Superbowl?  The Saints?  This one's easy. I'm having Red Beans and Rice!

I used Smoked Kielbasa for the sausage but authentic Red Beans and Rice contain Andouille sausage, it's your preference.

I made this in the Pressure cooker. If you are cooking traditionally, cook for 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender. The rest of the recipe remains the same.

(Adapted from

Ingredients and Method:

1 pound dried red beans or 2 cans drained and rinsed canned red beans. For dried beans, soak overnight in water
1 pound smoked kielbasa sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces

1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 quart chicken broth
2 tablespoons parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Scallions and white rice for accompaniment

Add oil to pressure cooker over medium heat. Brown sliced sausage on both sides, approximately 5 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add onion, celery and garlic, and saute for 10 minutes until onion is translucent and celery softens.

Add cumin, thyme and cayenne pepper and saute one minute more. Add chicken broth, beans and sausage.

Cover, turn heat up and bring up to pressure, 15 p.s.i.  Once the cooker begins to steam steadily, turn heat down to low, and let cook for 10 - 15 minutes under pressure. Remove from heat and let cool naturally.

Remove cover and check to make sure the beans are tender. (No need if you used canned beans) If the beans are not done, repressurize and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve over freshly cooked rice and garnish with green onions.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sauerbraten German Pot Roast

So I came across this recipe. I've heard of Sauerbraten but have never made it nor tried it. What intrigued me about making it was marinating the cut of meat for 3 days, perhaps adapting it for the Pressure Cooker, and the addition of crushed ginger cookies to the marinade to thicken and make a gravy for the meat.

Will I make this again? You bet! The meat was deliciously tangy sour (hence the name Sauerbraten) and as tender and delicious as could be.

The gravy however, I guess I expected it to be more of a contributor than what it was so I "doctored" it a bit. I added a bit more sugar because it was still very sour, and I added some ground ginger to give it some "bite".  It accompanies the meat wonderfully since it's the marinade for the meat, it just needed a boost. Feel free to experiment with your own thoughts or preferences.

That being said, this was the most tender, delicious cut of roast I've had in years and years.

Adapted from:  Joelen's Culinary Adventures. 


Ingredients and Method:

1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 cup Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 carrot chopped thinly
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 bay leaves
6 minced cloves
2 - 3 pound bottom round roast
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
15 gingersnaps, crushed
1 teaspoon ground ginger

All right, so here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna make a marinade, and marinate the roast for 3 days.  Yes, 3 days!   It'll be worth the hassle, believe me.

(Pressure Cooker note. The only difference in the recipe directions if you're NOT using a pressure cooker, is to bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 4 to 5 hours until fork tender)

In a saucepan combine both vinegars, water, salt, pepper,  carrots, onions, bay leaves, cloves and ground mustard. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, let cool.

Pat the roast dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add 1 tablespoon olive oil  to a medium frying pan and brown meat on each side until browned, approximately 10 minutes per side.

Remove from heat.

Pour marinade into non-reactive dish. Add roast to dish. If the roast is not covered with marinade simply plan on turning the roast once a day so both sides get equally marinated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 days.

When ready to cook/bake, remove roast, and pour all of marinade into pressure cooker (or baking dish). Cut any exposed fat from the roast. Add the roast, turn up heat, cover and bring up to 15 p.s.i. When the cooker begins to steam steadily, turn the heat down to low, and let cook at pressure for 60 minutes. (Or, as stated earlier, bake at 350 degrees for 4 - 5 hours). Let cool naturally.

Remove roast to cutting board and let rest.

Strain marinade mixture into bowl. Don't be afraid to mash solids through the mesh to give the gravy some "body".

Pour into saucepan, add sugar, ginger, and crushed ginger cookies. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and continue to stir and simmer, until gravy thickens.
Remove from heat and skim any visible fat from surface.

Slice roast against grain into approx. 1/4 inch slices, arrange on plate, and ladle gravy over. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!