Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pressure Cooking - Chapter 2


In 1972, my husband and I didn't have very much money.  We made it, but there was definitely no "extra" so we did everything we could figure out to pinch pennies.  One day, he shot and killed a ground hog. It was a fairly large animal.  After preparing it for cooking, we cut it into two portions.  The first portion I roasted in the oven.  It was as tough as shoe leather.  Very difficult to eat.  The second half I cooked in our pressure cooker.  It was falling-off-the-bone tender, moist and delicious!  The moral of this story is that you can purchase less-expensive cuts of meat, and if you pressure cook them, they become tender.

I did not cook a ground hog today.  Instead, I made ham and Great Northern bean soup and cornbread in the pressure saucepans.  Here we go!

The night before, pour 1 pound of dried Great Northern beans into a colander, rinse thoroughly, pour them into a large bowl, add 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and 3 times as much cold water as there are beans.  Let that sit on the counter until you are ready to cook the next day. As in yesterday's post, I am using TWO pressure saucepans for this meal.

This is what they look like after soaking.


Pour the soaked beans into your colander and rinse them thoroughly.

Put a nice meaty ham hock into the smaller cooker, on the trivet, with 2 cups of water.  Secure the lid and bring up to temperature.  Allow to cook at pressure for 15 minutes, then cool quickly under running cold water.

When the pressure releases, open the cooker and the ham hock will look like this.

Pour the cooked meat and the liquid over the beans that by now you have poured into the 6-quart pressure cooker.  Add enough more water to cover the beans by at least 1/2 inch.  I added one whole inch since we like our soup a little more watery.  Here it is, ready to cook.

Prepare a batch of cornbread (recipe follows.)  Pour it into an appropriately sized pan or Pyrex bowl.  I used a 1.5 quart Pyrex bowl, well buttered.  Add 1.5 cups of water and the trivet to the smaller pan.  Cover the bowl or pan tightly with aluminum foil.  Place it in the cooker on the trivet and water.  Secure lid.  Bring to pressure, cook for 22 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow the pressure to go down by itself.  Here is what it looked like after cooking.

Here are both cookers on the stove.  When you cook the bean soup, bring it up to pressure, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.  That's right.  Only FIVE minutes.  Remove from heat and allow the pressure to go down naturally.

The corn bread was moist, sweet, and delicious!

The soup was just right!  I also added a teaspoon of Realsalt and some freshly ground black pepper.

My husband likes to put a piece of cornbread in his bowl and pour his soup over that.  I prefer to eat them separately.  Here is mine with butter and some lovely honey.  Oh my!  Such luxury!

I hope you will try this.  It saves time and energy and the food turns out so nicely.  Here is the cornbread recipe I promised:

Pressure-Cooker Cornbread

1 1/3 cups corn meal
2/3 cup unbleached flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Mix the wet ingredients together well.  Pour the wet into the dry and stir with a fork, just until the batter is moist.  Do not beat it.  Pour into greased baking vessel and then proceed as described above, cooking at pressure for 22 minutes, with 1.5 cups water in the pan and the trivet.  Be sure to cover your pan or bowl tightly with aluminum foil and allow the pressure to go down by itself.

This is fun.


  1. Both of these look great! The cornbread really gets my attention, would not think to cook that in a pressure cooker!

    1. Thank you, Melynda! I hope you will try it!


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