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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Resuscitating Shoe Leather (Pressure Cooking “Lessons”)

cruiser cooking techniques gone awry, cruising life, provisioning
Good for hiking, but not for eating.  GWT eats humble pie.....
Cruising invites cooking techniques that use less power and unlock nutritious ingredients with low perish ability – like dried chick peas (garbanzos).  Plus, stove top versus oven cooking heats up the boat less – important in tropical climes, important given our bad BBQ karma (when we’ve had one, ours is usually not working).

Given that, even while we’re not cruising, as a relative pressure cooker newbie (click here for “Don’t Blow the Boat Up” for more pressure cooking insights), I’m still trying to sharpen my pressure cooking skills.  Besides, the heat index in Jacksonville FL in the summer often tops 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and our low budget temporary apartment air conditioner wasn’t working well and we didn’t have a BBQ.

Pressure Cooker aficionados treat them as the hammer to nail any food, so when I bought a nice thick London Broil (seemed too thick for stove top cooking), I found some online resources for using a pressure cooker to prepare it. 

Wayne as usual, was dubious, though given most of his culinary expertise tends towards Frito pies and reheating, his skepticism did not dissuade me.  This time, however, he was right.

The consistency was that of a very very well cooked brisket.... Wayne described it as shoe leather; I would amend that to wet, crumbly shoe leather.  Not what I had in mind for my Southwestern Steak Salad, which Wayne had been begging for, for a while. 

What to do?  I hate throwing food away if there’s another viable option. It made a great stew – a whole lotta really meaty stew.

Takeaway?  Pressure cooking is not the technique to use for medium rare meat. 

Wayne did eventually get the Southwestern Steak Salad; the meat was broiled on a night I was willing to use the oven.  And it was good.

What are your pressure cooking disasters or breakthroughs?  Please share!

Location, Location
We are currently working over hurricane season in Jacksonville FL; this time with our boat “on the hard” in Green Cove Springs, until just before we leave in November, bound for the South Pacific via the Panama Canal.  There’s still lots of retrospectives with great coming up, but as “the galley wench” I was overdue for a cruiser-worthy food blog.