Thursday, January 3, 2019

RECIPE: Mexican Pot Roast (Pressure Cooker)

I've been making this recipe for years!  It's from one of my favorite cookbooks, From the Earth to the Table by John Ash.  The original recipe calls for the dish to be cooked in a 350 degree oven for 4 hours.  I have occasionally cooked it overnight at 250 degrees (with added water to prevent burning).  But, there are times when I don't have even 4 hours so I tried cooking it in a pressure cooker.

It was better in the pressure cooker than in the oven!  The meat was tender and moist, and ready in under 2 hours!

If you do this,YOU MUST USE A STAINLESS PRESSURE COOKER!  Mine is made by Fissler,  but many other manufacturers now make them, including Presto, which used to be aluminum.  PLEASE don't use aluminum!  Kuhn-Ricon, Magefesa, Viking, and Instant Pot are other reputable brands.  Do NOT use All-American which is all aluminum.

The original recipe was for a 3-pound brisket but I've found that the 2-pound point sold by USWM is the perfect size for my pressure cooker,and I prefer a higher onion-to-meat ratio so that's what I use.

Mexican Pot Roast (Pressure Cooker)
Serves 6-8

  1. 1/4 c. organic ancho chile powder* OR organic new mexico red chile powder*
  2. 1.25 c. dry red wine (I used syrah)
  3. 1/2 c. fresh orange juice (I used 2 blood oranges, peeled and seeded)
  4. 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar (I used 1/4 c. ACV plus 2 T. sugar)
  5. 4 T. chopped garlic (I used 2 T. dried garlic (homemade))
  6. 2 t. ground cumin
  7. 3/4 t. ground cinnamon (I used Vietnamese)
  8. 1 T. fresh oregano or 1.5 t. dried 
  9. 3 t. himalayan pink salt
  10. 2 pounds of yellow onions, thinly sliced.
  11. 1/3 golden raisins or currants
  12. 2 pounds center cut beef brisket, fat removed (original recipe used 3pounds)
For serving:
Tortillas, sliced avocados, cilantro sprigs, queso fresca or fresh feta cheese

Combine first 9 ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree.
* Peppers should always be organic as they are high in pesticides.  New Mexico chiles are very mild, use them if your tolerance for heat is low.  We find the ancho chile heat is perfect for our palate.  If you prefer a hotter dish, add a few fresh hot chiles to the blender, seeds and all.

Pour 1/2 c. of water into the bottom of the pressure cooker and add the rack or steamer pan.  Add half the sliced onions.  Top with half the raisins and then the beef*.  Add the rest of the onions and raisins.  Pour the spice mixture overall spreading with a spatula to cover the meat.  * If you can't fit the meat in one layer, put some onions and sauce between the two layers.

Cover and lock the lid.  Follow the directions for your unit to bring it up to pressure, lower the heat to maintain that pressure, and cook for 1.5 hours.

Release pressure and remove the meat to a serving dish.  Shred using two forks.  While you're doing this, raise the heat under the sauce in the pressure cooker and evaporate some of the liquid to thicken the sauce.

Mix the onions and the sauce into the shredded meat,

Serve on tortillas garnished with cilantro sprigs, avocado slices, and queso fresco or fresh feta cheese.

John Ash recommends serving this with Merlot but I usually serve the wine I  used to make the sauce.

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