I have been taking my time, slowly converting many of my favourite recipes to work in my pressure cookers. Although I am a hard core Instant Pot fan ( I own four of them), I was given a Breville Fast Slow Pro at the end of the year to try out it. In order to get a good feeling for it, I have made it my personal kitchen pressure cooker, with the Instant Pots taking a well deserved break.
Like the Instant Pot, the Breville does double duty as a slow cooker, it cooks rice, it has the sauté feature as well as a reduce feature and you can also steam things in it. It doesn't have the yogurt function, but for me, this is not a deal breaker at all as you can make yogurt without a pressure cooker and if you don't plan to make yogurt at home, you won't miss it at all.
I could write up a long, drawn out review but, to be honest, I agree with pretty much everything that Laura, over at Hip Pressure Cooking, has to say in her review so you might as well just go read hers. You should check her site out anyway because she is an amazing resource for pressure cooking, so get hopping. Oddly enough, I have the same love/hate relationship with the lid. I kind of love that it is attached but I was constantly bumping it while I was stirring, sautéing and serving although I am getting used to working around it and it's not nearly as irritating as it was when I first started using it.
I do love that when you use the pre programmed settings for stew, risotto, meat etc that it automatically performs the corresponding pressure release as well. Many people seem to be terrified of the pressure release valve so those people will love the fact that you never have to touch it on this unit - there is a button to press when you want to release manually, so there is no need for wooden spoons, tea towels, shields and crazy gymnastics in order to avoid getting in the way of the jet of steam. Oh, and it has an altitude adjustment setting for those of you who live in Machu Picchu so you won't have to do your own math.
The bottom line is that it is almost twice the price of most of the competitors but it is certainly more sophisticated and it is really sturdy and well made so if you have the money and you care about being able to pick the exact PSI to cook at and want to be able to monitor the progress when the machine is building pressure, it is certainly a lovely machine.
Back to the posole, or pozole, depending on who you are talking to. Posole is a Mexican soupy stew, full of meat and hominy, large hulled corn kernels that is traditionally a food served during celebrations. Always containing hominy, it is usually made from either pork or chicken and comes in "white", "green" or "red" versions, depending on the ingredients you use for the sauce. My favourite is green, or posole verde which is full of tomatillos, poblano chilis, cilantro and pumpkin seeds (hence, green posole). Rumour has it that the Aztecs made their pozole with human meat but, thankfully, we have come a long way and now pork is the most common meat used in this dish.
Usually, this posole takes over four hours to make because I stew the pork first for 3 1/2 hours before we even get to the final part. This means that I don't make it all that often because it requires planning ahead, which we all know is not my strength.
Doing it in the pressure cooker cuts the time down to just over an hour and a half total, from start to finish and I can't really tell the difference by the time it makes it to the dinner table, so I consider this another pressure cooking success.
I was given a Fast Slow Pro for free in order to try it out and, if I liked it, to share my thoughts with you. As always, my opinions are my own. All links to Amazon are affiliate links.
|My old school posole recipe|
2 lbs pork shoulder butt, cut into 1.5" chunks
1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
28 oz or approx 800g tomatillos, drained
1/2 cup chopped, canned poblano peppers OR 3 fresh poblano peppers
small sprig cilantro
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
*you might need 1/2 cup of chicken stock to puree
a couple of tbls of vegetable oil
1 tbls mexican oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 or 3 red potatoes, 1/2" dice
36.5 oz or 1 kg can hominy, drained
2 cups chicken stock
thinly sliced radish, deep fried corn tortilla strips, fresh lime wedges, raw red onion sliced really thinly, chopped avocado
Preheat your pressure cooker on sauté. When it's hot, add a drizzle of oil and then start browning the pork without crowding the pot, one batch at a time. Add a pinch of salt to each batch of meat and brown, removing it to a bowl, until all the pork has been browned.
Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds over medium heat in a dry skillet until they swell up and start to pop and then remove and set aside. Drain the tomatillos and the peppers.
If using fresh peppers, char them on a hot, dry pan until they are blistered all over and starting to blacken, remove to a bowl and cover tightly. Let them steam for at least five minutes before you rub off most of the skin and remove the seeds. Chop coarsely and set aside
When the pumpkin seeds cool down, put them in a blender or food processor and grind to a fine powder. Then add the tomatillos, peppers, salt and pepper, onion, garlic and cilantro and process until completely smooth (you might have to add up to 1/2 cup of chicken stock if it's too thick to process)
Heat a couple of tbls of veg oil in the pressure cooker that is still on sauté but turn it down to low, pour in the green pumpkin seed/tomatillo puree and cook it until the colour deepens at a nice simmer, about 15 to 25 minutes. It will thicken and the colour will become darker and richer.
Add the pork, the oregano, the cumin and the chicken stock and cover, lock the lid on and you can either just hit the stew button OR manual for 20 minutes on High Pressure.
When the time is up, release the pressure, open it up, add in the potatoes and the drained, rinsed hominy, lock the lid back on and cook at High Pressure for 3 minutes.
When the time is up, do a quick release of the pressure.
To serve, add some posole to each bowl and top with the radish, tortilla strips, raw red onion and some chopped avocado with a bit of fresh cilantro and a lime wedge. If you prefer, you can serve the garnishes separately and let everyone chose their own.