3 Fetching French Pressure Cooker Recipes

Julia Child once said, “In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” She’s right. For the French, take the time to cook (and eat) well is a big deal, and you can taste the results. Thankfully, you don’t have to be like Julia Child, and go to France and become a master chef to enjoy French cooking. You can use a pressure cooker.

 

What I love about pressure cooking is that every step of the cooking process is faster, but not rushed. You’ll still brown and sauté many ingredients, resulting in deeper, richer flavors, but the actual cooking part of the meal is significantly quicker than if you used an oven or stovetop. Usually-slow, simmering stews take an hour or so instead of hours, and thick cuts of meat like beef chuck roast become fall-off-the-bone tender in 40 minutes or less. Pressure cooking is also the healthiest way to cook ingredients in these French recipes, like nutrition-rich carrots, onions, mushrooms, and more!

 

A pressure cooker provides a quick, healthy, and delicious method for creating French classics like beef bourguignon, coq au vin, and cherry clafoutis.

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Beef Bourguignon

Serves: 6

Time: 37 minutes

 

Originally a “peasant stew,” this rich, meaty dish evolved into one of France’s best-known meals. Ingredients typically include red wine, beef, garlic, fresh herbs, and mushrooms. This version adds carrots for good measure.

Preparing beef bourguignon in a pressure cooker is extremely easy. Chop your beef roast into bite-sized pieces. Next, add all the ingredients except the noodles, flour, and water in the cooker. 6 quarts is a good size, though you can also make it in a 4-quart cooker if that’s what you have. Secure the lid so it locks.

 

            For stovetop cookers:

 

Turn the burner to medium-high and wait for the pressure to build. When it hits

high pressure, turn the burner down to maintain that pressure and set the timer for 12

minutes. When time is up, remove the cooker carefully from the burner and let the

pressure decrease on its own for 10-12 minutes.

 

For electric cookers:

 

Turn the cooker to the high pressure setting and cook for about 15 minutes. When the

timer beeps, unplug the cooker and wait for the pressure to reduce naturally. It should take about 10-12 minutes.

 

Note: Egg noodles take about 6-8 minutes to cook, so if you haven’t cooked them yet, start the water boiling now.

 

When the pressure is all gone, you can open the cooker, but be cautious. It’s very hot. You can also probably start cooking the egg noodles. Keep a close eye on the pot so they don’t overcook and become mushy. Carefully pick out the bay leaf from the pressure cooker.

 

In a separate bowl, mix ¼ cup of water with 2 tablespoons of flour. This will be the stew thickener. Pour in the cooker and turn the cooker back on to medium-high. If you’re using a stovetop cooker, return to the burner and turn to medium-high. Leave the lid off. When the stew has thickened, cook for another 1 minute.

 

Serve the beef chunks and sauce over the egg noodles.

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch bites

6 cups cooked egg noodles (optional)

2 ⅔ cups halved, fresh mushrooms

4 peeled and cut medium-sized carrots

⅔ cup beef broth

⅔ cup dry red wine

¾ cup onion, cut into wedges

¼ cup water

2 minced garlic cloves

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons tomato paste

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon crushed dried thyme

¼ teaspoon black pepper

 

Directions:

 

  1. Mix everything (except the egg noodles, water, and flour) together in a 4-6 quart pressure cooker.
  2. Lock the lid.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes with a stovetop cooker, or 15 minutes for an electric cooker.
  4. When time is up, remove the cooker from the burner, or unplug the electric cooker.
  5. Wait for the pressure to come down naturally.
  6. Open the cooker.
  7. Pick out the bay leaf.
  8. In a bowl, mix ¼ cup of water with 2 tablespoons flour.
  9. Pour into the cooker.
  10. Turn the cooker to medium-high, leaving the lid off, and cook until the stew thickens.
  11. Cook for one more minute.
  12. Serve over egg noodles and savor!

Nutritional Info:

 

Calories: 451

Protein: 33.7

Fat: 10.6

Carbs: 51.5

Fiber: 4.1

 

Coq Au Vin

Serves: 6

Time: About 25 minutes

 

Coq au vin means “rooster in wine,” which is literally what this chicken stew is. A nice red is traditional, Burgundy specifically, along with chicken broth, butter-sautéed mushrooms, garlic, carrots, and onion. It’s a perfect stew for chilly evenings, and tastes even better as leftovers.

 

Browning is very important with this recipe, because it deepens the flavors. First, you cook the bacon, which is used as a topping. Leave the bacon fat in the pot; it serves as a mouthwatering base for your sauce. Then, you brown the chicken thighs after seasoning them with just salt and pepper. The aromatics (onion and garlic) come next, and then you deglaze the pot with the red wine. You want all those caramelized bits in the sauce, so use a spatula to chip off and mix in any burned-on chicken, onion, and garlic pieces.

 

When the liquid has almost all evaporated, you add in the chicken broth along with the tomato paste, thyme, carrots, and bay leaf. Place the chicken thighs on top and secure the lid.

 

            For stovetop cookers:

 

Turn the burner to medium and wait for the pressure to rise. When it hits high, turn

the burner down to maintain high pressure for 8 minutes. When time is up, you’ll do a

quick-release.

 

For electric cookers:

 

Select the “high pressure” setting and cook for 10 minutes. Quick-release the pressure

when done.

 

While the pressure cooker is on, you cook the mushrooms. Heat a saute pan on the stove and add the butter and oil. When the butter is melted, toss in the quartered mushrooms and stir until they’ve become a beautiful golden color. Season generously with salt and pepper, and set aside.

 

When the pressure has reduced from the cooker, open the lid and carefully move the chicken to a plate so you can focus on the sauce. In a separate bowl, mix your cornstarch and water. Pour into the cooker and heat again to a simmer, so the sauce can thicken. When the sauce is bubbling, add in your cooked mushrooms and stir, so they become coated.

 

Serve as is with the sauce poured over the chicken, or with rice, mashed potatoes, or pasta! Top with the diced bacon from the very beginning, and the chopped parsley.

 

Ingredients:

3 pounds boneless, skinless, and trimmed chicken thighs

12 ounces quartered white mushrooms

1 cup red wine

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup diced bacon

1 chopped medium-sized yellow onion

2 chopped garlic cloves

3 tablespoons cold water

2 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder, for those who are grain-free)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 sliced sliced carrots

2 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon veggie oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

 

  1. Begin by browning the bacon in your cooker until crisp. Leave the bacon in the pot.
  2. Prepare the chicken with salt and pepper, and place in the hot cooker.
  3. Brown in the bacon fat on both sides.
  4. When golden, transfer the chicken to a plate.
  5. Next, add the onions to the pot until they become a little caramelized.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan.
  8. When it’s almost completely evaporated, add the tomato paste, broth, thyme, carrots, and bay leaf.
  9. Return the chicken to the pot and lock the lid.
  10. If you’re using an electric cooker, select high pressure and cook for 10 minutes. If you’re using a stovetop cooker, cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  11. While that cooks, preheat a saute pan.
  12. Add the veggie oil and butter.
  13. When melted, cook the mushrooms until they turn golden.
  14. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  15. When the pressure cooker timer sounds, quick-release the pressure.
  16. Move the chicken to a plate.
  17. In a separate bowl, mix the water and cornstarch until smooth.
  18. Pour into the cooker to thicken the sauce.
  19. Stir constantly on low heat, until the sauce is boiling.
  20. Toss in the mushrooms to coat.
  21. Serve with chopped parsley and bacon on top!

 

Nutritional Info:

 

Calories:  281

Protein: 23.9

Fat: 12.4

Carbs: 15

Fiber: 2.2

 

Cherry Clafoutis

Serves: 6

Time: About 25 minutes

 

Made popular during the 19th century, this cherry-based dessert is France’s version of Mom’s apple pie. It traditionally uses black cherries, but can also be made with other fruit like plums, pears, blackberries, and strawberries. To keep things classic, this version uses black or red cherries, which are packed with antioxidants.

 

The only ingredient you might have to go a little out of your way for is a pound of cherries. Everything else – the eggs, milk, sugar, flour, water, and vanilla – are pantry staples. When your ingredients are assembled, begin by creaming the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together. When evenly-mixed, stir in the milk and flour. There’s your batter!

 

Pour into a greased, heatproof-dish you know can fit in your cooker. Take your cherries and arrange them in the batter so they’re evenly-placed. Wrap in foil. I like to make a foil sling so I can easily lower the dish in the cooker, and take it out. Just cut a wide-enough strip of foil so it doesn’t break with the dish’s weight, and make it long enough so it has two handles.

 

Turn your attention to the pressure cooker and fill with 2 cups of water. Lower in a trivet or steamer basket. You just don’t want the dish to directly touch the bottom of the cooker. Using your sling, place the dish in the cooker and fold the handles, so they’re inside. Lock the lid.

 

For stovetop cookers:

 

            Turn on the burner and wait for the pressure to get to high. Reduce the heat and

maintain high pressure for 15 minutes. When time is up, quick-release the pressure.

 

For electric cookers:

 

            Turn to the “high pressure” setting and cook for 20 minutes. Quick-release the

pressure when the timer goes off.

 

Open the cooker and carefully remove the dish. Use oven mitts even if you made a sling. Unwrap the dish and poke a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, the dessert is cooked through. If it isn’t, wrap the dish back up and place it in your cooker. Close the lid and use the leftover heat to finish the cooking process. Wait 5 minutes. Serve warm or stick it in the fridge for a chillier treat! If I’m serving the clafoutis warm, I like to accompany it with a scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound pitted black or red cherries

2 cups water

2 eggs

1 cup milk

½ cup sugar

¾ cup flour

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:

 

  1. Grease a heatproof dish with butter or coconut oil.
  2. In a bowl, cream the sugar, eggs, and vanilla together.
  3. Stir in the flour and milk.
  4. Pour the batter into your dish and arrange the cherries inside, so they’re evenly-placed.
  5. Cover the dish with foil.
  6. Pour 2 cups of water into your pressure cooker and lower in a steamer basket or trivet, so the dish doesn’t touch the bottom of the cooker.
  7. Put the dish in the cooker.
  8. Secure the lid.
  9. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes if you’re using a stovetop cooker, or 20 minutes on the “high pressure” setting in an electric cooker.
  10. When time is up, quick-release the pressure.
  11. Poke a toothpick through the center and if it comes out clean, the dessert is ready. If not, wrap the dish back up and lock in your pressure cooker, but without turning it back on or returning it to pressure. Let the leftover heat cook it for another 5 minutes.
  12. Serve warm or chilled!

 

Nutritional Info:

 

Calories: 225

Protein: 6

Fat: 3

Carbs: 43

Fiber: 2

 

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The philosophy of French cooking is simple – use good ingredients, take your time with the basics, and enjoy. What makes French food so good is the layers of flavor that come from carefully browning meat, cooking aromatics like garlic and herbs, and using good, real ingredients. Don’t go with anything processed or artificial like (gasp!) imitation butter or “low-fat.”  French food isn’t about avoiding calories or cutting corners. Take the time to savor the cooking process and the experience of eating. Light a candle, pour a glass of good wine, and enjoy!

2 Comments

  1. Awesome post, thanks for the share!

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