Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mrs Smyth... takes the pressure down.

Sort of.
*cue mid 80's music*

No idea what I'm talking about. The mighty John Farnham of course!

Are you back now? Have you rejoiced in that saxophone solo? Good.

I'm talking about my Kambrook Pressure Express Pressure Cooker. When Ros from Sew Delicious had her first Bloggy Birthday giveaway, one of the prizes was said pressure cooker. I entered the competition because there was some SWEET fabric prizes too. And I had no idea what to do with a pressure cooker, because I'm so country and old school that I slow cook most nights with my cast iron pot on the fire. Oh yeah baby, I know how to party.

Then, I won the pressure cooker. OOOOER! How exciting! I waited for it to turn up, and just when I'd figured it had taken a detour around the pristine countryside of the Huon Valley, my local Mitre 10 rang me. Their courier had delivered it to them, so they looked me up in the phone book. Must love the country. MUST.

Millie and I whizzed down the street and they loaded it into the boot for me. Then I brought it home, and put it on the bench.

I took the book out, read about pressure release valves and dangerous things, realised it didn't make any sense in my preggo sleep deprived state and put the book back.


I googled pressure cooker recipes and wondered how it all worked. I rang my mother, and my mother in law and asked them about pressure cookers. I read the book, and put it back.


I decided enough was enough. I unpacked it, read the book again, read the website again, washed it all up and sat it on the bench. We were having dinner guests on Friday night and I would pressure cook a meal, even it killed us all.

On Friday, Millie's week of grumpy whinging turned into some sort of tummy bug, which coincided with my needing to clean the entire house at the same time. I found a few recipes online by googling 'Pressure Cooker Beef' but none of them took my fancy. I decided I rather fancied Beef Satay and WE WERE GOING TO DO IT IN THE PRESSURE COOKER AND THAT WAS THAT.

Did I still have any idea how to use the pressure cooker?


I was overjoyed when our dinner guests turned up and I mumbled something about a pressure cooker, and my mate Jonno said 'Oh! Emily's just finished a pressure cooker cooking course!'

Angels sang.

I dragged politely invited Emily to the kitchen, where after she did my dishes for me (bless!) whilst I got ingredients ready, we wrangled the recipe into some sort of pressure cooker format.

Then we realised none of the three of us knew how to cook rice without a a) rice cooker (Emily)  b) microwave (Jonno)  c) Mr Smyth (me). Enter Mr Smyth, and rice was cooking.

We put the satay beef and sauce in the pressure cooker, worked out how to close it all up, and watched the timer count down. We thought we'd released the pressure valve and directed Mr S to open the pressure cooker. I'm growing a human, you know.

When the lid didn't budge with gentle prodding, we deduced that we had not, in fact, released the pressure valve. Mr S tried again, and it turns out when you do release the valve, it makes an almighty hissing sound. Oh.

Mr S demanded first taste as reward for risking his life, and decided that it was indeed worth risking his life for.

There are no pictures of said Beef Satay with Rice, because it did not look particularly appealing, but MY GOODNESS it was delicious.

So... the recipe for you.

Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce
from the Commonsense Cookbook


300g beef/chicken/pork/lamb
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
pinch of chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon oil

Peanut Sauce

1 crushed clove of garlic (I use two)
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
squeeze lemon juice
pinch of chilli powder (make it good pinch!)
1/4 cup water of coconut milk
*note as the pressure cooker needs more liquid than regular cooking, I had doubled the recipe anyway and used a whole tin of coconut milk.



  1. Slice beef into thin strips.
  2. Mix all other ingredients and add meat, mix until each piece is coated.
  3. Marinate for 30 minutes. (piffle! I've never done this!)

Peanut Sauce

  1. Combine ingredients in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Stir over moderate heat until smooth, then slowly stir in enough water or coconut milk to give a dipping consistency.

Pressure Down!

  1. Heat the pressure cooker on the Saute setting, then seal the Satay mix.
  2. Turn off at the wall, add in the peanut sauce, place and seal the lid.
  3. Set to level '3' and turn the power on.
  4. Watch the dial time down. This is especially riveting.
  5. When dial has finished, do not touch the pressure cooker for a minimum of 10 minutes, to allow the pressure to regulate.
  6. Release the pressure valve.
  7. Tasty tasty nom noms.

My precioussssssss...

Mega thanks to Ros and also to Kambrook, who kindly offered this prize up to Ros. You have made me feel extra confident about having two kiddlywinks under two and still being able to eat.


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