|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
A pressure cooker is a home cook's secret weapon when it comes to long-cooking cuts of meat and limited time to prepare them. It cooks by trapped steam pressure, so cooking time is greatly reduced and the pressurized steam forces any liquid into the food. The result is melt-in-your-mouth tender meat. These days the Instant Pot and similar electric pressure cookers rule.
A round steak is a lean cut from the rear of the animal, and because it lacks the fat present in most steaks, it tends to become dry and tough when cooked without moisture. This recipe for round steak includes potatoes and onions, along with some bacon for flavor. Feel free to add a cup of sliced carrots to the pot along with the potatoes and onions.
- 2 pounds round steak
- 2 tablespoons shortening (or vegetable oil)
- 2 strips bacon (diced)
- 3/4 cup beef stock (low sodium or unsalted)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or more beef stock)
- 2 (4-ounce) cans mushrooms (drained)
- 6 small white onions (or about 1 cup of sliced onions)
- 6 medium potatoes (peeled and halved)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- Optional: 1 tablespoon flour
Heat the pressure cooker and add the shortening and bacon. Cook until the bacon is almost crisp. Remove the bacon pieces to paper towels with a slotted spoon.
Cut the steak into cubes or serving-size pieces. Brown the beef in the hot shortening and bacon drippings.
Add the beef stock and wine and seal the cooker. Place the pressure regulator on the vent pipe.
Cook the steak on high pressure for 8 minutes.
Add the reserved bacon, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.
Seal the cooker again and cook for 8 more minutes; let the pressure drop of its own accord.
Discard the bay leaf.
Remove the meat and the vegetables to a warm serving platter to keep warm.
If desired, combine 1 tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of water; stir until smooth.
Add the flour paste to the liquids and simmer the sauce until thickened, stirring constantly.
Serve the round steak and vegetables with the thickened gravy.
Some Tips for Using a Pressure Cooker
Pressure cooker recipes don't require as much liquid as standard recipes, and that's why this recipe calls for only 1/2 cup of wine plus the mushroom juices. You can always add more liquid if you like—it won't hurt anything—but never use less than 1 cup. You need enough to build up trapped steam inside the cooker.
For uniform cooking, make sure your steak is cut into pieces as close in size as possible.
Steam can be affected by altitude. If you live a high elevation, increase the cooking time by 5 percent for every 1,000 feet over 2,000 feet above sea level.
Pressure cookers can be either stove-top or electric. If you've never used one before, consider starting out with an electric cooker. It will provide you with easy, clear-cut directions and take a lot of the guesswork out of cooking.