“Haul out that vintage pressure cooker from the back of the kitchen cupboard, give it a good dust and turn up the heat for some seriously good comfort-food cooking - the kind that delivers two-hour taste in 20 minutes flat”

“I have vivid childhood memories of that very particular fizzing sound coming from the kitchen, often accompanied by a somewhat unpleasant smell. Isn’t it odd that the aroma that a pressure cooker gives off is frequently not the most palatable, yet what awaits beneath the lid is a moreish treat whose rich succulence — one that’s redolent of slow cooking at its best — belies the fact that it’s prepared in no time at all.

I started using a pressure cooker again some five years ago, not, I’m reluctant to admit, because I suddenly saw the light and realised my cooking needed one, but rather because I was asked to endorse the machine and the kind people at AEG gave me a few to play with.

At La Colombe, we experimented with them for all kind of applications: risotto ‘a la minute braises and, of course, stocks. In those days, we made a great quail soup in which the beautifully intense game-bird flavour came courtesy ola pressure cooker. And it was hardly surprising to learn that, at the famous Fat Duck, most of the stocks are also made using a pressure cooker.’No loss of flavour’ is the catchphrase of this kind of cooking.

The recipes here are super Easy, so get stuck in and take the pressure up a notch.”

Quick-braised chinese beef short ribs

Description: Quick-braised chinese beef short ribs

Serves 41 Easy

Great Value


20 minutes


40 minutes


·         Beef short ribs 500 g, cut into 2 cm-thick slices star anise 3

·         Cinnamon ½ stick

·         Apples 2, diced

·         Szechuan peppercorns ½ t

·         Cloves 8

·         Water 6 cups

·         Soya sauce ½ cup

·         Oyster sauce 6 t

·         Brown sugar 2 t

·         Sherry ¾ cup

·         Ginger 1 x 3 cm piece, sliced

For serving:

·         Steamed jasmine rice

·         Steamed bok choy


1.    Place all the ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and reduce the cooking liquor by two thirds.

2.    Serve the beef ribs in their liquor with steamed jasmine rice and bok choy.



Wine: Oldenburg Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Duck “Au Vin” with chestnuts, onions and mushrooms

Description: Duck ‘au vin” with chestnuts, onions and mushrooms

Serves 41 A Little Effort


20 minutes


45 minutes


·         Whole duck 1, cut into portions

·         Butter 3t

·         Baby onions 12, peeled

·         Fresh thyme 6 sprigs

·         Flat-leaf parsley 2 t

·         Flour 2t

·         Button mushrooms 16

·         Red wine 3 cups

·         Canned whole chestnuts 16, peeled

·         Garlic 1 bulb, halved

·         Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         Mashed potato, for serving


1.    Cut the duck legs through the bone into 3 to 4 pieces. Cut the breasts in half, again through the bone.

2.    Brown the duck pieces in half the butter in a 5hallow frying pan until golden. Meanwhile, in a pressure cooker, brown the onions and herbs in the remaining butter until golden. Add the flour and mushrooms and continue browning until golden.

3.    Add the duck, wine, chestnuts and garlic to the mushrooms and bring to the boil. Attach the pressure cooker’s lid and cook at high pressure for 35 minutes. Remove the lid and boil until the sauce has thickened. Adjust the seasoning and serve with mashed potato.


Wine: Alto Rouge 2010

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