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Pressure cooker barbecued beef

Slow cooked food made fast using a pressure cooker
Slow cooked food made fast using a pressure cooker
Photo by author

Who doesn't love barbecued beef? The rich, smoky flavor of barbecue and meat that is so tender it doesn't need a knife are a combination that put even a porterhouse steak to shame. What people don't like about barbecued beef is the lengthy cooking time required to make it savory and tender. Using either a slow cooker or the low and slow method on the grill requires a cooking time of 4 to 6 hours to develop a melt in the mouth beef that is infused with flavor.

This is where the pressure cooker saves the day. Using a pressure cooker and a simple pot roast (beef chuck roast) cut on the grain into four pieces, saucy, savory barbecued beef can be prepared in less than two hours.

This recipe contains a number of cheats, including starting with a very generic bottled barbecue sauce and adding a beef bouillion cube or beef stock concentrate to enhance the flavor. Cutting the roast into smaller pieces provides more surface area so that the pressure cooker can drive the barbecue flavors into the meat. Other barbecuing methods often leave meat with a superficial layer of flavor, but pressure cookery barbecue completely envelopes the meat with spices. Get ready for an explosion of flavor with this fast food variation on a slow-cooker favorite.

Barbecued Beef
1 4 lb. beef chuck roast
1 c. bottled barbecue sauce
1 c. water
1 tsp. beef stock concentrate or 1 beef bouillion cube
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke Iomit if using a smokey-flavored bbq sauce)
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar

Slice beef into 4 pieces along the grain of the meat. The grain follows the pattern of marbling, and normally runs vertically on the chuck roast. Place into cooker pot.

Mix together barbecue sauce, water, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce and dark brown sugar. Pour over beef. Add beef stock concentrate, cover the pot and set the pressure regulator to "high" (or 15 pounds.)

As soon as the correct pressure is reached, lower heat and allow to cook for 45 minutes. When the cooking time has elapsed, remove pot from heat and allow 15 minutes for the pressure to reduce slowly. Remove lid and remove beef pieces to cutting board. Using two forks, shred beef or using a knife, slice beef into small pieces.

Pour barbecue sauce from pot into measuring cup and skim off any excess fat. Return sauce to pot or to smaller saucepan; heat on medium until liquid is reduced to desired thickness.

To serve, place several slices of beef onto hamburger bun or Kaiser roll. Spoon sauce over beef. Makes 8 servings.

Leftover beef can be refrigerated or frozen covered in sauce in rigid-walled freezer containers.

Note: This recipe was prepared using an 8 quart pressure cooker. Weights and measurements will have to be adjusted for 6 quart cookers.

If you like a barbecue sauce that has some texture, dice a large onion and add to the sauce at the end when reducing the liquid. This allows the onion pieces to retain some of their texture.

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