Saturday, 21 February 2009

Black Bean and Corn Chile

After a few tries with my pressure cooker, I felt I was ready to try my first non-prescribed recipe. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out as planned, which wasn't a direct result of a non-pressure-cooker-recipe, but rather a mishap along the way.

Of course, because my first few tries turned out to be so easy I was quite confident to venture into an easy black bean and corn chile. The great thing about chile, or at least non-purist chile, is that you don't have to follow the recipe to the letter and can throw in stuff you are trying to use up - although when making a black bean and corn chile it does seem appropriate to at least include black beans and corn.

Right in the cooker I browned a pound of ground beef. I added some diced onion and sauteed until softened. From there I added canned tomatoes, tomato soup, black beans, corn, chile powder, cumin and oregano. I put the lid on and waited for the pressure to rise.

I continued to wait for the pressure to rise.

Steam was coming out by the handle, but I remembered that my instruction book said this happens to help regulate the pressure. So I waited some more. After all this was the most full pot I had attempted so far, surely it was to take longer for the pressure to rise.

I continued to wait, and steam continued to come out.

After a good 20-25 minutes, I figured, this couldn’t be right (who knew!). So I released any pressure inside using the quick-release setting, which confirmed there was no pressure as nothing came out. I removed the lid and my chile was bubbling madly. I checked the bottom of my lid and it turns out the plastic sealing ring was kinda bent out of shape. The problem. It wasn't obvious as the lid closed as usual.

My chile did survive - although there was a nasty, burned patch at the bottom of the pot from being on heat without being stirred.

I'm not including the recipe as I'm sure you have your own. But I did want to document some lessons learned from this pressure cooker mishap.

Lessons learned:
-They recommend to always check the sealing ring for particles or wear before using the pressure cooker, but also check to ensure that it is well positioned within the lid.
-If it's taking too long to heat up, check what's happening sooner than later.

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