This week I am cooking a pressure cooker risotto from the Australian Women’s Weekly Pressure Cooker cook book. This is one of the last cook books that I bought before we left Australia. We had only recently bought our pressure cooker and I wanted to learn a little more about using it.
This cook book has some really good tips on how to use your pressure cooker and is written for both pressure cookers that you can use on the stove top and stand alone electrical ones like ours is.
My sticky peppercorn pork belly is based on a dish from it and the cook book has full of multicultural dishes like a chicken and fig tagine and a chilli con carne. I haven’t made a dessert in my pressure cooker yet, but there are some great dessert ideas in this cook book too and I think I will try the maple syrup and date puddings first.
I wasn’t sure how making a risotto in a pressure cooker would turn out, but I was really happy with the results. This risotto has that classic creamy consistency and somehow, even without all of the stove top stirring, the starch was released from the rice.
If you don’t have a stove top pressure cooker then you still have to do a bit of prep in a frying pan on the stove top, but then into the pressure cooker and about 10 minutes later you have risotto. I will definitely be making more risottos in the pressure cooker from now on.
You do need to use arborio rice for this. Can you spot my ingredients from our Pasar Bella market trip? The cheese, thyme and fennel is all from the market.
Fennel browns really quickly once you’ve cut it. Sprinkling a little lemon juice over it will stop it browning too much as you go about preparing the rest of the meal.
I just used an English pork sausage for my risotto but the original AWW recipe called for pork and fennel snags which would also be excellent.
When you add the rice to the frying pan, stir it all around and get it nice and coated with the oil, butter and veggie mix. Then a quick deglaze with the wine and that’s the frying pan part done. If you have a stove top pressure cooker then you can do all of these initial frying pan steps in the heated pressure cooker itself.
I wasn’t so sure at this point that the risotto was going to work, but it miraculously does :)
I used the amazing Swiss Cirone that we got at the markets, but a Parmesan would also work perfectly. The frozen peas and more fresh thyme go in at the very end as they only need very little cooking. Just 2 minutes in the pressure cooker!
Like a classically cooked risotto, this pressure cooker version does need to sit for about 5 minutes at the end of the cooking time just to get that perfect wet but creamy risotto consistency. Mine needed seasoning with pepper, but as I used a slightly salted stock and the salty cheese, no extra salt was required.
Pressure Cooker Risotto with Pork Sausages and Fennel – Adapted from AWW Pressure Cooker
Ingredients – Serves 3-4
- 3 English pork sausages (220g)
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 20g of unsalted butter
- ¾ cup of trimmed and finely chopped fennel bulbs (around 2 small fennel bulbs) retain some of the fronds for garnish
- 1 small brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- ¾ cup of Arborio rice (150g)
- 1/3 cup of white wine
- 1¾ cups of chicken stock
- 1 whole sprig of thyme plus 1 tsp of picked thyme leaves
- ½ cup of frozen peas
- 2 tbs of grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat and brown the sausages all over. Remove from the pan before they are fully cooked and slice them into bite sized pieces.
- Add the olive oil and butter to the frying pan and once the butter starts bubbling, add the fennel, onions and garlic. Stir and cook until they are just softened.
- Add the rice to the frying pan and stir it for about 1 minute or until it is coated in the butter and oil mix.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook for a further minute or until the wine has reduced slightly.
- Remove from heat and pour the contents of the frying pan into the slow cooker with the sausage pieces, stock, whole sprig of thyme and 1 cup of water.
- Bring up to pressure and then cook for 7 minutes.
- Release the pressure, then remove the thyme sprig from the pressure cooker and add the peas, picked thyme leaves and cheese.
- Place the lid back on and bring back up to pressure. Cook a further 2 minutes and release the pressure again. Let sit with the lid off for 5 minutes.
- Test for seasoning and add as required.
- Serve garnished with extra grated Parmesan and fennel fronds.