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Lorna Sass and Rethinking the Pressure Cooker


As you may remember, here at Rancho Gordo we are in the middle of an amazing series of presentations by some of my favorite cooks. Both Lorna Sass and Deborah Madison were gracious and entertaining. Plan to come by and meet Paula Wolfert and Judy Wits-Francini and you won't be disappointed.


I've never been a huge fan of the pressure cooker for beans. Lorna's recipe for risotto in the pressure cooker changed my thinking on it forever, but beans I find are a different technique. Lorna was generous enough to leave behind her streamlined and beautiful demo pressure cooker by WMF. I can't believe things can get any better in a pressure cooker than this model. It's beautiful, silent and easy to clean. I have experimented with beans and I have to say, unsoaked beans cooked for 20 minutes under pressure are pretty fine. The only drag is the bean broth is dull and lifeless. I continued cooking for another hour without the lid and eventually there was delicious pot liquor but it took almost as long as it would have if I'd cooked them by a conventional method.

The jury is still out but I have to admit I'm intrigued and almost determined to take advantage of all the good things that a pressure cooker can do. Any ideas for beans? I'm all ears.

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