Calling all pressure cooker owners

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The whole point of today’s post is to implore all owners of a pressure cooker to use it to make risotto.  I know it isn’t traditional but risotto cooked in a pressure cooker is both good and quick.  I have a pressure cooker and the only thing I have ever cooked in it is risotto.  That maybe a slight exaggeration but, most certainly, the only thing in the last one hundred years.

I bought my pressure cooker when I was working and time was of the essence.  I wanted either a Kuhn Rikon or Tefal that had a broad base and short sides, ie, shaped more like a frying pan than a saucepan.  Problem was they were really, really expensive so I hesitated.  One day, I saw a Kern pressure cooker on special and bought it.  It was cheap and shaped nothing like a frying pan.  As it turns out, it does exactly the same thing as the expensive ones.

When I bought my pressure cooker, I did what I usually do.  I bought two cook books.  One book exalted the virtues of making risotto in the pressure cooker.  For some reason, I decided to try it.  It worked a treat so I did it again… and again… and again.

Now I am retired and time is not of the essence, but I still make all my risotto in the pressure cooker.  Why do things the hard way when there is an easy way?  This is what I do.  It will work for any risotto recipe.

  1. Melt some butter or oil, depending on the recipe, in your pressure cooker and gently fry the onion (and garlic, if part of the recipe) until the onion is transparent and soft.  Don’t be afraid to add a little water if the onion is browning or sticking.
  2. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated in the butter and hot and glistening.
  3. Add wine, if used (or other flavourings), and stir until it has been absorbed.
  4. Add any meat or vegetables that can take a bit of cooking.
  5. Add the hot stock, all at once.
  6. Put the lid on your pressure cooker and bring to pressure.  Cook at pressure for 7-8 minutes.
  7. Take off the heat and allow the steam to escape.
  8. Once depressurised, remove the lid and put your pressure cooker over a low heat.
  9. Add any remaining vegetables or nuts,etc.
  10. Ensure fluid levels are fine.  If a bit dry, add a bit of stock or water.  If too fluid, continue cooking until the extra fluid has been absorbed.
  11. Add any additional butter, parmesan, salt and pepper and stir.
  12. Serve with extra parmesan.

Now let us put this theory into practice.

Asparagus Risotto*

  • 500g of fresh asparagus
  • one onion or two shallots, chopped
  • 75g butter
  • 500g risotto rice (eg, Arborio)
  • 1.5 litres of hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • extra parmesan, to serve
  1. Slice the asparagus into one centimetre pieces, leaving the heads intact.  Separate the heads from the stems.
  2. Heat up half of the butter in the bottom of your pressure cooker.
  3. Gently fry the onion until soft and translucent – add a bit of water if needed.
  4. Add the rice and the asparagus pieces and coat with the butter.
  5. Add the hot stock and secure the pressure cooker lid.
  6. When the cooker comes to pressure, cook for 7-8 minutes.
  7. Take off the heat and, when the pressure is released, remove the lid.
  8. Put your pressure cooker over a low heat.
  9. Add the asparagus heads and parsley.
  10. Ensure the fluid levels are fine.
  11. Add parmesan, remaining butter and salt and pepper.
  12. Dinner is served.

Recipe is from Risotto! by Valentina Harris.

Here is a link to my favourite risotto recipe which I usually make.  Asparagus risotto is my second favourite.  I have been making it lately because I have an abundance of asparagus.

24 thoughts on “Calling all pressure cooker owners

  1. I’ve decided I’m going to invest in an Instant Pot so I’m looking forward to trying out the pressure cooker element – I had NO idea you could make risotto is a pressure cooker. I like a nice and easy kitchen hack.

  2. I heard the call! About 2 weeks ago, my first pressure cooker was delivered, Glenda. On one of the following nights, I used it to make risotto, too. I’d not seen this post yet and followed a recipe that came with the pot. To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting much but was very pleasantly surprised. From there, I’ve made a few stocks, pulled pork, bean soup, and a beef stew. Loved each dish. I should have bought one ages ago! When local asparagus becomes available again, I’ll be giving your risotto a try. One can never have too many risotto recipes. 🙂

      • Sorry for the much-delayed reply, Glenda …
        I did enjoy risotto cooked in my pressure cooker. It required less attention than than the normal stove top method, although I did vigorously stir the rice for a few minute once the pressure was released. The Italians often refer to it as mantecare/mantecato which literally means to blend. It’s the process of stirring the nearly finished risotto to release the starch and blend the final bit of butter.
        I will definitely use the cooker again, especially if I’ve guests for dinner. It’s one less thing to keep an eye on. Could this mean I won’t burn the rolls?

        • Hi John. I always use the pressure cooker if I have guests. It is fool proof. I too give it a good stir once I take the lid off. Maybe I should add that.

  3. Gosh – WP is not my friend when it comes to comments! Just swung past to say that I have been thinking about buying a pressure cooker but was going to wait until winter. As it turns out, I’ve made risotto twice in two weeks so maybe I need to look at one in the Christmas sales.

    • Hi Fi. I feel better, I just cannot comment on Blog spot. I have given up commenting on Sherry’s blog. It won’t accept my WordPress address or anonymous.

  4. My Mum used a pressure cooker and like some of the other readers I too was nervous of every buying one. Mum wouldn’t let us go near it. We love risotto and your way is less timely 🙂

    • Hi Maree, they are good but probably more use for someone who works and can’t put dinner on two hours before they want to eat it. I certainly used it more when I was working.

  5. Your risottos look so inviting glenda- especially that it is winter time here in the ME- nice to tuck into a warm bowl of rice. As for pressure cooker- i NEVER OWNED ONE and would need to learn how to

  6. A friend of mine cooks her Risotto in her pressure cooker & she said it works a treat. I think the new models are less scary to use. I remember Mum had one & oh yes it scared me. Might have to invest in one. Thanks for recipe & I shall pass it on to my friend Gillian.

  7. I must try this Glenda. I can follow all this to a point. My pressure cooker ( a breville) doesn;t have a function that allows that last bit where you take the lid off and turn the machine on low. I have a very poor relationship with the machine so now am prepared to drag it out and have another play. A good risotto without the arm work would be rather nice.

  8. My mom put the fear of God into me growing up with her pressure cooker which I’m sure is why I have never owned one. She used to balance a spoon in a slot to keep the pressure up!
    She has now progressed to a new modern fancy one. Will ask her to make this fabulous sounding recipe for when Pete gets home.
    Have a happy day Glenda.
    Mandy xo

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