A lot of people go to the hardware store to buy things to fix up their houses with. My latest trip yielded an enormous pressure cooker!
I’ve been canning tomato sauce (my daughter calls it Dadda Sauce) for several years now and was happy to do it with our own tomatoes last year (80 lbs!) and have thought about getting a pressure cooker to speed up the canning process. Recently I started hearing and reading that using a pressure cooker to make stock (Ruhlman on Myhrvold) actually cuts down the time (by at least three quarters!) and improves the results so now I had two reasons to let the pot find its way into my cart. I got a few interesting other things as well but I will mention those later!
The next day I decided to make a decent sized batch with some frozen and fresh chicken parts as well as some farmers’ market leeks and carrots. I browned the chicken in a medium oven first and then threw it all in the pot and covered with water and a pinch of salt. I sealed it up , put the 15 bar weight on and cranked the heat. After a while steam started to emanate from the vessel and I will confess to feeling a bit nervous to have what amounts to a bomb on my stove. Once up to pressure you can turn it all the way down and then 25 short minutes later all the way off and let it cool. This compared to my normal four to six hours cooking time. When I carefully opened the vessel I was blown away on how crystal clear it was and where was all that scum?!? As for the taste and body I will bow to my sons three bowls and enthusiastic pronouncements of the best soup ever. I honestly don’t think I will make stock, save perhaps veggie stock, any other way.