Cooking with pressure cookers is officially in and Bren Herrera makes it look easy and tasty. Her new book “Modern Pressure Cooking” is currently in stores. She shared her recipe for Cuban-styled meat loaf with the PIX11 Morning News and showcased a menu of Cuban comfort food: vibrant yellow vegetable rice, black beans, spiced and candied papaya.
Old-School, New-School Poached Cuban-Style Meatloaf
Serves 4 to 6
1 lb (455 g) ground beef
1 lb (455 g) ground pork
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp (18 g) smoked salt
2 tsp (1 g) dried parsley
1 tsp (2 g) freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
¾ cup (175 ml) milk
4 medium or large eggs
1 tbsp (11 g) brown mustard
2 cups (475 ml) water or Herbed Beef
Stock (page 167), or store-bought
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp (1 g) dried oregano
1 tbsp (15 ml) plus 1 tsp (5 ml)
½ cup (120 g) ketchup
1 tsp (5 ml) soy sauce
Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC). In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and pork, garlic and all of the dried seasonings, except the bay leaf and oregano. Using your hands, blend well. Add the milk, eggs and mustard. Use your hands again or a flat wooden spoon to incorporate all of the ingredients. Set aside.
Add the water or beef stock, onion, bay leaf and oregano to the pressure cooker. Bring to a light boil over medium heat for the stovetop cooker, or use the sauté setting for the electric cooker, about 3 to 4 minutes.
While the onion cooks, transfer the meat to a large baking sheet. Mold the meat into your desired size. I recommend 2 inches (5 cm) in height and 5 – 5 ½ inches (12 – 14 cm) wide. Use the back of a wooden spoon to flatten the edges. Douse 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the Worcestershire over top of the loaf.
Dampen a super-thin kitchen towel or cheesecloth and wrap the loaf in the cloth. Gently tie with twine to secure the cloth. Gently place the loaf in the pressure cooker. Cancel cooking for the electric cooker, and close the lid.
Set to high pressure (15 PSI) and cook over high heat for 15 minutes total.
Set to high pressure (10 – 12 PSI) and 15 minutes. When done, remove from the heat or turn off the cooker and allow the pressure to release on its own
(natural-release), about 10 minutes. If the pressure is not fully released after 10 minutes, apply auto-release. Reduce the oven heat to 350ºF (180ºC).
When you can handle the heat, remove the loaf from the cooker. Drain the water, reserving the onions, and remove the cheesecloth. Place the loaf on a clean baking sheet.
In a small mixing bowl, blend the cooked onions, ketchup, soy sauce and remaining teaspoon (5 ml) of Worcestershire. Spread the mixture all over the loaf, covering the sides. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the glaze has caramelized. Enjoy this with a garlicky bed of spinach or the Vibrant Yellow Vegetable Rice on page 93.
COOKING TIP: If your oven has a broiler, preheat while the loaf is cooking. Add the loaf to thebroiler for a few minutes, or until the glaze has caramelized.