caldo de res

Nearly half off. 

The grocery store nearby is the strangest thing. One of a large Colorado chain. There are two, actually, equidistant in opposite directions, one direction to the heart of capitol hill, characterized as a sociological study in miniature, and the other at the edge of downtown and the edge of public housing, a bit more homogenous. That location offers all the meat of all the other locations but a lot of upper cuts do not move so they are discounted regularly, that is to say hourly. There are alway, always, ALWAYS great cuts in the bin because they simply do not move. They have to get the cuts out of there. They cannot move. A dilemma. Everyone there is stretching the dollar for their tight family needs. They are not urban hipsters. 

I guess I should say the pressure pot makes short work of this. The elements are browned first in cast iron. They're pressure cooked as a stir fry, in increments, three fast increments with cold water sprayed over the pot between heat sessions to bring it all down quickly, then opened, ingredients added and resumed so that vegetables are first seared and the charred flavors captured with deglazing and braised in another pot, in increments so it all  does not turn to mush, under pressure to compress hours to minutes. Beef then carrots  then everything else. 

How does that work? The first time the pot is opened the beef is tested for tenderness with a fork. However tough the meat is informs you how long the next session should be. Now you can guess better how much longer to complete the beef and how long the carrots will take. It's still a guess. The second time the pot is opened things can be removed if need be, if the beef is getting too soft then remove it, for example. Add the final vegetable to capture their flavor and cook them. Best to try ending with all ingredients at once if possible. That's how I do it, a willingness to open the pot and check for progress and then get right back to it as if not interrupted. 

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