Monday, October 3, 2016

Weeknight Meal: Beans, Greens, and Sausage in the Electric Pressure Cooker

You know how on Thursdays there's no parking near the good burrito place and a line out their door? Same goes for the cheap Chinese takeout spot, the one with the good chow fun. That's because everyone is tired of cooking, out of groceries, and/or behind on the dishes by Thursday. 

This is one of my go-to meals in that situation, when the only  place I can find parking is at the market or on the weeks that I've actually thought things through and shopped well on Sunday. You can do  it on the stove, of course, but using the electric pressure cooker speeds things up a smidge and lets you take care of emptying that dishwasher while it cooks, since you don't have to babysit it. 

These few ingredients plus half a lemon or a little vinegar are all you need. You could use olive oil, of course, or another kind you like.  Prep time: 5 min. Cook time: about 20 min including saute, coming up to pressure and time under pressure. 


  • 8 heat and eat sausages you like, be they field roast, chicken or pork
  • 1-3 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (use just 1 if using higher fat sausage, use all three if low fat)
  • 1 large shallot (two bulbs, about 1/2 cup), diced small
  • 2 cups (1 can is OK) cooked garbanzo, cannellini or Great Northern beans
  • 1 10-12 oz package of chopped, cleaned kale, chard or mustard greens
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice or wine vinegar
  • a teensy bit of salt
  • optional: a few drops of hot sauce
Make little cuts in two sides of the sausages to allow a little of the juices to come out, then turn on the browning or saute function on the electric pressure cooker (mine is an Instant Pot). Put 1 Tbsp of the oil into the pot and, when it's hot, add half the sausages and brown them on one side. Remove those and brown the remaining sausages. If the sausages are pre-cooked, only brown them on one side so you get some good flavor but don't overcook them. If they're uncooked, go ahead and brown them on two or more sides so they cook through. 

Remove the last sausages. If there isn't much fat in the pot, add 1-2 Tbsp more oil. If there's a ton already, leave it in there. It's yummy! Add the diced shallots and stir to coat with the oil, then let soften for a minute or two. Add the beans, 1/2 cup water or bean cooking liquid, a tiny sprinkle of salt, the lemon juice, the greens, and the optional hot sauce. Give it a good stir and lay the sausages across the top. 
It's OK in this case if the stuff in the cooker comes a little over the Max line because the greens will really cook down. 

Turn off the saute or browning function and seal the lid on the pressure cooker. Set it on high (manual on the IP) for just 5 minutes. When it beeps, do a quick release of the pressure, being super careful not to touch the steam as it escapes. Plate it up and chow down! Top with sour cream if you're so inclined and have a little fruit and chocolate for dessert. 

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