next Wednesday, I will be teaching another pressure cooker class to anyone who wants to be there. I selected for this lesson, lasagna. I made a test run last night. I learned a few things. Here they are, so that if you want to make pressure cooker lasagna, you won't have the same issues I had.
1. Size the meal to the vessel. I thought I had a package of uncooked noodles at home, and picked up a package on the way home. I didn't already have a package waiting for me, and so only one package. I have two pressure cookers, a 5 quart model, and a 16 quart cooker/canner. I used the larger of the two. It was too large a vessel for the ingredients I had. The reason for this is that my gas stove, though it got the pot hot enough to come up to pressure, took about ten minutes to do so, at 15 lbs. This cause some of the sauce to scorch lightly on the bottom, though it was not scorched enough to affect flavor.
2. Use the correct amount of sauce. I used about a quart of sauce for this lasagna. Though it tasted wonderful, with all of the other ingredients, it made the lasagna a little soupy.
3. Place cooked ground beef, onions, and enough water to cover the pan bottom as the first layer, to prevent scorching the sauce. I didn't do that. I started with sauce ground beef, and onions.
Here's the ingredients:
1 quart strong sauce (I over spice the sauce a little with basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and garlic, taking care to balance the flavors).
1.5 lbs. ground beef
2 large onions, diced
1 lbs. mushrooms, sauteed in butter
2 lbs. mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
2 lbs. cottage cheese, drained
1 package lasagna noodles
The flavor of this lasagna was perfect, cheesy, good tomato flavor, well spiced, with the great flavors of mushroom and beef playing in.
With heavy pasta, like lasagna, or manicotti, I over-spice the sauce as the pasta and cheese can quickly overpower the herbs and spices.
Lessons learned, use the proper sized pot, use enough noodles for the amount of sauce, make the first layer water, ground meet, and onion.
If it had been a bit firmer, this would have been an unqualified success. Oh, and once up to temperature, I cooked it for only 7 minutes, and everything was perfectly cooked, with the flavors blending as if the lasagna had sat overnight in the fridge, and been reheated.
I believe I'm ready for my class.
Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North