Beans and Sausage in a Pressure Cooker

recipes 020Pressure cookers for homemakers have been around since 1917 when the USDA announced that the only safe way to can low-acid foods was with a pressure cooker.  From then on the National Pressure Cooker company, now called Presto, has engineered and redesigned pressure cookers with reliable safety features for home use.  So long as the rubber gasket around the inside rim of the lid is in good shape and you haven’t lost the regulator (jiggler) or damaged the pressure valve, you can save time when cooking dried beans, roasts and other long cooking dishes.  A pressure cooker is absolutely mandatory if you home-can veggies, meat or fish.  They come in 4 quart and 6 quart sizes and up to the 10 gallon size for canning quarts.   You can find them in most housewares departments and even at garage sales. 

Try this method for chili, corned beef, pulled pork, or octopus.  Flavors have no where to escape, they’re locked in using a pressure cooker.  For more information on cooking  with a pressure cooker, see Presto.

Half full pot

Half full pot

Getting up a head of steam.

Getting up a head of steam.


Valve stem up, pot is pressurized

Valve stem up, pot is pressurized

Soup's Ready

Soup's Ready


  • 2 cups pinto beans, washed and sorted
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper (about 1 tsp each)
  • handful of cilantro, chopped


  1. Soak beans overnight in 2 quarts water.  Drain and cover with fresh water.
  2. Saute ground pork in skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, cook for 3-4 minutes, and transfer to pressure cooker.
  4. Cover pressure cooker, locking lid into place and set jiggler over steam vent.
  5. Once valve stem pops up and jiggler begins to rock, set timer for 40 minutes.
  6. When timer goes off, turn off stove and leave pot to cool down.  When valve stem drops, it is safe to remove jiggler.  If no steam is escaping from vent, open lid.
  7. Check seasoning and adjust if needed.

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