I had run out of gadgets to buy for the kitchen (already have the digital kitchen scale, the Thermapen, etc), so I bought myself a Kuhn Rikon 7-litre pressure cooker, with some trepidation.
I already knew that the second-generation cookers didn't explode like your grandma's old jiggle-top; I was more concerned about the quality of meals being produced by something that cooks food at high temperatures and breaks down fibers so.....violently? Aren't stews and such supposed to be simmered gently and lovingly all day in a cocotte?
Was I wrong. Yesterday was a Monday. Who has time to make a slow-cooked stew on a Monday night after work, but sure enough, I had a craving for carbonnade, and my supermarket had blade steaks on sale.
Figuring that I could always order a pizza if the carbonnade turned out weird, I got the stew going, and put the pot under high pressure for 20 minutes. Then I threw in some carrots and put the pot back under pressure for another 5 minutes. And it was done.
The carbonnade was magnificent, if I may say so myself. And I was pleased as punch at how energy-efficient the pressure cooker is. Imagine, you're cooking under high pressure but the stove is on low heat...and you're not simmering for hours and hours. Heck, I could cook boeuf bourguignon if I had another odd winter-food craving in the middle of summer.
I have seen the light. I will no longer doubt the pressure cooker's place in the kitchen as a serious cooking tool.
This is probably old news to you experienced and knowledgeable cooks on this site. I just wanted to share my beginner's glee with you.
Have a delicious day, y'all.