What is in this article?:
• As Janice Hall has discovered through her own experience, pressure cooking is an ideal way not only to reduce the toughness commonly associated with game meat, but also to enhance its taste.
PRESSURE COOKED rabbit stew as it comes from the stove.
Greatly reduces cooking time
The technique can reduce cooking time by as much as two-thirds in some cases.
A relative newcomer herself to pressure cooking, Hall was sold on the process after successfully cooking her first batch of field peas.
“I burned my first pot, but after I got the hang of it, I couldn’t believe you could cook something that tasted so delicious in such a short time.”
Among her most enduring memories associated with pressure cooking: her first serving of lima beans.
“The flavor was unbelievable,” she recalls, speaking to a pressure-cooking workshop held in Monroeville.
Pressure cooking is also considered ecologically friendly, requiring less energy than other conventional cooking techniques. It’s an especially convenient cooking option during powerf outages.
“Whenever the power goes out, it can be safely and efficiently used with an alternative source of energy, whether this happens to be propane, charcoal or wood,” Hall says.
Daniel Robinson, state executive director of the Alabama Farm Service Agency, who attended Hall’s workshop last year, is one of many Alabamians who spent his boyhood hunting and fishing to help his family stretch food dollars.
While he rarely hunts now, Robinson still has an affinity for game meat — squirrels, rabbits and turtles — and holds a high regard for pressure cooking as an effective way to tenderize these meats.
“I noticed a big change not only in tenderness but also taste, with the ingredients completely enclosed in the meat,” he recalls, adding that he values the process not only for turning out tastier, tender meats but also in a fraction of the time.
Some hunters are taking this one step farther, using pressure canning to preserve game meat.
Mark Smith, an Alabama Extension wildlife specialist and Auburn University associate professor of forestry and wildlife sciences, is an avid hunter who not only dresses his deer but pressure cans much of it.
He was first sold on the merits of canning years ago after sampling the fare of a fellow hunter.