Tasty Tuesday: Indian Beef Curry & Breville Fast Slow Cooker Review

Now that winter is here to stay for a while it's time to pull out your comfort food recipes to cook up for your family - soups, casseroles, stews and curries - anything slowly braised and tender meat falling apart is the order of the day.

If you have time, generally slowly braising your favourite piece of meat in the oven over a long period of time or in your slow cooker is the best way to get that melt in your mouth end product. However if time is against you during the week, you haven't got time to pre-thaw your meat for your slow cooker and you're just rushed most days to get dinner on the table then I have found the perfect product for you.....

I was given the opportunity to test and review the Breville Fast Slow Cooker - basically it is a slow cooker, pressure cooker and rice cooker all in one. I had never used a pressure cooker in my life and to tell you the truth I was a little anxious about using one for the first time.

I shouldn't of worried.... because I now have a new best friend in the kitchen!

 The Nuts & Bolts....

The Breville Fast Slow Cooker offers the option to sear and sauté, slow cook, pressure cook or steam foods, all in the same vessel. It's a all-in-one piece of equipment which allows you to clear out your cooking cupboard and replace your slow cooker, rice cooker and steamer with this lean - mean - piece of machinery!

It has a six litre non-stick cooking bowl, a stainless steel trivet and steam basket for pressure steaming vegetables, chicken and seafood for fast healthy dishes. The non-stick cooking bowl is removable and along with the silicone lid seal both can be placed in the dishwasher for easy and quick cleaning.

About the BFSC?

The BFSC has five settings which you can choose from - Saute/Sear, Slow Cook, Pressure Cook, Steam and Warm. 
You can see the versatility in the cooker by the variety of settings that you can play with. I find the Saute/Sear setting is what sets this piece of equipment apart from the rest. By incorporating this setting into the vessel it cuts out the need for using extra equipment when preparing a meal.

 By caramelising the meat before slow/pressure cooking you are intensifying the flavours of the dish ten fold in comparison to placing raw meat into it. By intensifying the flavours of the slow/pressure cooked meal you are taking a mediocre dish to amazing in one easy step.

I mainly used the Pressure Cooker setting in the BFSC as it suited my need for a "quick" meal after a long day at work. As I was not familiar with how a pressure cooker worked I read the manual to brush up on the best method of using it, the do's and don'ts of using the cooker and any other tips that it may have for me.

The manual was helpful,  giving specified cooking times for the different cuts of meats that you may use so that you get the best meal possible. I was a little nervous in my first run of using it but after following the directions in the manual and seeing the end product I gained confidence with it and realised it wasn't as scary as I thought. There is 3 pressure cooking settings to choose from - low, medium & high and this setting is determined by what you will be placing into the cooking bowl.

You can read about how the mechanics of a pressure cooker work here.

Here are few points that I thought were important to follow when you set your pressure cooker to work:
  1.  Make sure you have enough liquid in the bowl (minimum of 1 Litre) before activating the setting.
  2.  Make sure the steam release valve is closed upon starting the cooking process. I forgot to do this once and it did not build up enough pressure to cook the meat properly.
  3. Set the proper time for the type of meat that you are using. I cooked some chicken thighs in the cooker for way to long and it nearly disintegrated them
  4. Follow the instructions properly when releasing the steam valve. This could be potentially dangerous as high pressured, boiling hot steam is released upon opening this valve. All pre-cautions should be taken when doing this. 
  5. Make sure your meat and or vegetables are thoroughly thawed before cooking. The product will not be cooked correctly if it is still frozen.
Steam Release Button and Valve

 What To Cook?

This is where the pressure cooker comes into it's element. Basically any "slow" cooked meal that can be done in the slow cooker, oven or cook top can be made in the pressure cooker. Think roasts, pot roasts, corned beef, curries, stews, casseroles, soups, dessert and custards and not to mention your yearly christmas plum pudding.
The pressure cooker cuts down conventional cooking time by 70%. So for example: if you want to cook a 1.2kg piece of corned beef, which normally would take 4-5 hours or more in the slow cooker. In the pressure cooker you would have tender, succulent piece of corned beef on your table in 40-50 minutes.

I have gone to town with this machine and over the 7 days and I have nearly used it every day. I have cooked:
  • Chicken Cacciatore - -  Conventional Cook Time: 1 hr  / Took: 20min
  • Beef & Barley Soup  -  Conventional Cook Time: 1 hr 30min / Took: 30min
  • Indian Beef Curry (Recipe Below) -  Conventional Cook Time: 1hr 30min -2 hours / Took: 35min
  • Satay Chicken Drumsticks -  Conventional Cook Time: 1 hr  / Took: 25min
  • Beef Casserole -  Conventional Cook Time: 1 hr 30min / Took: 35min
Each time I opened the lid on the pressure cooker I was welcomed with a bubbling, fragrant, deliciously, healthy melt in your mouth meal in under 45 minutes. This cooker would be perfect for the busy working family, a new mum with a newborn in the house (that will be me soon), in fact anyone who is pressed for time to create a evening meal. There is no excuses not to have a healthy meal on the table with the Breville Fast Slow Cooker.

My Indian Beef Curry

My Thoughts....

  • I did initially feel a little bit overwhelmed in using the pressure cooker setting but after using it a few times, reading the instructions and realising I'm not going to blow the thing up I felt more at ease. 
  • You definitely need to read the instructions before cooking with it as there is certain things you need to do before using.
  • The menu selection was easy to use and straightforward, along with selecting the cooking time and starting the cooker. 
  • Cleaning was a breeze with the non-stick 6 Litre removable cooking bowl. It  washed up so simply - no baked on grime to soak and scrub at for hours. *The only area that was difficult to clean was the lip of the cooker where food could get trapped if dropped in there.
  • The possibilites are endless on what you can cook in the BFSC. I cannot wait to try my plum pudding in there - no more tedious hours standing over a stove.
The Breville Fast Slow Cooker is a quick, easy, fast cooking, fast clean up cooker which equals a delicious, healthy meal on your table. 
I would whole heartily  reccommend buying a Breville Fast Slow Cooker for your kitchen!

What more can I say!


Indian Beef Curry

This beef curry is very easy to make and just sings with flavour when you ladle it into your bowl. By using the pressure cooker you cut the cooking time of this curry by at least 70%, which makes it great for a weeknight meal. By using whole spices in this curry you are intensifying the flavours and bringing a true authentic curry to the table.
If you don't have the whole spices in your pantry a store bought masala curry powder would be sufficient. It is important thought that you do not miss the step of dry frying the spices off as this releases their flavours and aromas and stops the raw spice taste in the end result.

In true indian style make sure you serve this curry with rice, roti or poppadoms and eat it with your hands!

Indian Beef Curry

by The Whimsical Wife
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1.5 - 2 hours (or 35 min press
Keywords: slow-cooker fry Pressure Cooker main dairy free Indian
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 500g Chuck Steak or Gravy Beef, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 4 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 4 potatoes (or sweet potato), diced evenly (paritally cooked if not using a slow cooker/pressure cooker)
  • 2 Tomatoes, finely diced
  • 400ml Coconut Milk

Masala Curry Spices
  • 2-3 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Brown Cardamon Pods
  • 1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Powder ( can add more if you like it hot)
  • Substitute 2-3 tsp of Masala Curry Powder if you are not using the recipe above)
In the pressure cooker set the saute sear function to 20 mins, add the olive oil followed by the onions and saute for 15-20 min or until soft, caramalised and brown. Remove onions from the bowl.
*Stove Top : Saute the onions until caramalised over a medium heat, in a large saucpan.
Add more oil to the pan, add the cubed beef and brown off until caramlised on the edges. Add the onion back to the pan along with the garlic, ginger and curry spices.
Saute for 1 minute or until spices become fragrant.
Add the tomato paste, lemon juice, vinegar, curry leaves, salt, pepper, diced tomates, potato and coconut milk, bring to the boil.
Set the pressure setting on high and the timer for 35 minutes.*
*Stove Top : Simmer covered, over a low heat for 1.5 - 2 hours or until meat is tender.*
Enjoy with poppudums or roti bread and rice.
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