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I'm planning on making a pressure cooker sauce using tomatoes, ground beef, sausages and wine — a classic Italian American spaghetti sauce. The method is to sweat onions, carrots, celery and garlic whilst frying off meat in a separate pan and adding in along with liquids before an hour in the pressure cooker.

I am thinking of adding mushrooms for flavour and texture — my plan was to dice them and cook them with the meat. Will I get better flavour and texture by frying the mushrooms beforehand, or should I just put them in when I sweat the vegetables?

  • pressure cooker. here's my method docs.google.com/document/d/… – Will Dec 11 '17 at 12:26
  • Not quite an answer to the question, but consider using dried mushrooms. They don't need any fuss. Just add them to the pot of the pressure cooker right before you're ready to lid up. You have a wider variety open to you, not limited by season or region. Consider porcini. – AdamO Dec 11 '17 at 21:48
  • I would absolutely put them when you sweat the vegetables – Alchimista Dec 13 '17 at 12:18
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You are right on track with pre-cooking/frying the mushrooms instead of dumping them just into the dish. I think they benefit greatly from it, especially flavor-wise, which gets a lot more concentrated. Whatever you choose to do, remember that mushrooms will exude a lot of liquid during frying.

So if you add a significant amount to your meat, it will likely interfere with the browning. The same is true if added to your vegetables from the beginning, but it won’t matter as much.

I recommend you either

  • brown your meat, then add the mushrooms and use the liquid for a first „deglaze“ or
  • sweat your vegetables and add the mushrooms when they are like half-done.

Of course you can fry the mushrooms separately, but why bother with an extra step?

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    Pressure cooking the mushrooms may overcook them, why not fry them and add them afterwards? – GdD Dec 11 '17 at 13:44
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Depending on why you add mushrooms (individual bites or flavor) makes a difference.

I use them for flavor, so I food-process them into bits. They become like mince/ground meat & they lend a LOT of flavor when used this way.

You could then use them at any point.

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