Saturday, February 8, 2014

Easy Beef Stew in the Pressure Cooker

Even though I grew up with my mom using a little pressure cooker for some of our favorite meals, I was a bit scared of using one myself for the longest time.  I am so glad I got over that!  I love my cooker for making stock especially.  Fabulous flavor and gel and so much faster than using the slow cooker for 18-24 hours.  The brisket I tried came out wonderful and I have never had a roast turn out as well as when I use pressure.  Recently, a local grocery store (that was not Whole Paycheck) started carrying some grass fed beef offerings.  I was so stoked and grabbed a package of stew meat to try out.  Nothing like a good old meat and potatoes, warming, comforting stew when it has been below freezing for weeks.  And the especially nice part is that it's ready to go in around 30 minutes!  I used a special ingredient that most people will not have on hand, South River Miso, but you can always substitute an equal amount of black bean paste or even just a sprinkle of steak seasoning.

Quick and Simple Beef Stew in the Pressure Cooker
Serves 4

1 lb lean beef, cubed in bite sized pieces
1 cup tomato juice (you can use tomato sauce and water 50/50 as a substitute)
1 large onion, chopped in large chunks
2 large potatoes, cut in large chunks
4 carrots, sliced to 1" pieces
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can green beans, drained
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp South River Miso or black bean paste
dash or two of hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
½ tsp steak seasoning, optional substitute for miso/bean paste (reduce salt if using in addition to miso/bean paste)
¼ cup cold water
1 tbsp flour

Put onion, water and beef into 6 qt pressure cooker.  Close the cover securely and top with the regulator.  Heat until pressure regulator starts rocking slowly and cook for 10 minutes (15 minutes in the instant pot).  Cool the cooker immediately under cold running water.  Remove lid when pressure has dissipated.

Add in the potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, salt, pepper, miso/bean paste and steak seasoning if using.  (If you are using an artisan fermented miso like South River and would like to retain the benefit of the natural cultures, add in the miso after the cooking is done and the stew has cooled slightly.) Cover securely and place regulator back on lid.  Bring back up to pressure and cook for 6 minutes with the regulator rocking slowly (7-8 minutes in the instant pot).  Cool the cooker again under cold running water.

Mix the flour and water into a slurry and stir into the stew.  Stir over heat until the stew thickens.

Serve with crusty bread and a salad for a very filling meal.  Or it stands on its own as well.

Adapted from Presto.

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