Pressure Cooker Basic Beef Stew
Note: This post has been in the can for over a month; I kept pushing it back for other recipes. The Browns season is over…and they’re having the most Brownian offseason imaginable.
No plan survives contact with the enemy. The plan? A traditional beef stew, simmering all afternoon. The enemy? Me.
I started watching the Browns game. I got sucked in – we were winning! We look good! – then came the inevitable collapse. Interception, Interception, Fumble…from a ten point lead to down by three…in two minutes.
I couldn’t pull myself away. I kept thinking “I’ll start the stew at the next commercial break.” But I knew I could put it off. I really only needed an hour. My pressure cooker would save my bacon. Or my stew, in this case.
Now, this is not a quick recipe – no twenty-minute meal here. It takes time to brown the beef and saute the vegetables, to build depth of flavor into the stew. But the pressure cooker makes short work of the actual cooking time, taking it from three hours down to 35 minutes, including the natural pressure release at the end.
No pressure cooker? No worries. See the notes section for stovetop instructions.
Recipe: Basic Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
- 8 quart or larger pressure cooker (I use a massive Kuhn Rikon 12 quart family stockpot)
- No pressure cooker? Use a heavy bottomed dutch oven with a lid. Increase the amount of wine to 1 cup, and chicken stock to 2 cups. Follow the instructions right up until “lock the lid”. Then, instead of pressure cooking, bring the pot to a boil, cover, and move the pot to a preheated 350*F oven. Bake for 2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
- Pressure cooker pots can be narrow. I assume it’s a design choice, that making a lid strong enough to handle high pressure is easier in a narrow pot. If you have a narrow pot, use a large fry pan to help brown the beef – that way, you can brown two batches at once. While the aromatics saute in the pressure cooker pot, add the chicken stock to the fry pan and bring it to a simmer. Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the fry pan – that’s good flavor, and we don’t want to lose it. Once all the browned bits are loose, turn off the heat, and let the chicken stock sit until the recipe asks for it.
- Why put the potatoes and carrots on the steamer rack? Floating them above the liquid keeps them from cooking down to mush.
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Of *course* I’m my own worst enemy. Who did you expect? My evil twin?↩