Classic Beef Stew

I don't care if it's 70 degrees outside, if the days are shorter and the calendar says it's time for comfort food, I'm in! This week I was reminded, yet again, why I love my pressure cooker; it's the opposite of a crockpot since it's both fast and flavorful. I don't have to plan ahead and I don't have to send the wonderful aromas all over the house (they stay in the food!)

In fact, if you don't have a pressure cooker, put it on your Christmas list.  This is the one I use which is electric so I don't have to occupy a burner.

So all you need for amazing beef stew is 30 minutes and this (from the Pressure Perfect cookbook):

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (I substitute with coconut oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions (1 large onion will do the trick)
  • 3/4 cup diced celery (2-3 stalks)
  • 3/4 cup diced carrot (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 3 lbs beef chuck
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 - 1 teaspoons dried
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley to garnish (optional)

Heat up the oil in the cooker.Stir in the carrot, onion, and celery over medium-high heat for a minute or two, stirring frequently making sure the vegetables are coated with oil.Stir in the wine and tomato paste and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.Stir in the broth, bay leaf, and salt.Then add the beef. Lock the lid. Set the pressure cooker for high pressure and cook for 16 minutes.After cooking is complete, remove from the heat and allow the natural pressure release to happen. This may take up to 10 minutes. When the pressure is released, open and skim off the fat and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the thyme and vinegar to intensify the flavors.

It's really important to taste the dish at this point and adjust the seasoning. I tend to add a little extra vinegar. If you want to thicken the stew, return to a gentle boil and add the cornstarch mixture.Cook for a minute or two until the liquid reaches desired consistency.  Add the peas at the very last minute.Remove from heat and let the stew rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.I usually serve with corn bread for a quick and comfy meal.

So tasty!! Enjoy...

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