Quick Beef Stew

I love a great beef stew. Unfortunately, making a truly tasty version of this winter staple is trickier than it seems.  I have found every slow-cooker version to leave the house smelling great, but the food bland. The stove top version is better because it's faster and leaves more of the flavor in the dish.

However, my favorite approach is with the pressure cooker. This recipe is a slightly tweaked version from the cookbook Under Pressure and is fabulous.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup carrots
  • 3/4 cups celery
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 lbs beef chuck, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1-2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
  • 3 tsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Cornstarch/Water (if needed)

Dice the veggies.Put the pressure cooker on saute and melt 1 tablespoon oil in the pan.  (If you use coconut oil the stew will appear to be a little greaser, but I skim the fat before the final step.)Sauté the veggies until slightly soft - 1-2 minutes.Add the red wine.Add the tomato paste.  Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the beef broth, bay leaves, salt & pepper. Finally, stir in the meat.Lock the lid in place and put the pressure cooker on high pressure for 16 minutes. Allow the pot to release the pressure naturally (about 10 minutes)and open the pot.  Skim off the fat at this point and discard the bay leaves. Add in the thyme and vinegar.  If the sauce needs thickening, dissolve 2 Tablespoon of cornstarch with equal amounts of water then add to the pot. Turn the pot back on to sauté and cook for another 1-2 minutes.When the stew has thickened, stir in the peas for a final 3-4 minute blast. Those bad boys don't take long to cook!Turn off the heat and allow the dish to rest for 3-5 minutes. This will keep your guests from burning their mouths! Dish it on up!!Serve with cornbread or Yorkshire pudding.

Which reminds me, I'm almost read to share my Yorkshire pudding recipe with you!  I've been tweaking it so I'm almost confident enough to publish!  Check back.

In the meantime, enjoy the stew!