As the winter months gain steam (err… frost), soups and stews become staples in our home. For Glenn, they are top notch comfort foods…from the aromas, to the steamed up windows, to the flavors of one pot meals. Hearty and delicious.
Even though our winter has been somewhat mild so far (knock on wood!), I’ve already prepared my fair share of soups, chili, chicken and dumplings and stew. After grilling season, they’re a welcomed addition to the table.
Beef stew has always been one of the first foods I prepare with the seasonal change. There’s just something about a pot of good stuff simmering away. For this round of dining, I decided to put my new “toy” aka…the pressure cooker… to use. Time was limited (once again, I neglected to plan ahead), yet we still wanted a hearty meal. The pressure cooker did not disappoint!
Don’t have a pressure cooker? No problem… I’ve included directions for using a pressure cooker and the stovetop. Whether you’re going the slow route or the fast one, the results are the same… fork tender beef and veggies, plus a delicious thick broth to hold it all together! Enjoy….
Red Wine Beef Stew
3 pounds chuck roast, cubed into 1½-2-inch pieces
1/2 cup flour (or so, for dredging meat)
kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup dry red wine
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup beef broth or stock
2 cups carrots, cut in 1½-inch segments (or baby carrots)
2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed to 1-inch pieces
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1. Generously season the flour with salt and pepper. Place mixture in a zip top bag or large bowl. Add the cubed beef. Shake (in the bag) or toss (in the bowl) to thoroughly coat the meat.
2. Set electric pressure cooker to “browning”. Add the olive oil. When the oil begins to sizzle, add beef in single layer. Do not crowd. Continue browning meat in batches until all beef is browned. As each batch of beef is browned, transfer to a plate.
For stovetop method: heat olive oil in large pot/dutch oven, over medium/high heat
3. For either method:
Stir in chopped onion to hot pot. With a wooden spoon, scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot that have accumulated from browning the meat. Saute onion for 1-2 minutes, until onion begins to soften and are translucent. Stir in the chopped carrot and celery. Saute veggies for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chopped garlic and saute for an additional minute.
Once the vegetables are soft, stir in the red wine, again scraping any brown bits that have accumulated in the bottom of the pot. Cook until red wine has reduced by half. Stir in the tomato paste.
Add the reserved, browned beef, beef broth and bay leaf to the pot.
4. Place lid on pressure cooker, seal. Select High pressure. Set timer for 10 minutes. When audible beep sounds use a quick pressure release. When valve drops, carefully remove lid, allowing steam to disperse. Add carrots and potatoes to pot and select high pressure. Set timer for 6 minutes. When audible beep sounds use natural pressure release. When float valve drops, remove lid carefully, allowing steam to disperse. Stir in peas. Cook on warm setting for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve in warm bowls with bread or biscuits, as desired.
For stovetop method: Heat contents of pot to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is almost tender, about 1½ hours. Add carrots and potatoes to simmering stew. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender. Stir in the peas; cook about 5 minutes more. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve in warm bowls with bread or biscuits, as desired.