there were pressure cookers. My mother made her gravy (what non-Italians call tomato sauce) in a pressure cooker. She also made beef stew using a can of Veg-All. About five years ago, I purchased a Fagor pressure cooker from Williams-Sonoma. I searched their website for a recipe for beef stew. What I found was a recipe for 20-Minute Beef Stew. It made for a great supper the other night as I could make it ahead and my husband only had to reheat it.
The addition of red wine, fresh thyme and a bit of tomato paste gave this stew a wonderful flavor. The recipe also calls for 1-1/2 cups of beef stock, fresh carrots, celery and new potatoes.
If you don't have a pressure cooker, I would suggest braising this recipe in a Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid and cooking in a 325° oven for about an hour. After the hour passes, test the meat to see if it's tender and pulls apart with a fork.
20-Minute Beef Stew
(made in pressure cooker or InstaPot)
From the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
3 lb. boneless stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 lb. new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 1/2 cups beef stock
3 fresh thyme sprigs
In a large bowl, toss the beef with the flour, salt and pepper to coat evenly. Set an electric pressure cooker to "brown" according to the manufacturer's instructions and warm the olive oil. Add half the beef and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef and transfer to the bowl.
Add the wine to the pressure cooker and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add the beef, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, tomato paste, stock and thyme and stir to combine. Cover and cook on "high" for 20 minutes according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Release the pressure according to the manufacturer's instructions. If the liquid is too thin, transfer the beef and vegetables to a serving bowl, set the pressure cooker to "brown" and cook until the liquid is reduced to the desired consistency. Pour the liquid over the beef and vegetables and serve immediately. Serves 6.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.