Down here in the southern climes, we’re heading steadily towards winter and the nights are getting pretty cold. Time to break out the stews!
There really is nothing so comforting as a bowl of piping hot stew, with its meat and vegetables swimming in rich gravy. The trouble is, especially if you’re working full-time, you don’t want to spend hours over the stove cooking it. And, while I have every good intention to set the slow cooker going before work, more often than not I’m in a race against time.
Enter, the pressure cooker – one of the best investments I’ve made this year. You pretty much just bung all your ingredients together in it, fire it up, and let it go… Before you know it, you’ve got a meal you’d swear was cooked long and slow for hours!
This 20 minute Beef Stew recipe, which I found on Williams-Sonoma.com, looked just the ticket and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The meat was succulent, and the red wine gravy was drool-worthy. And, with all the veges thrown in, it ticks the nutrition box too. Enjoy!
- 1.3 kilograms (3 lb) boneless stewing beef (I used chuck steak), 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 or red 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
- Optional: About 1/2 cup frozen peas or beans
- 200g (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.
- If your electric pressure cooker has a 'brown' setting, use it (otherwise simply put the cooker on a medium high heat). Add the olive oil and warm, then add half the beef and brown on all sides - 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef and transfer to the bowl. NB: Alternatively, you can brown the meat in a separate fry-pan (skillet) if you prefer.
- Add the wine to the pressure cooker (or fry-pan) and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add the beef, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, frozen peas or beans (if using), potatoes, tomato paste, stock and thyme and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high heat for 20 minutes.
- Take the cooker off the heat and use the quick release method to stop the cooking.
- Serve immediately with a salad or sides.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting