Two things made dinner (and several lunches to come) easy last night: the Instapot and the concept of stew. Stew has no rules that I’m aware of, just put ingredients together and let it, quite literally, stew. I was on my annual turkey hunt to score for the big day (no I don’t shoot anything, Wegmans puts their turkeys on an excellent sale in advance of Thanksgiving, so I get the biggest I can find) when I decided it was a good day to make some hearty beef stew.
Basically, go with your meat of choice and a bunch of veggies. I got a big hunk of beef (it’s more cost effective to just cut it yourself, but you can buy precut chunks if you’re fancy) and cubed it up. No need for perfect cubes, since it’s stewing so long to break the meat, they don’t all have to be the same size. Plus I like the variety.
For the veg, I got the standard mire poix (celery, carrots, and onions), as well as sweet potatoes, rutabaga, parsley, and Roma tomatoes. Rutabaga is a great sub for white potatoes if you want a healthier/lower carb option.
Besides the meat and veggies, I used one can of tomato sauce, some water, and a bottle of beer – you can really do anything here. Like I said above, I’m unaware of any rules regarding stew. I think someone once just put everything they had in a pot, cooked it for a long time and said: stew. I started by seasoning the beef cubes and shaking them in a big ziplock bag with a little flour and the seasoning blend of my choosing (again, you can do pretty much anything here).
I got the cubes all nicely coated and then put the Instapot on the sauté setting to brown them up.
The sauté setting is nice because then you don’t need to dirty up another pan! I lightly browned the beef in a couple batches and set aside.
Then chopped up all the veggies, again, size doesn’t matter here because everything will cook evenly in the end, so make em how you dig! First I got the onions in to sauté so I could get the crying out of the way – they always get to me!
Then I added the carrots and celery into the sauté.
I let the mire poix sweat it out a little and then just started adding everything else! The sweet potatoes, rutabaga, a bunch of fresh parsley, and the tomatoes. And put the meat back in!
I stirred the pot for a little bit, til things sizzled, then got it ready for the stewin’ with the liquids. I added a big can (16 oz) of tomato sauce and about a cup of water.
Then I selected a random beer out of the fridge. I grabbed a raspberry wheat beer by Shock Top. I wondered what that would be like. Little did I know at the time what a cool choice this would be!!! You could actually taste the raspberry flavor after all was said and done!!
Don’t be shy – take a couple sips to make sure it’s good, then just pour in the bottle. I locked and loaded the Instapot on the stew setting.
It took about two hours between pressuring up, stewing, and venting. Oh the wow factor when opening it up!! I carefully sampled and decided to add some late elements – a little liquid smoke and some fancy salt (it doesn’t have to be fancy).
Look how mouthwatering!! It came out delicious! I paired it with a good hearty stout by Stone, the Xocoveza. Yummmmm!!!!
And the best part about making yummy big dishes like this when it’s only for two is that you get plenty of leftovers! I’m so excited for lunch today!!