Sunday, May 02, 2010

Pressure cooker beef stew

This actually has a very French name, but when I presented it to Gaby, I just said "here's some beef stew." And then she gobbled it all up.
Best part? I made it in the pressure cooker, which means the whole thing took 30 minutes, from start to finish. If you have no pressure cooker (and I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't, I got one as a present a few years ago), you could easily adapt this to the slow cooker. I wouldn't even change the liquid amounts.

Adapted from Serious Eats

2 cups drinking-quality red wine
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
a couple teaspoons for anchovy paste (optional -- it's for saltyness)
2 1/2 pounds boneless chuck or round, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, trimmed of excess fat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1/3 cup pitted olives, preferably oil-cured (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 large carrots, peeled (leave whole)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine the wine, thyme, bay tomato paste, and anchovy paste in a large nonaluminum bowl or storage container. Add the beef, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Heat the oil in the cooker. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Holding the beef cubes to one side, pour the wine marinade into the cooker and boil it over high heat until it reduces somewhat, about 5 minutes.
Add the beef and stir in the olives (if using) plus salt (you are likely to need more if you haven't used the olives and anchovies) and pepper to taste. Set the carrots on top.
Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 16 minutes. Let the pressure drop naturally, about 10 minutes. Do not use the quick-release method. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow steam to release.
Test the beef for doneness. If it is not sufficiently tender, lock the lid back into place and return to high pressure for a few more minutes. Again, let the pressure drop naturally.
Slash the carrots into chunks, Stir in the parsley. To thicken the sauce, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water and stir it in. Boil gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning before serving.

1 comment:

Alissa said...

I don't have a pressure cooker, but I might try this in the crockpot. It sounds very similar to the Beef Daube Provencal that I posted here long ago. I make that in the Dutch oven started on the stovetop, finished in the oven. It's now my favorite beef stew. Sometimes I add mushrooms to it, too. Yum.