Monday, December 12, 2016

Spicy Beef Stew: An Instant Pot Story

Twenty-nine minutes to NOM!
On Thanksgiving last, I came home about 10:00pm from dinner out with my family in Poulsbo to find water pouring into my condo through every conceivable spot in my kitchen and living room ceiling. Turns out my upstairs neighbor turned on the tap in his kitchen sink and forgot about it for hours. The upshot of that is that I'm living in the Marriott Residence Inn for about six weeks while my home is repaired. It's a lovely place and it has a functioning kitchenette, but no real oven. My cooking repertoire leans heavily toward the grill and the oven, so I was feeling a bit out of luck.

My beloved friend Hippy Goodwife had recently joined a cult purchased an Instant Pot, which is a very fancy multi-function gadget that is simultaneously a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, and other things I'm sure. I was intrigued with the possibility of using it here in the hotel, so having unexpectedly received an Amazon gift card, I settled on the smallest size of the current product, the IP-DUO50.

While I waited the 24 hours for it to arrive I studied the bazillion recipes you can find online just by typing "Instant Pot r" into Google. It seemed that most people's first essay in Instant Pottery was beef stew, so I gave that a try. I read through five or six recipes and then decided that I knew better. Shocked?

I just finished slurping down my third bowl and felt the need to share the recipe with you all before collapsing in a heap on the gorgeous king-sized hotel bed.

Seumas' Instant Pot Spicy Beef Stew


Serves two full-sized gays generously.

  • ~ 1 lb chuck roast cut in cubes by the handsome butcher at your local grocery store
  • 1 cup onions diced for you by the staff in the produce department
  • 1 tablespoon diced garlic from a jar because who has time for that
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 2 dashes worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ~1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup carrot slices
  • 1 cup mushroom slices
  • 4 new potatoes cut in quarters
  • 2 stalks celery cut into one inch sections
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper and coat the beef cubes while you heat up the Instant Pot on the sauté setting. Add the cold oil and beef to brown on all sides. Add the onions and garlic and stir until the onions start to soften. Turn off the Instant Pot.


Puree the tomatoes and jalapeño. Add the remaining flour mixture and worcestershire sauce. Add enough red wine to bring the total fluid to two cups. Add to the beef / onion / garlic mixture and deglaze the bottom of the cooking pot. (that's fancy cooking talk for scraping the stuff off the bottom that got stuck)


Add the beef stock and the vegetables. Put the lid on the Instant Pot – it beeps to tell you if you did it right and won't let you go any further until if you don't. A very nice safety feature.

Push the button marked "Meat / Stew" and go find something to do for about 45 minutes while the Instant Pot heats up, cooks for you, then cools down and depressurizes.

The damn thing even keeps your food warm for you if you forget about it!

1 comment:

peg Nunley said...

I confess, I am also an instant pot convert! I was converted by Kay Jackson, but in my house it's called the magic pot. I have made roasts, chicken, baby back ribs (better than you can buy anywhere!) split pea soup, and I'm sure there are other meals too, but they aren't coming to mind right now. I use it at least once a week. I especially like it in the summer, because I don't have to heat the house up to make a delicious meal.