Instant Pot Beef Stew

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I have been tweaking this recipe for awhile now and I finally perfected it!  I thought I had it just right but the other night I needed to make 2 batches since I was taking dinner to a friend as well.  The first batch I coated the meat with some seasoning and flour and seared in batches, then added the tomato paste and garlic, deglazed with the broths before pressurizing.  The 2nd batch I was running short on time and in a moment of adventure I threw caution to the wind and dumped everything in the pot and set it.  To my amazement you couldn’t tell the difference between both batches! This was such a hit and is my new go-to stew recipe.  I love it more than any other I’ve ever made and I’m pretty sure you will to.  And if you don’t have a pressure cooker I think you would get pretty good results cooking this on high in a crock pot for about 6-8 hours or until meat and veg are tender.
This recipe could not be any easier.  Or tastier!

INSTANT POT BEEF STEW
1 1/2 -2 lbs stew meat (I use roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-4 cups beef broth
2-4 cups chicken broth
1 T worcestershire
8 cups chopped vegetables*
(I used 5 gold potatoes, 1 parsnip, 1 onion, 3 carrots)

To thicken:
3 T cornstarch
3 T water

Place everything except thickener in the Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker)
Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.  Natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
To thicken, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water and stir in.

*Most root vegetables are a good choice here.  Peas are nice as well, but add those at the end.  If making for the freezer I would not use potatoes though, as they can get a little weird in the freezer.

Note: The vegetables will be very soft.  If you want them to have more texture, just leave out the veg and cook as directed.  Add the veg and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, natural pressure release for 10.

Why the difference in broth amount? Depends on how thick or thin you prefer your stew

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 -2 lbs stew meat (I use roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-4 cups beef broth
  • 2-4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 T worcestershire
  • 8 cups chopped vegetables*
    (I used 5 gold potatoes, 1 parsnip, 1 onion, 3 carrots)
    To thicken:
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 3 T water

Instructions

  • Place everything except thickener in the Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker)
  • Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  • To thicken, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water and stir in.
  • Most root vegetables are a good choice here. Peas are nice as well, but add those at the end. If making for the freezer I would not use potatoes though, as they can get a little weird in the freezer.
    Note: The vegetables will be very soft. If you want them to have more texture, just leave out the veg and cook as directed. Add the veg and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, natural pressure release for 10.
    Why the difference in broth amount? Depends on how thick or thin you prefer your stew
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    Make Ahead Caramelized Onions

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    I was at Cash and Carry recently (a restaurant supply store open to the public) and for some reason thought I should buy a 50 pound bag of onions.  By the time I got home I knew exactly what I was going to make with them!  We love adding caramelized onions to all kinds of things, on sandwiches, burgers, spreads, on top of biscuits, not to mention french onion soup.  My big 20 quart roaster pan fit almost half of the bag.  I used my Cuisinart to make slicing the onions quickly too.
    They filled the roaster pan all the way to the top but they will cook down A LOT.
    Here they are at the beginning:
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    And at the end you have this!
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    If you don’t have a roaster pan you could use a slow cooker, just cut enough onions to fit the size you have.  Cook for the same amount of time on high.
    I put some in 8 oz containers for adding to sandwiches or smaller uses like that.
    Then I put some in quart containers for making a quick french onion soup.
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    Make Ahead Caramelized Onions

    20 pounds onions
    1/2 cup unsalted butter

    Spray the roaster pan with nonstick spray. Set on 250 degrees.  Place the butter in the roaster pan to warm while you slice the onions thinly and place in the roaster pan along with the butter.
    Cook for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally (every hour or so).
    Leave lid ajar and continue cooking for 2 hours, stirring more often, at least every 30 minutes.
    The onions should be cooked down and most the liquid evaporated.
    Cool completely before putting in freezer containers.

    Make Ahead Caramelized Onions

    Ingredients

    • 20 pounds onions
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

    Instructions

  • Spray the roaster pan with nonstick spray. Set on 250 degrees. Place the butter in the roaster pan to warm while you slice the onions thinly and place in the roaster pan along with the butter.
  • Cook for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally (every hour or so).
  • Leave lid ajar and continue cooking for 2 hours, stirring more often, at least every 30 minutes.
  • The onions should be cooked down and most the liquid evaporated.
  • Cool completely before putting in freezer containers.
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    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

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    This isn’t a traditional chili, and while I can’t see it taking the place of our favorite chili, I will definitely be making it again.  I changed up the original recipe a bit, adding more paprika and less chili powder, less meat, and we completely left out peppers since we just don’t like them that much and used celery instead.  The original recipe contained 1-2 jalapenos as well, which I would leave in if you like spicy chili.

    We loved the “sauce” flavors, with all the spices and pumpkin and it was even better with a little sour cream on top.

    This makes a big batch, about 4 quarts, but freezes well if you won’t get through that much.

    BLACK BEAN AND SWEET POTATO TURKEY CHILI
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 white onion, diced
    1 bell pepper, diced (or 2 stalks celery)
    1 lb ground turkey
    8 oz mushrooms, minced (just over 2 cups)
    2 tsp cumin
    2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1 T paprika
    1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
    28 oz can crushed tomatoes
    2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
    3 1/2 cups beef broth
    15 oz can pumpkin puree (I used my homemade in the freezer)
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1 T cocoa powder

    For serving: Avocados, sour cream, cilantro, fresh lime juice
    (We found sour cream, a little cilantro, and a lime wedge just perfect).

    In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute until softened.  Put in a slow cooker.

    Using the same skillet, cook the turkey and mushrooms with the cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili, and paprika over medium high heat until turkey is done.  Add to slow cooker.

    Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker and stir to combine.  Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or high for 4 to 6 hours or until sweet potatoes are tender.

    Let cook on high uncovered the last 30 to 60 minutes to thicken.*

    *The original recipe stated to leave uncovered for just 10-15 minutes to thicken, but I found it took longer.  That may be in part because I used 1 lb of ground turkey instead of the 20 oz the original recipe used.

    Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

    Ingredients

    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 white onion, diced
    • 1 bell pepper, diced (or 2 stalks celery)
    • 1 lb ground turkey
    • 8 oz mushrooms, minced (just over 2 cups)
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder
    • 1 T paprika
    • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
    • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
    • 2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 3 1/2 cups beef broth
    • 15 oz can pumpkin puree (I used my homemade in the freezer)
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 T cocoa powder
      For serving: Avocados, sour cream, cilantro, fresh lime juice
    • (We found sour cream, a little cilantro, and a lime wedge just perfect).

    Instructions

  • In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute until softened. Put in a slow cooker.
  • Using the same skillet, cook the turkey and mushrooms with the cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili, and paprika over medium high heat until turkey is done. Add to slow cooker.
  • Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or high for 4 to 6 hours or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  • Let cook on high uncovered the last 30 to 60 minutes to thicken.
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    Best Ever Chili

    I know the name of this dish is making quite the claim, but my mom insisted upon it, and since she gave birth to me I think she should be allowed her way every now and again. : )
    This is, to me, a perfect fall and winter dish.  My hubby doesn’t like most chili dishes, but even he had extra helpings.  I made it for our Pumpkin Potluck this fall and when I was pouring it in our large crock pot, I thought I made too much…  Well, let’s just say it got taken care of. : )
    BEST EVER CHILI
    Recipe by My Stained Apron
    8 oz bacon (thick sliced)
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 lb ground pork
    1 lb ground beef
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes*
    2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
    2 T paprika
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1 tsp chili or chipotle powder
    1 T cumin
    1 T oregano
    Chop bacon and cook in a large pot.  Drain off excess fat.
    Add onion and garlic and cook a few minutes until softened.
    Add pork and beef and break up with a wooden spoon.  Cook until no longer pink.
    Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Simmer 1 to 3 hours (You can also put in a crockpot at this point instead of simmering on the stovetop).
    *If you don’t like chunks of tomato in your chili, puree them first.
    For serving: 
    shredded cheddar cheese
    Corn chips
    sliced green onions
    sour cream
    lime wedges
    cilantro
    Best Ever Chili

    Ingredients

    • 8 oz bacon (thick sliced)
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1 lb ground pork
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes*
    • 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
    • 2 T paprika
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 tsp chili or chipotle powder
    • 1 T cumin
    • 1 T oregano
      For serving:
    • shredded cheddar cheese
    • Corn chips
    • sliced green onions
    • sour cream
    • lime wedges
    • cilantro

    Instructions

  • Chop bacon and cook in a large pot. Drain off excess fat.
  • Add onion and garlic and cook a few minutes until softened.
  • Add pork and beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Simmer 1 to 3 hours (You can also put in a crockpot at this point instead of simmering on the stovetop).
  • *If you don't like chunks of tomato in your chili, puree them first.
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    Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

    It’s that crazy time of year.  I know you all know what I’m talking about. (And if you don’t, I WANT YOUR SECRET!) : )
    Holidays, family get-togethers, Christmas gifts to make and shop for, decorating, and so on.  It’s also my favorite time of the year.  I love the feeling of giving and gratitude in the air this time of year.  But still, things can get a bit hectic, so a meal like this one comes in awful handy.  My mom made “baked potato bar” night in our home often, and it was always a big hit.  We could each pick what we wanted on our potato and and you won’t find a cheaper ingredient!  So do what I’m doing tomorrow night- make this and give yourself a break!
    SLOW COOKER BAKED POTATOES
    Wrap potatoes in foil and put in slow cooker.
    Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until soft when pierced with a knife.
    Serving suggestions:
    chopped chives, red onion, or green onions
    ranch dressing
    sour cream
    crumbled cooked bacon
    shredded cheese
    chili
    butter
    steamed chopped broccoli
    a big garden salad makes a good accompaniment

    Pulled Pork (And Sandwiches)

    It’s officially summertime.  Even though we have air conditioning, I still like to keep the oven off as much as I can. This is a very versatile recipe, you can either used the pulled pork with tacos, burritos, in sandwiches, just use your imagination and I’m sure you’ll think of lots of ways your family would enjoy it.  And you can always change the seasonings according to what you’ll be making with it, of course.
    PULLED PORK
    Recipe by My Stained Apron
    5-8 lbs Pork shoulder blade
    1 tsp oregano
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    10 cloves garlic, chopped (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
    1 1/2 cups water
    Combine seasonings in a small bowl, sprinkle on all sides of pork.  Place in slow cooker (throw in garlic cloves now if using) and pour water on top.
    Cook on high for 6 to 8 hours, until meat falls apart.
    Use for tacos, burritos, sandwiches, etc. 
    BEFORE:
    AFTER:
    PULLED PORK SANDWICHES
    Hoagie buns or rolls
    Pulled pork
    Cheese (Havarti, Muenster, etc)
    Lay buns out on cookie sheet and toast at 400 degrees for just a few minutes.
    Pile on pulled pork inside buns, place cheese on top.
    Toast in oven until cheese melts.
    Serve with slaw, or your favorite sandwich toppings.

    Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

    This recipe came from My Kitchen Cafe originally, and after I changed it a bit for our tastes we really like it. My husband doesn’t even like stroganoff, and this is the first recipe I’ve found he doesn’t mind. (Which is quite the stroganoff endorsement for him!)
    SLOW COOKER BEEF STROGANOFF
    2 pounds stew meat
    1 tsp salt
    dash pepper
    2 onions, sliced
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 T Worcestershire sauce
    1 1/2 cups beef broth or stock (I make mine from beef base)
    1 T ketchup
    1/3 cup flour
    6 T apple juice
    8 oz sliced mushrooms
    1/2 cup sour cream
    egg noodles, cooked (I used 1/2 to 3/4 pound)
    Put stew meat, salt, pepper, and onions in crock pot.
    Mix garlic powder, Worcestershire, broth, and ketchup together and pour over meat.
    Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.
    Whisk flour with apple juice to make a thick but pourable roux and stir into crockpot along with the mushrooms.
    Cook on high for 15-30 minutes. Stir in the sour cream.
    Serve over egg noodles.

    Slow Cooker Ribs

    This is one of those dinners for when you have an insanely crazy day and want to be able to throw something in the slow-cooker and it will actually taste good.  They get so tender you can cut them with your fork.  I usually use my homemade Peach BBQ Sauce (will post recipe later) but it’s great with a tomato-based as well, and that’s actually what I used in the photo here to test it out. I also finished them in a saute pan and the results were good, but I do prefer the texture that I get with a grill pan better.

    SLOW COOKER RIBS
    3-5 lbs pork ribs, boneless
    2 T paprika
    1 T garlic powder
    1 T sugar
    2 tsp onion powder
    BBQ Sauce of choice

    Combine paprika, garlic powder, sugar, and onion powder. Rub all over ribs. Place in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  When ready to serve, heat in a grill pan (or saute pan if you don’t have one) and baste often with BBQ Sauce. Serve hot.

    Crock Pot Turkey (or Chicken)

    This is so easy AND good. Two things I love.  I used a bone-in Turkey breast, but this is wonderful to do with a whole chicken as well. and you can rest the bird on thick slices of onion just like I do when I roast poultry, but the turkey breast wouldn’t have fit.


    CROCK-POT TURKEY (OR CHICKEN)

    Bone-in turkey breast or whole chicken (up to 6 lbs or so)
    3 T no-salt seasoning
    1 T kosher salt
    2 lemons

    Rinse your bird inside & out and pat dry with paper towels.
    Mix salt & seasoning and rub all over bird, inside and out.
    Pierce lemons with sharp knife all over and put inside the cavity.

    Place in crock-pot and put on low for about 8 hours. If you have less time, you could probably put on high for about 4 or 5 hours.

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