It has been “one of those days!” Actually, it’s been one of those weeks, but I will spare you the details. I will say this…. my plans of prepping, cooking, relaxing, enjoying a slow-cooked delicious meal today, turned into new tires, oil change, grocery shopping, and cleaning from the activities of the day before. Do you ever have those days?
I have been planning this dinner for quite a while now. We recently bought a quarter of a grass-fed steer and had part of it processed as stew meat. We enjoy beef stew, but we ended up with more cuts than we anticipated, so the search began for new recipes.
“My” plan was to make this recipe cooking it slowly in a cast iron pot for 3-4 hours on low temperatures in the oven. But when you arrive home at 5pm and haven’t even started dinner, you have to change your game plan. I wasn’t willing to change the menu, so Instant Pot to the rescue! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Instant Pot is my new favorite kitchen toy!
2.5 – 3 pounds cubed beef (I used stew meat but you could cube a roast or steaks, whatever you have)
6 oz bacon, chopped into one-inch pieces
1 onion, halved and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half (white button mushrooms also work)
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups red wine
1 cup beef broth
few sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
Turn the Instant Pot on saute. Add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside.
Add the onions and carrots. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside with the bacon.
In a single layer, add the beef, salt and pepper to taste, and brown on all sides. It will take 3-4 batches to brown the meat. If you add too much at one time, it will braise and stew the meat and not brown it. I had to add a little bit of olive oil to the last batch. You may have to do the same.
Add the flour to the meat, stirring to coat well. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the rawness of the flour has cooked out. Scrape the bottom of the pot to ensure you get all the goodness of the bits on the bottom into the food.
Return the bacon, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic to the pot. Add the tomato paste, wine, broth, and thyme to the Instant Pot. The liquid should just barely cover the meat. You may need to adjust accordingly. Turn off the Instant Pot, place the lid securely on the pot, turn the pressure valve on, place the setting to “meat” and set the timer to 35 minutes. When cooked, allow for a natural release.
To thicken the sauce (if needed), combine a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch with a little of the broth. Start the saute mode and stir into the meat mixture. Let it simmer for a minute or two to thicken. Once it has reached your desired consistency, turn off the Instant Pot.
Serve this deliciousness over mashed potatoes with crusty bread on the side. You will NOT be disappointed.
This plate is from my mom and dad’s china. I do not know the name of the pattern, but it’s at least 65 years old.
This is a recipe that is delicious, easy to prepare, and one you will want to make time and time again.