Beef Stew

This is just a classic. I would hesitate to call this a recipe and really more of a ‘method’. This is really about getting as much beef in your mouth as you can and extending that experience with potatoes and carrots.

Ingredient Quantity
Butter 4 Tablespoons
Beef, Chuck 4lbs whole
Baking Powder 1 Tablespoon, For Dusting
Onion, White 1 Large
Celery 3 Large Stalks
Garlic 1 Head, All Cloves
Carrots 2 Large
Carrots 3 Large
Little Potatoes 20 Small
Bay Leaves 4 Fresh
Soy Sauce 1/4 Cup
Apple Cider Vinegar 2 Tablespoons
Thyme Lots of sprigs
Chipotle Chiles 2
Tomato Paste 2 Tablespoons
Bone Broth 1 Quart
Wine 1 Cup
Fire Roasted Canned Diced Tomatoes 2 14oz Cans
Instant Pot 1

Procedure

Firstly, let your beef come to room temperature. You'll need to trim this and I find that the muscles separate much easier at room temperature. After trimming, cut the beef in to the size that you would like to put in your mouth. I just recently did this recipe, and I cut it a little too small, about 2cm pieces. I would suggest going a bit bigger than that, maybe 4cm. After cutting, dust the beef lightly with the baking powder to reduce the pH of the surface and aid in browning. Arrange the beef on your roasting pan and broil on high. Take care to watch it until it browns nicely, careful because it can burn easily on high. Work in batches to finish all the beef. Don't crowd your pan. You have time here.

Scrape all the good brown beef bits and beef juice in to the pot.

Chop your veggies in to 0.5cm cubes, pretty fine chop. You're going for a lovely mirepoix for these. Make sure you reserve a couple carrots for the end, notice that I have mentioned carrots in both the green and blue categories. At this time, you can prep your stew veggies in to larger pieces, probably quarters for the potatoes and 1” pieces for the carrots.

Get that butter in a hot pan and fry up your mirepoix until all the veggies are pretty soft.

Dump your veggies in to the pot.

Empty the bone broth, tomatoes, and wine in to the pot. Make sure that you have enough liquid, about half as much as solids when you move the solids to the side.

Add all your spices and herbs to the pot. I always leave the thyme on the stems because it will just fall off anyway and you can pick out the branches. I've found fresh bay leaves pretty regularly lately and I love them over the dry ones. Remember that when you use fresh spices, you should use about 3x as much. I also love the tomato paste in the tube. It lets you use as much as you want without wasting a can.

Now that you have everything in the pot, cook it in the instant pot on “Stew” for about 30 minutes. Mine took a while to come up to temperature because my broth was frozen. After that time, test the beef. Ideally, it will still be unpleasantly chewy. If it is not, you might have to cook your potatoes and carrots separately to prevent the beef from overcooking. If you got the beef right and it is not ready to eat, go ahead and throw the potatoes and carrots in there and stir and cook on stew again for 15 minutes this time.

That's about it. This is a work in progress because it is the first time I've used the instant pot for this recipe. I actually think the pressure cooking makes this faster, but I think I like the control the regular pot gives you. When you cook this on the stove, you can add each ingredient when you want and I think that gives me the best control over doneness.

Good stuff.