Hola Mi Gente,
It’s that time of the year where you go from cooking for yourself, to a mob of people at warp speed. But with all the bustle and busyness, sometimes there literally just isn’t time for the mess or hassle of a Turkey. Or maybe you already ate all the turkey, and you’ve still got a day or two left of feeding a big crew.
Enter this beef stew. Benjamin is a big soup/stew person. He loves the heartiness and the efficiency of all the flavors marrying together in one single pot (this plays a big role I think because he’s the primary dish washer in our house 😂). A few weeks back, we went to our local butcher and decided to get a roast. The smallest one they had was a little under four pounds, so we got it, and by the time we made it back out to the car, had planned a small potluck dinner with our Life Group from church. What started off as a simple holiday get together, turned into a dinner for 14 really fast. This stew was born in the hopes that it would warm all the chilled bones, and make the roast stretch out to feed all the tummies around our extended table.
For a while now, I have been wanting to test out my instant pot for a stew to see how long it would take to get a big cut of meat to shredded consistency, so I made two versions of this stew, one on the stovetop, and the other in the instant pot. I know by now you’re probably tired of me talking about this cooking tool, but seriously it is SUCH a time/life saver. I’ll be honest and say that I probably have more time than most people when it comes to cooking, AND I still need quick fixes at least once a week if I get really wrapped into a project.
The thing that just keeps wooing me about the instant pot though, isn’t how fast it is, but how flavorful the food is. If you saw my post on Bone Broth, you’ll know that the Instant Pot bone broth has a deeper color, and a more concentrated taste than the stovetop version. This is because the high pressure is able to extract and infuse flavor better than a conventional stove top.
That was the case with this stew–the results as far as consistency were the same in the instant pot versus the stove top, but the instant pot version had a MUCH richer flavor and color, over the stovetop version. As an added bonus, from start (sauté) to finish (releasing pressure) it took about 1 hour for fall apart shredded stew meat.
I’ll have to say, too, that most one-pot meals are heavy on one nutrient over the other, but overall this stew has a great balance of protein, vegetables, and some potatoes for filler factor. We loved sprinkling it with a little Tillamook Cheese, and pairing it with a combination of a baguette, and rosemary focaccia.
The night we had this stew, it was the perfect fit for our night. It was warm and bountiful (there was enough for seconds AND leftovers), and a delicious addition to the time spent around the table with our people.
We’ll be cooking this stew from now till grilling weather whenever our table extends past the two of us, or we need a quick fix of hearty soup. I hope it makes its way to your tables during this winter and holiday season!
Love, love, love,