Thursday, March 17, 2011

0 Gluten Free 40 Minute Beef Stew

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For those who may not know and haven't been pinched yet, its St. Patrick's Day, and I wanted to present a food inspired by my Irish heritage. First and most importantly though, for those who consume alcohol tonight, please drink responsibly. If you live in a major metro area, check the internet for free cab services. Most cab companies in larger cities will provide these services for your safety, so please take advantage of it if you need to. 

Now, onto the food! Pressure cookers are amazing tools in a kitchen, and aren't as hard or intimidating as many think they are. For those who don't know, pressure cookers are a great alternative to cooking foods in a significantly shorter amount of time. Most foods that you would braise or do in a slow cooker can be reduced down to a 20-30 minute cook time in a pressure cooker. 

As for the stew ingredients, I substitute beef stew chunks for lamb due to personal preference, but feel free to substitute with lamb. Also, I like to make my stews really thick (one of my co workers thought I was eating Shepard's pie instead...) so if you prefer a thinner stew use less potatoes.

1.5 lbs beef stew cubes
5-6 carrots, peeled
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 cups beef broth
6-7 potatoes
2 tbsp oregano
1/4 cup diced parsley
1 tsp corn starch
about 1 tsp salt, vary to taste preference
about 1 tsp pepper, vary to taste preference

1. Preheat the pressure cooker to medium high heat. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Dice the onion and carrots, set aside. Mince the garlic, set aside. Peel and cube each potato into eights or tenths, depending on the size and set aside.
2. Add 1 tbsp oil to the cooker, and brown the beef and onions. Keep both moving so they do not burn. Add the garlic, broth, and carrots. Seal the pressure cooker, and maintain heat on medium high. Once you seal the cooker, do not attempt opening it until all pressure is released. Once the pressure cooker alerts that it is sealed (normally through some indicator) and the pressure release starts hissing with steam, start a timer for 20 minutes and reduce the heat to medium. I added the video below to illustrate how the cooker will behave when you want to start the 20 minute timer.
3. While the pressure cooker cooks, boil the potatoes. By the time the 20 minutes is done, the potatoes should be tender and cooked. Drain the potatoes when done.
4. Once the 20 minutes are up, remove the cooker from heat, and let rest for 5 minutes. Then, place the cooker in the sink and pour running water over it. Do this until the pressure is released. You know the pressure is released when the pressure release does not release any steam, and there is no resistance when trying to open the cooker.
5. Place the cooker back onto low heat and add the potatoes, salt, pepper, oregano and parsley. After about 5 minutes, taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

I hope you enjoy, and please be safe tonight!

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