Nothing in the kitchen frightens our guests like a pressure cooker. In fact, a hissing pressure cooker could be set up at haunted houses in place of those masked chainsaw-carrying guys and people would be every bit as terrified. Tales of exploding pressure cookers are the stuff of legend. Example: “She lifted the lid and the last thing she saw was a bright light.” Fear not, I’ll include slow-cooker directions, too. Bring on the beef stew, baby.
In truth, pressure cookers to not spontaneously combust or magically convert the food into nuclear bombs. Any mishaps involving pressure cookers is generally due to user error and is not, in fact, because pressure cooker manufacturers are secretly plotting world domination. Well, I’m pretty sure anyway. Let’s get going on that stew, eh?
At this point, a decision must be made… will you use a crock pot or stick with the pressure cooker? If you decide to use a crock pot then skip to the bottom of this post for your directions. And then you’ll see your stew in like… 6 hours.
- 3-4 Lbs. beef or venison, cut into 1″ cubes
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- 4 onions, sliced
- 12 potatoes, halved or quartered
- 12 carrots, quartered
- 2 cups water
- 1 quart green beans
- 1 quart stewed tomatoes
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 3/4 cup wine, beer, stock, or water
- salt, pepper, seasoning
Heat the canner, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil, and brown the meat. Now, you add those onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, some salt, and 2 cups of water. Make sure the burner is on high.
Place the lid on the pressure cooker.
Align the arrow on the handle with the arrow on the lid. The lid will fit snuggly in place. Now, turn the lid so the the handles match up. See? Not so scary after all.
Place the three-piece pressure regulator on the vent pipe. That’s 15 pounds of pressure.
Once the regulator begins to rock, set a timer for 8 minutes. Let the canner do it’s thing but stay close by. It’s only eight minutes. Trust me, you can handle that.
While your pressure cooker is chugging, pour the wine (red or white) or beer (or stock or water). Please take note of the quart jars in the background. Those stewed tomatoes and beans will be added once the stew has finished.
Mix 3 tablespoons of flour into the wine/beer/stock/water (I love options, don’t you?). Let it sit.
At this point, the timer may have chimed. Turn off the heat and carefully move the pressure cooker to a burner that is not hot. Now, walk away. When the air vent has dropped, you may remove the regulator and then unlock the lid. Always lift the lid off toward yourself so that the lid protects your face from the steam.
Add the flour mixture, tomatoes, beans, and whatever seasoning you wish. Makes 15-18 servings and is super to freeze or to stick in canning jars to can up. I’ll post about canning your own soups next week.
Now for the slow-cooker recipe:
- 1 Lb. beef, cubed
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 4 carrots, quartered
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 potatoes, quartered
- 14 ounces of beer, wine, water, or stock
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt, pepper, seasoning
Heat oil in a kettle and add the beef. Brown the meat and then put it into the crock pot. Pour 1/2 cup of beer/wine/stock/water into the kettle that you just cooked the beef in and bring it to a boil. Now, pour that over the beef in the crock pot. Add the vegetables and the rest of the liquid to the crock pot. Cover. Cook on low 5-6 hours or until the meat is falling apart and the vegetables are tender. Season and serve. You can remove some liquid, mix in a tablespoon of flour, and then add it back if you wish. Serves 4.
Tell me… what’s your favorite stew or soup? Do you use a pressure cooker or slow cooker? Want to read an interesting post: Does Searing Meat Seal in Juices?