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Beef Stew

Beef Stew

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Serves 6.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a New York Times recipe.

When I was a child my mom made beef stew occasionally. It was good enough to enjoy as a hearty dinner. I wish I knew how she made it. Did she use her pressure cooker? I did plenty of research and came up with this recipe. I prefer lamb to stew; so I made it my way. But feel free to make it with beef.


¼ cup (about 1 ounce (28 grams)) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound (450g) beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups (1 liter) beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, cleaned and coarsely chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch (2cm) rounds
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch (2cm) cubes
1 cup (130g) frozen peas
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste


Combine the flour and pepper in a bowl, add the beef and toss to coat well. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef a few pieces at a time; do not overcrowd. Cook, turning the pieces until beef is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch; add more oil as needed between batches.

Return all the meat to the pan along with any flour remaining in the bowl. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cook, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Add the bay leaves, herbs and tomato paste. Increase to a boil and cover, making sure the pressure cooker lid is sealed correctly.

When the pot reaches full pressure, reduce the heat to maintain that pressure. Cook 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and let the pressure subside naturally.

Add the onion, celery and carrots. Return to the heat and simmer, covered (not sealed), for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes more. Add broth or water if the stew is dry. Season with salt to taste. Remove from the heat and add the peas. Cover and let rest 15 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve.

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