It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Every Christmas I entertain over 30 relatives in my squashy apartment – it’s noisy and chaotic but fun and D and I get the kick of big cooking once a year. It does take time and organization – about 2 days of food prep and cooking, not to mention multiple forays to the supermarket. Both ovens are working at full blast and both induction as well as gas stoves as well. This year I had the additional tool of the Instant Pot, which was wonderful, because I could toss out a beef stew and literally ignore it while preparing other dishes.
Every year I try to shake things up a bit – so the 2 invariable dishes are roast turkey and ham, but I usually try to mix it up for the sides and dessert. Most of the dishes are low carb; only the Hasselback potatoes which are kid#2’s signature contribution and a small side of pasta for the little kids were carby. Post-dinner, kid#2 said that her favorite dish was the beef stew, so here is the recipe for keeps! 😋
Instant Pot Beef and Port Wine Stew
- 1.5 kg beef cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, diced
- 3 ribs of celery, cut into large chunks
- 2 leeks, white parts sliced thinly
- 4 carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 200g Cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup Port wine
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs Italian parsley
- 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- Put the Instant Pot into sauté mode and heat up the olive oil.
- Sear the beef cubes all over, then remove and set aside.
- Sauté the garlic, leeks, onions and celery till slightly caramelized.
- Put in the balsamic vinegar and sauté further till evaporated.
- Add the Port wine and continue sautéing to slightly reduce it.
- Add the beef cubes back into the pot. Add the diced tomatoes in their juice, tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, salt and pepper and stir through. The liquid should just cover the meat pieces.
- Turn off the sauté mode. Close the lid of the Instant Pot, turning the valve to the sealed position. Put on the “Meat/Stew” function (high pressure for 35 minutes).
- Allow NPR if not in a rush (I was busy preparing other dishes!).
- Skim off the oil from the stew and remove the sprigs of herbs. Add the carrots.
- Close the pot again and seal. Put on manual pressure cooking for 10 minutes. This is to just cook and soften the carrots but to keep their form in the stew.
- Do a quick pressure release when done and stir through the stew. Put the sauté mode on.
- Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the stew and stir well. This will thicken the stew. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes till softened. Serve hot with a side of cauliflower mash.