Sunday, February 24, 2013

Guest Recipe Post, Sharon Shiner's Beef Stew with Red Wine for the pressure cooker

Beef Stew with Mushrooms and Red Wine for the pressure cooker

I got my first pressure cooker in 2008; I had just started my personal chef business, Thyme To Cook, and a Fagor model was being offered for sale for a drastically reduced price by the personal chef association that I belonged to. I didn’t know how to use it and in all honestly, I had never even seen one in action. But, it felt like the right thing to do at the time, and boy, am I glad I bought forward to today, and 4 pressure cookers later, and my trusty, old Fagor pressure cooker still gets the most action. I seriously love it. My one and only complaint is that it’s only a 6 quart pot and not bigger.

I made a delicious beef stew in it recently with mushrooms and red wine. For aromatics, I used carrots, onions, garlic and parsnips. Traditionally, I would have added in a stick of celery as well, but didn’t have any in the house, so this time around, I didn’t add it.
I also added sweet potato.

I had thyme in the house so that was my fresh herb for the stew. So a bit of a non-traditional beef stew (think no peas and potatoes), but this combo worked fine. The addition of the mushrooms allowed me to cut back a bit on the amount of beef that I used since mushrooms are meaty in their own right.  The beauty of a stew is that you can add or delete ingredients that might not appeal to you. Don’t like mushrooms? Omit them and add more stew meat. Don’t like parsnips (though I wouldn’t know why you wouldn’t enjoy them??), simply omit them. 
As for the wine, simply use a red wine that you would enjoy to drink; never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t use to drink. I used a red called Apothic Red, a bold blended red that is real luscious. If you don’t wish to use wine, simply replace it with a meat stock such as beef or chicken.

Beef Stew with Mushrooms and Red Wine
Serves 6

1 lb beef stew meat (chuck or round cuts work best)
1 lb sliced mushrooms (cremini or basic white)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes, large dice
2 medium carrots, medium dice
2 medium parsnips, medium dice
1 medium onion, medium dice
1.5 cups red wine or stock
1 28 oz can or box of diced tomatoes, with juice
Fresh thyme, leaves taken off 5-6 stems and chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fat of choice for browning (coconut oil, olive oil etc)
Juice of half a lemon

1.  Heat pressure cooker over medium high heat. Pat beef dry, season liberally with salt and pepper. Add fat of choice to pot and add half of the beef to brown. Do not crowd the pot with the beef. It’s best to brown the meat in 2 or 3 steps. Otherwise, if the pot is crowded, the beef will steam and will not brown. Remove beef and if necessary, add a bit more fat to pot and repeat with remaining beef.

2.  Add in garlic, onions, carrots and parsnips to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and coat the veggies in remaining fat. Allow the veggies to cook for about 6 minutes until they soften up.
3.  Add in mushrooms and thyme, and again, season with a bit of salt and pepper. Let the mushrooms cook down for about 5 minutes.
4.  Add back the browned beef, the red wine, the tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Stir to combine.

5.  Add the top of pressure cooker, set it for High (or 15psi) and allow it to come up to pressure. Once pressure is achieved, turn the burner down to the lowest setting that will maintain the pressure. Cook for 35 minutes.

6.  After the 35 minutes, remove pressure cooker from heat and set it aside. The pressure is still going to remain high unless you let it out; this potentially will make the meat seize up, so it’s best to let pressure come down naturally for a minimum of 10-15 minutes.
7.  After the resting time, release any remaining pressure (always take care because steam will come out while pressure is being released), and remove lid. Check beef for tenderness. If it is not yet tender, put it back on stove and bring pressure back up for another 5 minutes. Repeat resting process and check beef again.
8.  Add the fresh squeezed juice from half an lemon, and then taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
9.  Enjoy!

Sharon Shiner is a Certified Kettlebell Instructor and Personal Chef, you can find her on facebook here:

Or check out her blog here:

I'm lucky to have met Sharon  online through the kettlebell community, but I know eventually our paths with cross in person!  Sharon comments regularly on my facebook page with great ideas about food, recipes and like me she loves her pressure cooker!  Yay for pressure cooking!

But for those of you still afraid, intimidated or maybe you just don't own a PC and don't want to invest quite yet, I'm making this recipe right now in a traditional dutch oven on my stove top, so I will share that with you in my next blog post!


Kimberly said...

Thanks for posting this recipe! I might have to try this one night this week.

I think a pressure cooker is the most "green" cooking appliance out there. What other appliance can do so much in such a small amount of time using a small amount of energy? I bought mine several years ago after a particularly frustrating day when I was making black bean chili, and it took nearly 5 hours to cook the beans at my altitude here in Colorado.

It's not the solution for everything, but what it does, it does very well. Unfortunately, most people associate bad things with them ("my grandma's pressure cooker exploded and there was split pea soup all over the ceiling!!") but modern pressure cookers have numerous safeguards built in.

Mark Reifkind said...

man this smells SO GOOD cooking! Can't wait to eat it! Lucky me :)

Sharon Shiner said...

So glad that is is smelling good Mark!! It's pretty tasty! :)

Kimberly, you are absolutely correct. The pressure cookers of today "ain't your gramma's pressure cookers" so to speak! They are absolutely safe and easy to use.
Please let me know if you try the recipe out!
:) sharon

chrystad72 said...

This is awesome! I actually have a pressure cooker and haven't used it yet since I wasn't sure how to use it. I think I'm going to dig this out and give it a shot. Yum!!

Oh by the way, I just ordered your new swing DVD and cant wait! =)

Tracy Reifkind said...

omg! I just ate this for breakfast! I need to tweak a couple of things since I did it on the stove....darn, I guess I'll make another batch tomorrow!

Diana said...

You got me hooked when I read "sweet potatoes"!
Gonna try this later in the week!

Tracy Mangold said...

Will have to try this with our elk meat!

Othmar said...

I got my first pressure cooker in 2008; I had just started my personal chef business, Thyme To Cook, and a Fagor model was being offered for ...