Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot Beef StewLast Christmas one of my daughters gifted me an Instant Pot Lux80.  (There it is in the box.) I have to admit it looked intimidating; took me almost a month before I took it out of the box, and only after watching videos and reading lots of internet articles.  Now what exactly is an Instant Pot you may ask.  The best answer would be that it’s a crockpot on steroids.  It can do just about everything a crockpot does but it does it faster.  That’s why it takes only 35 minutes to make Instant Pot Beef Stew!

35 minutes to make tender falling apart beef stew!  Yes I kid you not the actual cooking time for Instant Pot Beef Stew is 35 minutes!  And yes the meat, you can use even the least expensive cuts, are literally falling apart!  Ok, the actual time I spent making Instant Pot Beef Stew was closer to an hour, that included chopping, browning, AND cooking and venting.  So really dinner was ready in about an hour.  Sure beats cooking stew in your crockpot all day!

Can you tell yet what I first made in my handy dandy new gadget?  Yup, you got it I made Instant Pot Beef Stew!  And the best part is it doesn’t take a lot of planning.

When I made beef stew in my old crockpot I had to thaw out the beef the night before then get up early to chop veggies and brown the beef on the stove top.  I had to do all that before I could toss it all in the crockpot and press cook.  Now it wasn’t that big a deal, that is until I realized what my new Instant Pot could do!  I didn’t have to thaw meat the night before, I could actually toss semi-frozen meat in the pot if I wanted to!

instant pot beef stew

Did I mention that my Instant Pot Beef Stew turned out amazing?  My family raved about it!  In fact I had made a big pot – the model I have is 8 quarts – and we had the left overs for dinner the next day!  So without further ado here’s my recipe!  Hope you love it as much as we do!

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Ingredients:

3 Lbs. Beef Cut into 1″ cubes – you can use any cut of beef you want, I usually use a chuck roast

2 Tbs.  Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning

1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1 Large Onion Cut in large pieces

2 Cups Baby Carrots

2 Cups Baby Potato Medley

2 Cups Celery Cut in large pieces

3 Cups Beef Broth

1 Cup Tomato Sauce

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 Cup Corn Starch

1/4 Cup water

Directions:

instant pot beef stewPrep ingredients – Cut all the meat & veggies to size

Separate Beef from the veggies as you will be using it first and you don’t want the veggies sitting in raw beef juices

Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set on Sauté

When pot is hot enough place cubed beef into pot

 

Instant pot beef stewBrown all the sides of the beef

Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, worcestershire sauce, and mix well

Switch pot off and add veggies, beef broth, and tomato sauce

Stir well making sure to scrape off any meat or seasoning at the bottom of the pot

Set Instant Pot on Manual and adjust time to 35 minutes

Secure lid making sure the valve is on the sealing position

When pot beeps wait 10 minutes then set the valve to venting to release remaining pressure

Meanwhile dissolve cornstarch in water

When pressure has been completely released remove pot lid

Stir in cornstarch water to get desired thickness.  If you want thicker sauce add more dissolved cornstarch slowly until you get the thickness you want.

Serve with steamed rice or some nice crusty bread to sop up all that meaty goodness!

Left overs can be stored in the fridge for a day or so, stew always tastes better the next day!  Or for longer storage place stew in freezer safe containers, label with date, and freeze until needed.  It will keep in the freezer for about 2-3 months.  Reheat in the microwave or stove top.

 

 

 

 

instant pot beef stew
Instant Pot Beef Stew
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instant pot beef stew
Instant Pot Beef Stew
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Prep ingredients - Cut all the meat & veggies to size Separate Beef from the veggies as you will be using it first and you don't want the veggies sitting in raw beef juices
    instant pot beef stew
  2. Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set on Sauté When pot is hot enough place cubed beef into pot Brown all the sides of the beef  Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, worcestershire sauce, and mix well
    Instant pot beef stew
  3. Switch pot off and add veggies, beef broth, and tomato sauce Stir well making sure to scrape off any meat or seasoning at the bottom of the pot Set Instant Pot on Manual and adjust time to 35 minutes Secure lid making sure the valve is on the sealing position
  4. When pot beeps wait 10 minutes then set the valve to venting to release remaining pressure Meanwhile dissolve cornstarch in water When pressure has been completely released remove pot lid Stir in cornstarch water to get desired thickness.  If you want thicker sauce add more dissolved cornstarch slowly until you get the thickness you want.   Serve with steamed rice or some nice crusty bread to sop up all that meaty goodness!
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Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

One of our family traditions are Sunday night barbecues when family and friends drop by for dinner and a visit.  Everyone looks forward to this weekly event.

Sometimes coming up with a different menu for the barbecues can be a challenge.  Last week we decided it would be Greek night so my daughter-in-law and I  made Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Dip.

We love Greece and Greek food.  We’ve been trying different recipes to  replicate the souvlaki and tzatziki we enjoy whenever we’re in Greece.

This weekend we made Tzatziki exactly how the owner of The Music Cafe in Myknos, one of our favorite cafes in Greece, taught us.  It was delicious.

I decided to try my hand at creating a new recipe for the souvlaki.  I marinated the chicken overnight in yogurt and spices, it turned out tender, juicy, and delicious!  The yogurt keeps the chicken tender and juicy and fresh dill gives them the extra yum!

Tzatziki is a yogurt dip or sauce.  It can be served with fresh crusty baguettes for dipping, and used as a sauce over the chicken.  Either way it’s delicious.

Both the Tzatziki and Souvlaki are easy to make.  The chicken should be marinated over night or for at least 3 hours, the longer it marinates in the fridge the tastier and tender it will be when grilled.  The Tzatziki can be make ahead of time and chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.

Both dishes will now be permanent additions to our Sunday night barbecues.  Here are the recipes, perhaps you can try them out this coming Memorial Day.  Both recipes can be doubled or tripled for larger gatherings.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Chicken Souvlaki

Makes 9-10 kebobs

Ingredients:

2 lbs. thawed chicken tenderloins – if the pieces are too large you may have to cut them in half lengthwise to make strips no larger than 2″ wide.

1 cup WHOLE milk plain Greek yogurt.  Be sure it’s whole milk, the fat free or 2% won’t work.

1 tbls. minced garlic

2 tbls. olive oil

1 tsp. dried or fresh oregano – crushed or minced

1/2 tsp dried or fresh rosemary – crushed or minced

1 tbls. fresh dill – finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Add chicken strips; mix well making sure the chicken is well coated in the yogurt mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge.  It’s a good idea to stir the chicken several time while it’s marinating to ensure all pieces are coated with the yogurt mixture.

Place the marinated chicken on skewers – two pieces fit nicely on 12″ skewers.

Grill on medium heat until chicken is well cooked.  About 5-6 minutes on each side.  Don’t over cook the chicken, it will become dry and hard.

Serve immediately with Tzatziki, and whatever side dishes you prefer.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Tzatziki

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 medium cucumbers

2 cups WHOLE milk yogurt

1 tbls. olive oil

1 tbls. minced garlic

2 tbls. fresh minced dill

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt to taste

Directions:

1.  Peal cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the middle part including the seeds.

2.  Finely grate cucumber in to a mixing bowl.

3.  Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the grated cucumber, discard liquid and keep the grated cucumber.

4.  Add yogurt to cucumber and mix well.

5.  Add olive oil, garlic, and dill to the mixture and mix well.

6.  Remove lemon seeds and squeeze lemon juice into the mixture and mix well.

7.  Add salt to taste.

Chill until ready to serve.  Can be served as sauce for the Chicken Tzatziki or as a dip with crusty fresh bread or pita chips.  If serving as a dip portion into small bowls and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
Souvlaki
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add chicken strips; mix well making sure the chicken is well coated in the yogurt mixture.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge. It's a good idea to stir the chicken several time while it's marinating to ensure all pieces are coated with the yogurt mixture.
  4. Place the marinated chicken on skewers - two pieces fit nicely on 12" skewers.
  5. Grill on medium heat until chicken is well cooked. About 5-6 minutes on each side. Don't over cook the chicken, it will become dry and hard.
  6. Serve immediately with Tzatziki, and whatever side dishes you prefer.
Tzatziki
  1. Peal cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the middle part including the seeds.
  2. Finely grate cucumber in to a mixing bowl.
  3. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the grated cucumber, discard liquid and keep the grated cucumber.
  4. Add yogurt to cucumber and mix well.
  5. Add olive oil, garlic, and dill to the mixture and mix well.
  6. Remove lemon seeds and squeeze lemon juice into the mixture and mix well.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

Tzatziki can be served as sauce for the Chicken Souvlaki or as a dip with crusty fresh bread or pita chips. If serving as a dip portion into small bowls and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

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Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

stuffed peppersI love the colors of bell peppers.  They come in green, yellow, orange, and red.  So festive!  But usually colorful peppers are quite pricey.  Imagine my surprise when I recently found them on sale!  Of course I scooped up a bunch, I couldn’t resist, they were so pretty.  But what does one do with a bunch of peppers?  Stuffed peppers!

Stuffed peppers are so simple, it’s sort of like making meatloaf.  Stuffing the meat into the peppers gives it extra flavor.  You can also add rice to the stuffing mix and you’ve got a complete meal.

Now that summer’s around the corner you’ll probably find lots of colorful peppers.  Take advantage of it and make some colorful stuffed peppers!

Ingredients:

6 Large Peppers – tops cut off; cored and seeds removed

1 Lb.  Ground Beef

1 Can Italian Seasoned Diced Tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:º

Wash and dry peppers

Cut the tops off; remove the core and seeds and set aside

Mix beef,  1/2 of the tomatoes, salt & pepper together in a large bowl.

Mix until well combined.

Divide meat mixture into 6 portions.

Stuff each pepper with meat mixture and place in a baking dish

Pour remaining tomatoes over peppers

Bake in 350° oven for 1 hour or until meat is fully cooked

Serve hot

 

 

Stuffed Peppers
Print Recipe
Servings
6
Servings
6
Stuffed Peppers
Print Recipe
Servings
6
Servings
6
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry peppers
  2. Cut the tops off; remove the core and seeds and set aside
  3. Mix beef, 1/2 of the tomatoes, salt & pepper together in a large bowl.
  4. Mix until well combined.
  5. Divide meat mixture into 6 portions.
  6. Stuff each pepper with meat mixture and place in a baking dish
  7. Pour remaining tomatoes over peppers
  8. Bake in 350° oven for 1 hour or until meat is fully cooked Serve hot
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Left Over Steak Stir Fry

Left Over Steak Stir Fry

Left Over Steak Stir Fry

Have you ever wondered what to do with that left over steak after a backyard barbecue?  I have.  Every time we grill steaks for our weekly Sunday night barbecue we always seem to end up with left over steak.  No matter how I try to grill only the steaks that we can eat there’s always some left over, either because the steaks are too big for one of us to finish or someone doesn’t show up for the barbecue.  (We buy rib eye steaks from Sam’s Club or Costco, they’re pretty large, I can’t eat a whole steak, neither can my daughter-in-law)

I hate to throw it away, but re-heating steak usually nets you a tough over cooked piece of meat that ends up in the trash.  So wasteful.

If I must re-heat a steak then I either warm it up in the oven or on the stove, definitely not in the microwave.  But even then the steak never looks as good as it did right off the grill, it doesn’t taste great either.  To avoid waste and still make the left overs edible I came up with this great way to “re-purpose” the steaks.

I chop it up into bite size pieces and saute.  I end up with a great tasting dish that can be made into sandwiches, tacos, salad topping,  or served with  a starch for a  nice dinner.  This is a very simple recipe and tasty too.  If I have left over mushrooms and veggies like grilled asparagus or zucchini I throw those in too.   I don’t worry about left over steak anymore, I actually find myself hoping for left overs!

Ingredients:

Left over steak – trim fat and chop into bite size chunks
1 onion chopped in bite size pieces
2 tbls. minced garlic
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tbls. olive oil
1 small fresh jalapeno seeds removed and finely minced (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
Left over veggies (mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, etc.)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a frying pan.

Sautee onions until they start to turn become tender.

Add garlic and sautee until garlic starts to brown.

Add steak.

Add spices and cook until steak is heated.  Keep stirring to keep the steak from burning.

Add any left over veggies or mushrooms if you have any and jalapeno.

Stir fry until veggies are heated.

Serve with your choice of starch; use as a sandwich or taco filling or a salad topping.

Left Over Steak Stir Fry
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Left Over Steak Stir Fry
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
  2. Sautee onions until they start to turn become tender.
  3. Add garlic and sautee until garlic starts to brown.
  4. Add steak.
  5. Add spices and cook until steak is heated. Keep stirring to keep the steak from burning.
  6. Add any left over veggies or mushrooms if you have any and jalapeno.
  7. Stir fry until veggies are heated.
  8. Serve with your choice of starch; use as a sandwich or taco filling or a salad topping.
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Fried Lumpia – Filipino Egg Rolls – Recipe

Fried Lumpia – Filipino Egg Rolls – Recipe

Fried Lumpia - Filipino Egg Rolls

When most folks see spring or egg rolls they usually think of Chinese or Thai cuisine, but many other Asian cuisines make their own version of egg rolls.

In the Philippines egg rolls are called “Lumpia”.

There are several local versions of this pastry which is of Chinese origin.  The Filipino lumpia range in variety from the slimmer fried rolls called “Lumpiang Shanghai” which are filled with ground pork and other minced Southeast Asian vegetables including water chestnuts and bamboo shoots.  These lumpia are typically served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce; “Lumpiang Sariwa” which literally means “Fresh Lumpia”, these rolls are wrapped in a thin homemade crepe like wrapper as opposed to the store bought wrappers which are generally thicker.  These lumpias are filled with stir-fried veggies such as string beans, carrots, onions, bamboo shoots, ubob (heart of palms), and other vegetables.  They are not fried, but rather are served in the soft thin wrapper drizzled with a thickened soy sauce similar to the sweet and sour sauce but saltier and sprinkled with crushed peanuts; “Lumpiang Prito” which means “Fried Lumpia”.  These are fatter fried rolls that can be filled with meat, seafood, and veggies.  These lumpias are usually served with a garlic vinegar dipping sauce; and there is “Lumpiang Hubad” which means “Naked Lumpia”.  This doesn’t mean that it should be eaten in the buff, but rather refers to the lumpia filling served without the pastry wrap.  It’s usually the same veggie stir-fry used to fill the Lumpiang Sariwa.

In short the Filipino Lumpia can be filled with almost anything.  My girlfriends and I usually joke and say we’re going to clean our refrigerators and make lumpia, meaning we pretty much stir-fry what ever we find in the fridge and roll it in egg roll wrappers.

Here is my family’s favorite lumpia recipe.  It’s filled with ground beef, bean sprouts, potatoes, and tofu, fried and dipped in a garlic vinegar sauce.  I usually make a big pot of filling, enough to make 50 lumpia, and freeze them.  Unfried lumpia freezes very well and is great to have on hand for days when I don’t have time to cook dinner or when unexpected dinner guests stop by.  You can fry them directly from the freezer, in fact frozen lumpia shouldn’t be completely thawed before frying as thawing them causes them to become soggy and fall apart.

Fried Lumpia

Makes about 50 rolls

Ingredients:

1 lbs. ground beef

2 large potatoes – cooked and diced

1 large onion – minced

2 tbl. minced garlic

2 cups bean sprouts – rinsed

2 cups firm tofu – cubed in small cubes

2 tbl. cooking oil

2 tsp. soy sauce

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 packages frozen egg roll wrappers found in Asian markets

1 egg slightly beaten

Sauce:

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 tsp. minced garlic

Ground black pepper

Fried Lumpia - Filipino Egg Rolls

You can buy frozen spring or egg roll wrappers or shells, bean sprouts, and tofu at Asian markets. Tofu can also be found in most grocery stores.  Be sure you are using Bean Sprouts and not Alfalfa Sprouts which are thinner and have a different flavor.

Directions:

1.  Scrub potatoes.  Cook your potatoes in the microwave, about 9 minutes.  Be sure to pierce the potatoes with a fork in several places so they don’t explode while cooking.  I make mine in a microwave potato bag that my daughter got from a craft fair.  They’re great for microwaving potatoes; no need to pierce them and the potatoes come out perfect every time.

Fried Lumpia - Filipino Egg Rolls

2.  Dice onions, potatoes, and tofu into small cubes about 1/4″.

3.  Heat oil in frying pan.  Add onions.  Cook until they start to turn tranlucent.  Add minced garlic.  Cook until garlic starts to turn brown.

4.  Add ground beef.  Cook until beef is crumbly.

5.  Add potatoes and bean sprouts.  Cook until sprouts are soft.

6.  Add tofu, soy sauce, salt & pepper.

7.  Cook until tofu is soft but not mushy.  About 5 minutes.

8.  Remove from heat and drain any liquid from the pan.  Try to make your meat mixture as dry as possible, if there’s too much liquid it will cause the wrappers to tear when rolling.

Fried Lumpia - Filipino Egg Rolls

9.  Fill each wrapper with about 2 tbl. of meat mixture and roll.  Seal ends by lightly brushing wrapper with the beaten egg.

Fried Lumpia - Filipino Egg Rolls

To roll lumpia:

1.  Place a wrapper on a plate or cutting board with one corner facing you.

2.  Put about 2 tbl. meat mixture in center of wrapper.  Spread filling in a line across leaving about 3 inches of wrapper on each side.

3.  Fold corner closest to you over the meat mixture.

4.  Fold in side corners over the first fold.  Brush remaining corner with egg.

5.  Roll the folded portion over until it meets the far corner.  You should end up with a cigar shaped roll.

You can fry the lumpia once it’s rolled or place seam side down in ziploc freezer bags and freezer for later use.

To fry lumpia heat about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan.  Place lumpia seam side down, cook about 2-3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown.  Turn over and cook until all it’s golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately as cold lumpia will loose its crunch and get soft and soggy.

Fried lumpia will turn soft and soggy if kept in the fridge.  You can warm it up by heating in an oven or toaster oven on high heat for a few minutes.  Re-heating in the microwave is not recommended, the lumpia will be soft.

You can make the dipping sauce just before serving.  I usually make the sauce as needed, it’s simple enough to throw together.

Fried Lumpia - Filipino Egg Rolls - Recipe
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
25 Eggrolls 45 Minutes
Cook Time
5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
25 Eggrolls 45 Minutes
Cook Time
5 Minutes
Fried Lumpia - Filipino Egg Rolls - Recipe
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
25 Eggrolls 45 Minutes
Cook Time
5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
25 Eggrolls 45 Minutes
Cook Time
5 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Eggrolls
Instructions
  1. Scrub potatoes. Cook your potatoes in the microwave, about 9 minutes. Be sure to pierce the potatoes with a fork in several places so they don't explode while cooking. I make mine in a microwave potato bag that my daughter got from a craft fair. They're great for microwaving potatoes; no need to pierce them and the potatoes come out perfect every time.
  2. Dice onions, potatoes, and tofu into small cubes about 1/4".
  3. Heat oil in frying pan. Add onions. Cook until they start to turn tranlucent. Add minced garlic. Cook until garlic starts to turn brown.
  4. Add ground beef. Cook until beef is crumbly.
  5. Add potatoes and bean sprouts. Cook until sprouts are soft.
  6. Add tofu, soy sauce, salt & pepper.
  7. Cook until tofu is soft but not mushy. About 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and drain any liquid from the pan. Try to make your meat mixture as dry as possible, if there's too much liquid it will cause the wrappers to tear when rolling.
  9. Fill each wrapper with about 2 tbl. of meat mixture and roll. Seal ends by lightly brushing wrapper with the beaten egg.
  10. To roll lumpia: Place a wrapper on a plate or cutting board with one corner facing you.
  11. Put about 2 tbl. meat mixture in center of wrapper. Spread filling in a line across leaving about 3 inches of wrapper on each side.
  12. Fold corner closest to you over the meat mixture.
  13. Fold in side corners over the first fold. Brush remaining corner with egg.
  14. Roll the folded portion over until it meets the far corner. You should end up with a cigar shaped roll.
  15. You can fry the lumpia once it's rolled or place seam side down in ziploc freezer bags and freezer for later use.
  16. To fry lumpia heat about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan. Place lumpia seam side down, cook about 2-3 minutes or until bottom is golden brown. Turn over and cook until all it's golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  17. Serve immediately as cold lumpia will loose its crunch and get soft and soggy.
Recipe Notes

You can buy frozen spring or egg roll wrappers or shells, bean sprouts, and tofu at Asian markets. Tofu can also be found in most grocery stores.  Be sure you are using Bean Sprouts and not Alfalfa Sprouts which are thinner and have a different flavor.

Fried lumpia will turn soft and soggy if kept in the fridge. You can warm it up by heating in an oven or toaster oven on high heat for a few minutes. Re-heating in the microwave is not recommended, the lumpia will be soft.

You can make the dipping sauce just before serving. I usually make the sauce as needed, it's simple enough to throw together.

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