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Instant Pot Stew

Here’s some basic tips for instant pot cooking.

1. Cook meat twice as long as directed. – I’ve found that especially with roasts and ribs or chicken breasts, this tenderizes the meat more and it’s nice and tender.

2. Naturally release the pressure, especially when cooking meat. – Meat tends to dry out and less flavorful when I manually release the steam. Sometimes when I’m impatient, I do the quick release. It’s fine for veggies and soups generally speaking. Just something I’ve observed while using the instant pot.

3. Add milk, cream cheese or sour cream into your recipe at the end. – The pressure of the instant pot tends to curdle or make the dairy flavor off while cooking.

4. Meat can be cooked frozen.-Yes, this is the amazing tip!

5. Add at least 1/2 cup of liquid to the meat. – This will insure tender, yummy meat. Even 1/2 cup of chicken broth to your frozen chicken breasts will make the perfect shredded chicken.

6. ALWAYS read the directions.- Each electric pressure cooker is different.

Winter Beef Stew

1 cups sugar free red grape juice

28 oz. crushed tomatoes

1 cups beef broth

2 bay leaves

2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms

2 cups diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1-2 lbs beef stew meat chunks

2 tablespoons fresh basil

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tbsp. water

Mashed potatoes (optional)

Using an instant pot, electric pressure cooker or crock pot, place your grape juice, crushed tomatoes, beef broth in the pot and stir together.

In a separate bowl, toss the beef with the seasonings, and brown if desired, but not necessary. Then add the vegetables, seasoned meat to the sauce mixture. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients together.

Cook for 60-90 minutes, for the electric pressure cookers, or 6 hours on high for the crock pots.

Just before serving, (if your stew is not thick) to thicken, place 1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with the 1 tbsp. water, stir together until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the cornstarch mixture to the stew while it’s still very hot, or simmering, and stir to thicken slightly. Then add the fresh basil and stir to combine. Serve over warm mashed potatoes for an amazing stick to your ribs winter dinner.

(Hint- The sauce of the stew will be thick like gravy.)

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