January 08 2011

Beef Stew and Chicken Soup in 35 Minutes or Less

By Worker Bee
92 Comments

Most of us are familiar with slow cookers and rely on them from time to time when we want a home cooked meal that requires very little effort. There are many reasons to love a slow cooker. Speed is not one of them.

A pressure cooker, on the other hand, can do just about everything a slow cooker can in a fraction of the time. The basic idea is the same: throw meat and vegetables in a pot, add seasonings and enough liquid to cover the ingredients, put on the lid and walk away. But instead of walking away for 4-8 hours, like you would with a slow cooker, a pressure cooker gives you just enough time to change out of your work clothes and sort through the junk mail before dinner is done. In about 30 minutes a whole chicken or several pounds of tough stew meat are transformed into a meal that will melt in your mouth, rich with flavor and perfectly cooked. In an hour, an entire pot roast will fall apart with tenderness.

A pressure cooker is locked shut and seals in all the water vapor that rise up from the simmering liquid and ingredients in the pot. The increased pressure increases the cooking temperature and triples the amount of heat transferred into the meat while it cooks. This tenderizes meat at a remarkably fast rate. Using a pressure cooker is also an efficient way to cook stock, as the high temperature will coax flavor and collagen out of bones in record time. Just add your bones and animal parts, throw in a few cups of chopped carrots, celery and onion, plus enough water to cover everything, and cook for 35 minutes or so.

Are there any downsides to using a pressure cooker? Well, when it really gets going a pressure cooker sounds a little bit like a steam locomotive moving through your kitchen. Though if used correctly, there is no reason to fear that the pot will blow its lid and spray scalding steam across your kitchen, as some people fear. The lid of a pressure cooker locks tightly into place and can only be opened if you press a button to release the latch.

When removed from heat, the cooker slowly lowers the pressure inside on its own (or can be run under cold water to speed up the process) and will indicate when it is safe to remove the lid. Newer models of pressure cookers have all sorts of added features for safety and ease of use and are pretty much fool-proof.

If you’re one of those people who’s had a pressure cooker in your cupboard for years but have always been afraid of using it, now’s the time. Thirty-five minutes later, when you’re sitting down to a warm bowl of tender meat and vegetables, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • Several tablespoons of oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs of thyme

Instructions:

Season meat lightly with salt and pepper. With the lid off, heat oil in the pressure cooker over medium high heat. Brown the meat, 3-5 minutes.  (The meat will brown better if you brown half of it, then remove it from the pot and brown the other half.)

When all the beef is browned, add the onion, carrots and garlic (and any other vegetables). Saute a few minutes more then add broth, tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Put the lid on the pressure cooker, making sure it clicks into place, and turn the heat to high. As soon as the pressure cooker begins to loudly release steam, set the timer and cook the stew for 25 minutes. When the steam valve comes down, remove the lid. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Broth

Servings: 4

Ingredients:


  • Several tablespoons oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped or sliced
  • One 4-pound chicken
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8-12 cups water
  • Optional: garlic cloves and fresh herbs

Instructions:

With the lid off, heat oil in the pressure cooker over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and sauté 3-5 minutes.

Add the whole chicken, breast side down, and then add salt, peppercorns and bay leaves. Add enough water to just barely cover the chicken, 8-12 cups.

Put the lid on the pressure cooker, making sure it clicks into place, and turn the heat to high. As soon as the pressure cooker begins to loudly release steam, set the timer for 35 minutes. When the steam valve comes down, remove the lid.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the pot and separate the meat from the bones. The chicken can be added back to the broth to make soup, or you can eat the chicken separately and then strain and refrigerate the broth for later use.


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92 thoughts on “Beef Stew and Chicken Soup in 35 Minutes or Less”

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  1. I live in Canada and have a hard time finding anything grass-fed, etc. I basically have my local, generic grocery store and a couple of health food centres. One of the health food centers sells “stewing beef”, it says it is raised locally without antibiotics. Not sure if its organic. It doesn’t say lean or extra lean, etc. What is a list of all the cuts, types, etc of meats-beef-steak I can buy considering my limited options? I can’t order or afford a lot. I have to go with what is available.
    My iron levels are currently 5 and lately I’ve been very spacey. I’m also constipated, or some sporadic diarrhea. Its been a week and I hope it ends soon.
    Any help?

    1. I take it you are not in a position to add a Canadian moose, caribou, or deer to the stewpot?! If I couldn’t obtain grassfed beef, I’d use various cuts of ordinary beef and supplement daily with fish oil capsules in an effort to balance out the Omega 3/6 ratios. In addition to the special issues women face with potential for low iron, it is very commonly encountered in folks who have gluten intolerance and a very strict gluten free diet often helps, though not many docs have good awareness of this yet. Your physician may be able to use the red cell indices and morphology from your blood count to narrow the list of possible causes of low iron.

    2. I just go with the regular beef the grocery store sells, it’s a hell of a lot safer than anything you are going to get at a health food center.

      Sounds like maybe you should see a doctor or nurse?

    3. Anne, I eat red meat, nuts and leafy greens every day but still need to take iron, zinc and magnesium. Magnesium should help with constipation. Certain foods can impair vitamin and mineral absorption; I wrote a post on it if you care to read it:

      http://relievemypain.blogspot.com/2010/09/vitamin-and-mineral-absorption-stop.html

      Blood sugar swings can make some people spacey, but I don’t know whether that’s the cause of your problem. An inexpensive blood glucose meter can help you find out.

      1. Thanks Lori.
        I currently take: vitamin C, vitamin D, Omega 3, multivitamin, vitamin B12 (though my levels are really good…a naturopath said I ought to take it anyway)…I am trying to start up the iron again now…I hate it cause the constipation is so bad.
        I’m amazingly fatigued. I can only tolerate a short walk. I hate that…I used to be a uber athlete. And for over a year, I fight to feel normal. Its hard cause I’m underweight…so trying to gain weight, but at the same time, all I do is sit and sit (literally). I’m just absolutely exhausted and the bowels are bad. My adrenals check out fine. Not really sure how to eat anymore, cause I need to gain. I worry I’m eating way too animal (heavy) products to be honest. And I do eat dairy and fruits galore. And fats.

        1. Try eliminating all dairy for a month or more, including any prepared foods using milk, yogurt, butter, sour cream, cheese, and see how you feel. And get a full slate of blood work done. Also try eliminating all sugar for a while too. Later you can add in one at a time to see what effects you.

        2. Hey Anne…have you ever been checked for and IBD?? (Irritable Bowel Disease?). I’ve recently been diagnosed with Crohn’s so I am super-aware of symptoms and warning signs. You should see a gastroenterologist and schedule a colonoscopy just to rule it out. The prep isn’t fun but the procedure itself is a piece of cake and they will know as soon as you are out of the procedure if you have it!! I had ALL of the symptoms you did except instead of constipation it was the other extreme for me. And btw, once you cut ALL cows dairy out, that will help! Good luck and I think I’m like a year late for this reply now that I’m looking at the date of this post! Ha! I sure hope you have it figured out though!!

    4. Anne–

      You may want to consider having your thyroid levels checked as well.

    5. Where in Canada do you live? I’ve found grass-fed beef almost everywhere.

      1. I am pretty sure my cortisol levels are fine. My iron is freaking at a 5. Less than 12 is deficient.
        I might be able to get grass-fed. But its very rarely available.
        The other stuff is just whatever is that the Atlantic Superstore or Sobeys.
        I did notice at Sobeys that they are selling “Free range angus beef” and it is marked as “halal certified” – free of antibiotics, etc…nothing about grass-fed and no nutritionals listed…options are “marinating round”…or “steak” …or “beef stewing cuts”…not sure….I’m “old school” where I’d always just buy the pack of “extra lean ground beef”…I don’t not what to look for “round”, “sirloin”, “stewing pieces”, etc..

        1. Anne

          It sounds like we live in the same region. I’m in NS and have found a ton of grass-fed beef. My wife and I just purchased a split side at a really good price. If interested, let me know and I’ll forward the info.

          Chris

    6. Anne, I also live in Canada (Vancouver, bc) and there are many butchers that sell “naturally raised meat” Try calling butchers in your area, or check out farmers.

    7. Late to the party here, but I’m casting a vote for gut dysbiosis. A lot of less-than-friendly flora are iron-eaters. That’s why supplementing doesn’t help and causes constipation: you’re causing an algal bloom in your bowels.
      As far as cuts, the BH&G cookbook (the red/white gingham one) has a diagram and ‘suggested uses’ table. You’re pretty much good to go with ruminant meats, but try for leaner (not necessarily LEAN lean) cuts – just trim them a bit and supplement the fat with known clean sources.

  2. I don’t have a pressure cooker but DO have a crock pot. Would this translate for slow cooking?

    1. Anyone with thoughts on how to alter the steps and/or cook time to adapt to the slow cooker?

  3. How big a pressure cooker do you recommend? 4 and 6 quart seem to be the smallest sizes. Since there is only a few bucks difference in price, would the 6 qt would be the better choice?

    1. My pressure cooking advice, and I have been teaching people how to use one for 15 years, is to buy the biggest one that you can easily store. You can cook a small amount in almost any cooker but you cannot fill a cooker more than half to two thirds full, depending upon what’s in it.

      A whole chicken requires at least a 6 quart cooker. If you are going to make a lot of stock at once, you might want an 8 quart cooker.

      Generally a 10 quart cooker is too large for most small families.

  4. I still have my Aeternum PC from my macrobiotic days and still love it.

    This cooker has an eliptical lid that fits inside the edge of the pot. Takes away any fear….
    I don’t know if they make that style anymore but if you’re not cooking beans like soy and split peas/lentils there is little chance of clogging and have a blow out.

    I rarely brown stew/chili meat anymore…just toss it in the pot. I decided it didn’t make a difference since meat is so delicious anyway.

  5. I am now on my third pressure cooker, I have been cooking this way now for nearly 30 years, and the cooker gets used weekly, daily even in the winter. All my stocks get made this way after the weekly scraps and bone collection has been organised. I even prepare weekly food for the Dog and the Cat this way as its more nutritious for em both and better than canned stuff. Three things I couldn’t exist without in the kitchen are my food processor, my pressure cooker and my slow cooker – John

  6. 3 years ago I bought pressure cooker from Kuhn http://www.kuhnrikon.com/products/pressure_cookers/pressure.php3?id=145 . They are expensive, but I highly recommend them. I cook everything in it. Meal preparation takes fraction of time, fraction of water, fraction of energy compare to all other cooking methods. Because of very short cooking time, and only slightly higher then boiling water temperature this cooking method does’t destroy as many nutrients as high temperature cooking or boiling.

  7. Curious, doesn’t the high heats obtained in a pressure cooker cause a grip of AGEs and other nasties that you try to avoid by cooking at low temp? Or does the herbs and shorter cooking time help nullify this like basil on a steak?

    1. Anybody? I like using my pressure cooker but from what I learned on this site and a few others I started wondering if the high temps obtained with it would be an issue due to toxins supposedly created. Maybe temps not high enough for that? Thanks for any feedback, these things are the bomb (pun intended :D) for convenience and efficiency.

      1. The cooking temperature is higher than with boiling water but the time cooking is much faster and since there is liquid involved, you don’t get direct contact with food to create any bad things, as far as I know.

        The studies that have been done in Spain and Germany show that nutrient retention is higher with pressure cooking versus stove top cooking.

        You are also cooking without much air and that helps limit oxidation.

        When you use your cooker and see how bright the colors come out, you’ll likely feel intuitively, like I did, that it’s a great way to cook.

        Having cooked, and taught, for 15 years with a pressure cooker, I am still amazed. Great invention.

      1. Temperature in a pressure cooker is lower than on a stove top.

        From Wikipedia:
        Most pressure cookers have a working pressure setting of 15 psi (approx. 107 kPa) over the existing atmospheric pressure, the standard determined by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1917.[3] At this pressure boost relative to sea-level atmospheric pressure, water boils at 122 °C (252 °F)

        1. I think you meant to write “higher than in a conventional saucepan.”

          PV is proportional to T, where P=pressure, V=volume and T=temperature. V being constant, T will rise with P.

          From Encyclopedia Britannica, “The [pressure] cooker heats water to produce very hot steam which forces the temperature inside the pot as high as 266° F (130° C), significantly higher than the maximum heat possible in an ordinary saucepan. The higher temperature of a pressure cooker penetrates food quickly, reducing cooking time without diminishing vitamin and mineral content.”

        2. Cool! thanks everyone. Also… This is the first time I have ever had the inclination to join an online discussion and it is thanks to the kind of quality of people I see on this site. This is pretty rare on the internet. Great job Mark and Bees!

  8. Bought an 8quart at jc penny today. $50.

    This is a great idea. I read the post as I was sitting here eating chicken broth meat and carrots that I spent four hours making last night. The lightbulb went on.

  9. That is great. I have a pressure cooker and it collects dust quite frankly, I will have to give it a whir. Thanks!

  10. We pressure cook a lot around here. It’s really fast in comparison to waiting for something to stew forever we just pressure cook instead. Ribs are great in the pressure cooker too btw! (we make our own bbq sauce from scratch by throwing the ingredients in there with the meat and letting it cook in like that).
    Also we made these pork chops with apples, sweet potato, onion, garlic, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper (and of course water because pressure cooker). A little carb heavy because of the apples and sweet potato (it turned into a sauce), but amazing dinner.

  11. The most perfect artichoke I’ve ever had was done in a pressure cooker.

    1. Did you just cook a whole artichoke in the pressure cooker and nothing else?

      It seems as if I need to buy myself a pressure cooker…

      1. Hi PT,
        Don’t know about the OP, but when I do artichokes, I use the veggie steamer that came with my cooker. Put 1-2″ of water in the pot, add a slice of lemon, put in the steamer OR a very thick of onion (enough to elevate the choke out of the water). Cook for about 15 mins. Good luck!
        Kate

  12. We recently bought a pressure cooker but haven’t used it yet so this is a perfect opportunity. This is going to be the first “Primal” recipe I’ve tried. I picked up all the ingredients except for Bay leaves, which were sold out. Luckily, my sister-in-law uses Bay leaves as a staple herb and has plenty so I’ll head to her house later and grab a few.

  13. Had one on my Xmas list but got a bunch of other stuff. Now I’ve got it on my list of stuff to buy.

    My mother used to make the BEST roasts and beef stew using a pressure cooker. I was always afraid because of the noise it made jiggling away. She also cooked great green beans in it, and spare ribs. But the beef stew… it was the BEST. There is a certain tenderness that no crock pot or oven can impart. She throw in an onion and brown the meat… not sure when she put in the carrots and taters.

    She also used it for canning green beans in the summer I think… there was an attachment for the mason jars or something.

    Can’t wait to get one and see if I can do her proud. Who needs fancy? If can’t cook with salt, pepper, onion, and some chili powder, then you can’t cook.

    TrailGrrl

  14. Well, I’m eating the beef stew right now and all I can say is that I can’t believe I cooked this!! Are all the recipes in the Primal Cookbook this easy and tasty?

    I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter except I didn’t have quite enough beef stock so I added water and a beef bullion cube. The other thing I did was to add a couple of pieces of shank meat that was still wrapped around a marrow containing bone! 🙂

  15. Uh…..how many carbs in each receipe? Low carbs works great fro losing weight as long as I’m under 30 a day,,so I really like to keep track of the how many in dish without having to inpute each item.

    Thanks

  16. Thanks for the inspiration, Mark and Bees! I have had a pressure cooker for a few months, and never worked up the gumption to use it. Tonight I broke it in, and made the beef stew (with a glug or two of wine, as mentioned in the comments). I also added some fennel and diced peppers.

    It was amazing, and we even have leftovers for dinner tomorrow!

  17. Don’t worry, the newer, second generation pressure cookers don’t make any noise at all. Well.. a little bit, but I had to turn off my kitchen’s exhaust fan to hear it.

    Thank you for posting these recipes, let’s see more delicious things come out of your pressure cooker!

    L

    hip pressure cooking
    making pressure cookers hip again, one recipe at a time!

  18. Haha! Mom always cooked her “roasts” in the pressure cooker. It wasn’t til I began cooking in restaurants as a kid that I realized that no one served the tender, shredded mess that she did out of a pressure cooker and called it a proper “roast”.
    Nonetheless, it certainly is a timesaver, and it will make just about anything tender, alas, mine is still gathering dust…as a professional cook (hubby too) I really don’t mind long oven or braising times, and it gives me time to let flavors develop and tinker with seasonings. You don’t really have that time with a pressure cooker, but a tried and true recipe like this stew should be a go to all winter!

  19. “If you’re one of those people who’s had a pressure cooker in your cupboard for years but have always been afraid of using it, now’s the time…” to BUY A NEW ONE!! The old ones would and could blow food all over the kitchen and often the old gaskets get hard so they no longer yield a tight seal. The new ones are just so much better.

  20. I’ve used older, basic pressure cookers for many years without an accident. With some basic safety and maintenance, there’s no reason to replace an older pressure cooker.

    Keep the gasket out of the dishwasher and out of the sunlight and it should last a long time. Mine is 15 years old and still supple here in arid Colorado.

    It’s important to stay within earshot of it of your pressure cooker while you’re cooking, especially while you’re bringing it to pressure. Once mine gets to pressure (the weight jiggles around and there’s a chugging, hissing noise), I turn the burner down to medium. I may need to make adjustments to the heat after that, but the adjustments are tiny.

    Also, don’t touch the weight after you start cooking and use a potholder to transfer the pressure cooker to the sink. This will prevent burns from steam and hot water.

  21. Thanks so much for this post! I do have a pressure cooker in my cupboard which my grandmother gave me last year for Christmas. I have not used it once, because I find it a little bit scary.

    I’m going to make the stew tomorrow!
    Please give us more recipes for a pressure cooker!

  22. I know Robb has talked quickly on the pressure cooker on his Road Forager video series, but I am curious of the Aluminium to Steel debate. I noticed all the new ones I find are Aluminium rather than steel? any negatives to this, I assume not or we would have heard them by now?

  23. I’m going to get a PC tonite and go grocery shopping tomorrow, so I will try the beef stew recipe tomorrow nite. I shall, however, substitute about 1/2 of the water for a good strong beer.

  24. Love Primal, and totally Grok the Pressure Cooker (PC).

    Use one myself all the time. Great for bone, beast and veggie broths. Results are very much as advertised.

    Some here have rightfully based questions about how/if it alters food.

    I personally am unaware of any “toxins” being created, and I don’t think that protein glycation (i.e. creation of AGEs) will proceed any differently in a PC environment than in, say, a crockpot.

    However, as noted, PCs do operate at higher pressures and temperatures. High pressure and superheated water are not tools Grok was likely to have been using.

    It’s logical to wonder if proteins (to include enzymes, etc.) are being denatured over/above what they would be in a STP cooking process (like a stovetop) or in a low-temperature cooker (slowcook crock pot or ‘solar’ cooker).

    “Denaturing” for proteins is the degradation of their higher order structure. Practically speaking, you’re seeing it when your egg’s albumin cooks white, or your milk curdles. Denaturing almost always affects flavor, absorbability, etc. For enzymes, it’s the kiss of death, because enzyme function depends as much or more on their higher order structure than on anything else. (Think “lock and key” and if you screw up the key, you can’t open the door any longer.)

    That said, denaturing may also enhance macronutrient bioavailability and flavor. I don’t know, I’m not a nutritional biochemist.

    I haven’t found anything authoritative on the Intertubes about this issue, but I haven’t looked very hard, either. Protein denaturing is a real issue, and it’s worth looking into.

    That said, PCs are great, they work like a charm, and I intend to keep using mine. Bon Appetit!

  25. This has made me think of something. I like steak and kidney pudding (some recipes also have oysters, dating back to when those were cheap). But that takes a little over four hours cooking, basically steaming.

    So I was wondering if a pressure cooker could reduce this cooking time? There’s still a catch – you mustn’t let it go off the boil, or water will penetrate the pores of the coarse cotton cloth holding the pudding, even though its suet pastry is working against that. But when you screw down a pressure cooker’s lid the liquid will go off the boil even if it was boiling just before. Is there any way of raising the pressure setting progressively at the beginning and safely releasing it fairly quickly at the end, so that it never goes off the boil? If there is, from the above slow cooker comparisons I’d expect about fifteen minutes of slowly increasing temperature and pressure, then twenty minutes or so of steady cooking, and then a rapid pressure release, all to prevent the water getting through.

  26. I can only condone everything said in the article. The pressure cooker is really a very useful item.
    However, one small thing, you don’t need to add water to cover everything. I use the cooker for cooking potatoes, leaving just about half an inch of water, place a small grid above it and load the potatoes. Cooked in about 8 minutes, I guess.
    Most other meals can be cooked like this, and many ingredients contain water which will come out during cooking.
    The main thing is to make sure that there must always be water present in the cooker! I suggest you go by trial and error, start with a lot and reduce until you are happy there is enough at the end of the cooking.

  27. Timely article. I used a pressure cooker extensively when living on a boat. It uses a lot less energy than any other cooking and makes cheap tough cuts as tender as pricey steaks. Cooked oat groats once and didn’t watch the rocker. It plugged and we had oatmeal all over the boat. Make sure the rocker rocks.

  28. I use both a slow and pressure cooker. A great use for the slow cooker is making pulled pork: get a shoulder, score and rub with a south west rub: there’s a hundred recipe’s on the web and just throw in on low for a day.
    add no liquids, maybe an onion.

  29. Just the ate the left overs of the beef stew for lunch. I subbed diced yam for the carrots and added about half a can of coconut milk. I wasn’t really a big fan of the pressure cooker before as we didn’t really know how to use it but will start trying it for different things now. I’ve made lots of beef stew in a slow cooker and none of it comes close to how this turned out.

  30. The modern pressure cooker was invented by SEB in France. So here we have the best of pressure cookers. If you can, get this one which is what we have at home, 100% secure and the best in pressure cookers:http://www.seb.fr/Produits/Nutrition-Gourmande/Nutricook/Produits/Nutricook/Nutricook.htm

    It has four different programs: vegetables, legumes, meat and fish.

    Legumes for example take a lot more time: you put 15 minutes on the program clock. You heat strongly for 2/3 minutes then it bips, you
    put down the heat by half and let the 15 minutes go, then it bips again and you put it on the special position and it releases pressure progressively (it is the only one that does that) allowing the food to be cooked softly (thus allowing you to preserve 30% more nutrients compared to a classic pressure cooker). We use it about every day. Grea

  31. The modern pressure cooker was invented by SEB in France. So here we have the best of pressure cookers. If you can, get this one which is what we have at home, 100% secure and the best in pressure cookers:http://www.seb.fr/Produits/Nutrition-Gourmande/Nutricook/Produits/Nutricook/Nutricook.htm

    It has four different programs: vegetables, legumes, meat and fish.

    Legumes for example take a lot more time: you put 15 minutes on the program clock. You heat strongly for 2/3 minutes then it bips, you
    put down the heat by half and let the 15 minutes go, then it bips again and you put it on the special position and it releases pressure progressively (it is the only one that does that) allowing the food to be cooked softly (thus allowing you to preserve 30% more nutrients compared to a classic pressure cooker). We use it about every day. Great tool really.

  32. Since reading this post, I’ve been inspired to make four or five pressure cooker meals. Thanks! (Last night was a chicken-kale curry. Tasty!).

  33. Yep, I was inspired to go out and buy a PC soon after reading this post. So far I made the beef stew which turned out great and chicken broth which also turned out very well. I love the concept and look forward to many more delicious meals.

  34. at the 35 min mark, do you also turn off the stove? or let it loudly release steam for 35 min? (new to pressure cookers). Thanks!

  35. Whole roasts such as pork butt, tongue, chuck, etc are awesome in the PC.
    Just throw in whatever seasonings you like. I tend to not like overcooked vegies so when making stews or roasts, I cook the meat for a short period, bring down the pressure, add the vegies then give it 10-15 min more.

    A pork roast in the PC w a couple adobo peppers and can of tomatoes is to die for and the leftovers make awesome pulled pork. Easy.

  36. I get the cooker up to temperature (say three rings on the pressure valve) and when that is reached, I switch to low.
    You are not supposed to release steam. If you keep your steam in the cooker, you can use very little water.

  37. I love stew but my question is where can you find broth that is MSG free?

    1. Use your new pressure cooker to make the best broth you’ve ever tasted in less than one hour.

  38. I’m a little late to this one, but …

    I saw this post and then just days later saw a whole mountain of pressure cookers on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I did a little bit of research on the model and didn’t find any horrible reviews (or lawsuits) so I picked it up for like $12. Made the above stew and was amazed at how fast it was and how great it turned out. I just made it again with a few tweaks (added a container of Trader Joes “Mirepoix” and a few slices of bacon, cooked and chopped up) and literally had a pot of excellent beef stew in an hour: 10 minutes of prep, and about 50 minutes of total cook time. Total cost (with TJ’s stew beef) was probably less than $15 and I can eat it for 3-4 days. So awesome. I can’t wait to try a few more tweaks (thinking about lamb meat next time).

    1. I’m cooking another batch of the stew as I type this! I cook the beef stew and a chicken & shrimp soup recipe I found somewhere here on MDA once a week and get several meals from each.

      For the beef stew I rarely make it as described here but always add celery, more carrots, sometimes potatoes and often beef shank on the bone with marrow in. When I add the beef shank you can see droplets of fat floating in the finished soup. That isn’t there when I don’t use the shank.

  39. Some valuable enzymes in meat are destroyed at higher temps. Do we need to worry about that?

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  41. Can you recommend how long I would cook this recipe in a slow cooker? Thanks!

  42. I was given an electric pressure cooker. Are there adjustments I have to make to your recipes for electric?
    Thanks

  43. OMG. I went and bought a pressure cooker just to try the beef stew and it was awesome! I thickened it up with a few tablespoons of arrowroot flour and it was just like I like it.

  44. Just tried to make this (beef stew) and burned it horribly. Was I supposed to turn the heat down at some point??

  45. Sounds yummy, I would like to make it tomorrow! How long does it need to cook in a crock pot? Thanks!

  46. being new to the pressure cooker world, i had a question about this part:

    “Put the lid on the pressure cooker, making sure it clicks into place, and turn the heat to high. As soon as the pressure cooker begins to loudly release steam, set the timer and cook the stew for 25 minutes. When the steam valve comes down, remove the lid”

    so…once the cooker releases steam loudly, do i turn off the heat and let it sit for 25 minutes? or do i continue to let it cook for 25 minutes (with heat on high) and then take it off the stove and wait for the steam valve to come down?

    1. When using a pressure cooker, you are wanting to rapidly bring the pot to the proper pressure, then immediately turn the stove down to just barely maintain that pressure. The actual cooking time is not while the cooker is coming up to the proper pressure. Cooking time does not start until the cooker is at the specified pressure.

      A MODERN pressure cooker does NOT make noise if you are maintaining the proper pressure. (But your grandmother’s pressure cooker WILL make noise.) If a modern cooker is making much noise, then your pressure is TOO HIGH, you are losing water in the pot to escaping steam (which may let the food burn), and you need to lower the temperature.

      So bring the pot to the proper pressure, THEN immediately start your timer to count down the cooking minutes, and lower the heat to keep the pressure correct, but not higher heat than necessary to do that.

      Once the timer beeps, turn your burner off, and move the pot completely off the heat. If the recipe says to let the pressure come down naturally, then let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Once the pressure is down to normal, push whatever button your cooker has to release any residual pressure, then open the lid, being careful to angle the lid so that the hot steam escapes away from you, not toward you.

  47. so glad you are doing pressure cooking recipes I wish there were more of them on the net. todays pressure cookers are so much more fun then the old ones and so much safer. they are very economical because you an use tougher cuts of meat and they keep the flavors locked in so they taste better too. love corn on the cob in a pressure cooker also.

  48. I made the stew in Instant Pot and the stew was extremely bland. Any ideas of how to fix it?

  49. If I make this in the Instant Pot, would the directions stay basically the same? Would I do natural release?

  50. Hello,
    Does anyone know the macro breakdown of this meal per serving?