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To rediscover real food, regain the habit
of cooking from scratch with locally sourced
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Instant Pot Adventure #1 – Beef Stew

September 7, 2019

I’ve cooked many beef stews, so this is nothing new. But it is my first one in my Instant Pot.

The problem with kitchen gadgets is that they take up top space. So if this Instant Pot is going to work for me, it must not only be useful as a pressure cooker, but it needs to also take the place of my trusty slow cooker.

So this was a fairly ordinary beef stew. I used the Instant Pot’s saute setting to brown the beef. I had no onions, as when I looked they had sprouted. In with the beef went some chunky cut carrots, celery, sliced mushrooms and potatoes, together with some water, a stock cube and various seasonings.

I had been warned that Instant Pot’s slow cooker “low” setting is more like keep warm, so I put it on for 6 hours at medium.

After 5 hours, I checked it. Either I added too much liquid, or the pot wasn’t venting as much as my slow cooker (I had it on vent mode). But no problem – my usual remedy for this is a handful of pearl barley for the last hour. On a whim, I added some pasta as well.

After 6 hours, the meat was cooked, and everything looked good, but the potatoes and carrots were only just done, so I put it on for a final hour.

The finished stew was delicious. I had one and a half bowls (pig that I am) and put by to more good servings in lidded bowls, for next week.

The Instant Pot looks smaller than my large slow cooker, but it is actually deeper, so they are roughly the same size. I think this may be why I overdid the liquid. But it was a success, and I look forward to putting together more elegant stews in the future.

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