100% Food Storage: Beef Stew (made in the Instant Pot this time)

 100% Food Storage:  Last grocery trip was November 2023, today is March 16, 2024.

SLOW:  I've posted this recipe many, many times over the years.  It's my favorite beef stew and I typically make it in the crock pot and let it cook 5-6 hours.  It's a no-work recipe that tastes incredible.  However, I've never tried to make it in a 'rush' before.  I've never had to.  Yesterday... I did.  And it turned out great!

FAST:  Yesterday, time got away from us and suddenly I realized my husband had to leave for work in about 25 minutes and we needed to find him a dinner to take, as we had no leftovers to throw together this time. I looked at a package of ground beef I had taken out of the freezer that was lying on the counter, and suddenly decided to see if I could throw this beef stew together SUPER FAST by using the instant pot pressure cooker, but also because since we are using food storage, most of our foods are pre-cooked in various ways already, which would cut down time.

FOODS:  The package of ground beef was one I ground from chuck roast last Fall and food sealed for the deep freeze.  However, I could just as easily used freeze-dried ground beef, canned beef, leftover steak or hamburger, diced beef (either fresh or freeze dried), etc.  I had home canned potatoes and home canned carrots on hand (again, could use freeze-dried, dehydrated, canned, etc.).  I had sliced mushrooms in the freezer, and a package of dehydrated corn I had dehydrated myself as a 'trial' last summer when I bunch leftover from a family vacation. 

I've NEVER tried to make this 'super fast' before using a pressure cooker. But it turned out perfect and so good that I ended up going back for 3rds and we plan to have it today as well. 


Beef Stew

3 c cubed, peeled potatoes  (I used home canned)
4 medium carrots, sliced  (I used home canned)
1 medium onion, cubed  (Use dried minced or freeze dried, but I had one fresh on hand)
2 lb. steak or other beef, cubed or cut to about 1" pieces  (I used frozen ground beef, thawed in the microwave)
2 T oil  (had avocado oil on hand)
3 T flour
2 beef bouillon cubes  (used 1 1/2 tablespoons beef base)
2 c boiling water  (used cold from tap)
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c ketchup
1 T prepared horseradish (Horseradish Cream - the kind for sandwiches, looks like mayo)
1 T prepared mustard
1 T sugar
1 c peas  (didn't have, left out)
1 c corn  (used dehydrated - added dry)
1 c fresh sliced mushrooms  (used frozen, bought, sliced and froze last summer/fall)
I added a handful of sliced cabbage as well

Place the potatoes, carrots and onions in a slow cooker.  In a large skillet, brown the beef in oil.  Lay on the vegetables in the slow cooker.  Sprinkle with flour.  In a bowl, dissolve the bouillon cubes in the water and stir in the vinegar, ketchup, horseradish, mustard and sugar.  Pour over meat in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high about 5 hours.  Add the peas and corn and mushrooms.  Cook an additional 45 minutes.  Makes about 5-6 servings. 

Yesterdays Instant Pot Fast Version: 
Heated instant pot to saute with oil.  Added partially thawed ground beef, broke up and browned in pot.  Added onions and flour, blended.  Added the potatoes, corn and carrots along with the water, bouillon base, vinegar and ketchup.  Added the horseradish, mustard and sugar, stirred gently.  Topped with the mushrooms.  Put the top on, sealed it and put the timer on to pressure cook on high 20 minutes.


Having never cooked it this fast before or in the instant pot, I wasn't sure if it would be ready to send with Mr. Husband by the time he had to leave for work in about 15 minutes, so I also made a plan B.  I quickly cooked pasta on the stove (cold water/pasta method and in a cast iron pot for quick cooking), added some homemade spaghetti sauce I had, and sliced our homemade daily bread into a few slices, topped with home canned butter, fresh garlic and some garlic salt, and popped them under the oven broiler for a few minutes. 

Although the pressure cooker was just ending as he was ready to walk out the door to go to work, I had put together his spaghetti and garlic bread to take with him for dinner that evening so I had the beef stew for dinner, and he'll take it today to work for his dinner tonight.  The instant pot 20 minute version worked PERFECTLY.  


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