Readers of The Perfect Pantry over the years know that the way to my husband Ted's heart has a lot to do with beef stew. This year I realized that, despite my good intentions, I forgot to make stew ahead of time for today's holiday of love. The pressure cooker -- and a game-changing new-to-me ingredient I found at a local gourmet shop -- came to my rescue. If you plan better than I do, you can make this stew on the stovetop, in the usual way.
At the cheese and gourmet shop at the end of my block, I spied a small rack of what might have been test tubes, filled with a murky substance that would have looked at home in a chemistry lab. To my delight, the liquid turned out to be sumac molasses. (To learn a bit more, subscribe to my Tidbits newsletter, where readers learned about this last month.) I'd never tasted it, but a quick in-store sample jolted my taste buds with a hit of lemon (think tart and sweet at the same time), and I had to bring it home ($5.99 for a small tube, that might last for a few months). In this stew, just 1/4 teaspoon of sumac molasses add a tang that elevates the dish without overwhelming it. A bit of fresh lemon juice or lemon zest, plus a pinch of dried sumac, will make a fine substitute. This is a beef stew unlike any other I've made, but I'm sure my resident stew lover will love it.
Pressure cooker beef stew with Sriracha and sumac molasses or lemon
From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, tomato paste, Sriracha, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, beef stock, cornstarch.
1 lb stew beef, cut into 1-inch dice
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup diced yellow turnips (I use frozen diced turnips; no need to defrost)
1 cup pearl onions (can be frozen)
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Sriracha
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 tsp sumac molasses, or 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups beef stock
2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
Note: I use a 6-quart electric pressure cooker. If you have a different type of pressure cooker, please adjust the timing and method to suit your cooker.
Set your pressure cooker to Browning. Add the beef and olive oil, and stir occasionally until the beef is browned (2-3 minutes).
Turn off the cooker, and add all remaining ingredients except the cornstarch solution.
Lock the cover, and set the cooker to High Pressure for 22 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then Quick Release the remaining pressure.
Set the pressure cooker to Sauté, and when the liquid comes to a boil (this will happen very rapidly), stir in the cornstarch solution until the liquid thickens slightly.
Serve hot. Or, cool completely, and refrigerate or freeze in containers with tight-fitting lids.
More beef stews:
Slow cooker honey Sriracha beef stew, from The Perfect Pantry
Moroccan beef stew with apricots and onions, from The Perfect Pantry
Braised short rib beef stew, from How Sweet It Is
Slow cooker Mediterranean beef stew with rosemary and balsamic vinegar, from Kalyn's Kitchen
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