April 11, 2021

A la Carte: Lee’s Last Recipe for 2020, Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon

Lee White

I have a good kitchen in my condo although not as nice as the one I had in Old Lyme, where my husband knocked down walls between two rooms, then got rid of a hallway. When he was done, and with help from a carpenter neighbor, that kitchen was 24 ft. by 17 ft., the center island could hold 10 people, my 42-inch gas stove had six burners and there was a separate pantry that held all my ingredients.

Today my stove is electric and I was sure I would ruin my pots and pans, but I have not. It is just a galley kitchen, and most of my foodstuff takes up two-thirds of the hall closet.

But I have lots of kitchen counter space, the kitchen sink is almost as big as the one I had in Old Lyme and I am able, on a shelf under the bay window, to have all my small appliances close by: a big KitchenAid mixer, a Ninja that purees in a fraction of a second, a big and a little Cuisinart, a Rival Crock-Pot, two little grinders (one for spices, one for coffee) and one that has become a favorite, a 6-quart Instant Pot. It sat in its own box for a year, until a friend in Groton came to my house and showed me how to use it. 

Last week, I found some stew meat in the freezer and decided to make my stew in the Instant Pot. Originally, it makes a big mess in the kitchen and takes hours of prep and, sautéeing in a large Le Creuset first on the stovetop and later in the oven. Then it takes more time afterward to reduce the sauce. This time it took less than an hour, and most of that time was allowing the IP to get to pressure. The cooking took 35 minutes. In one pot!

Here’s the recipe:

Beef Bourguignon in the Instant Pot

A delicious dish of Beef Bourguignon. Photo by Slayschips. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10 people 

2 pounds of beef (bought as stew beef or cut from a chuck roast into 2-inch chunks)
Olive oil for sautéeing in the Instant Pot
Flour with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
16 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 cans low-sodium beef broth
1 broth can of fairly good red wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed in one 2 tablespoons cold water

Open your Instant Pot and turn it to Sauté and add olive oil.  Place flour, salt and pepper in a large soup bowl. In batches, toss beef and sauté, adding more oil as needed. Place sautéed beef in a large bowl. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic, stirring, until translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Cancel Sauté. Pour in beef broth and red wine and stir. Add beef and stir. Turn lid on and turn on Pressure Cook to 35 minutes. Go watch television or read a book.

It will take maybe 30 minutes to start to Pressure Cook. When it is done, use a bottom of a wooden spoon to allow the steam to disappear.

When you open the lid ladle the vegetables and beef into a big bowl. Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté. When it gets hot, stir in the cornstarch and cold water and stir until thickened. Turn Cancel and add back the beef and vegetables. Season to taste.

Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

About the author: Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant. She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and the Shore Publishing and the Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. She was a resident of Old Lyme for many years but now lives in Groton, Conn.

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