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How to Make Beef Stew
By: Brian H., Grayslake, Illinois
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When I was growing up, beef stew was a staple in our house. We all looked forward to beef stew with dumplings, and there were never enough dumplings to go around. This is a quick and easy one-dish meal that will fill up your family and not break the budget doing it. This recipe uses the original fast cooker – not the microwave, but the pressure cooker. My mom had one, my grandmother had one, and now that I’m married, I have one too. Not much has changed with pressure cookers since they were first made, and they are a great way to make less expensive cuts of meat tender and moist…and it makes quick work of dinner.
The ingredient list is very small:
Start off with one pound of stew beef. This is a less expensive cut of beef, and even though it is tougher than, say, a cut of sirloin, the pressure cooker will take care of that and you will be left with a tender, flavorful piece of meat when it’s done. Start out by cutting the beef into about ¼-inch cubes and brown over medium-high heat in the pressure cooker.
While the beef browns, make 16 ounces of beef stock (if using beef bouillon cubes). For an even quicker way, just buy a 16-ounce can of beef broth.
Once the beef is browned, add the beef broth and 2 16-ounce cans of Veg-All, undrained. Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and turn the heat to high. Once the pressure cooker is up to pressure, turn heat down to medium or medium-high (enough to keep the pressure up) and cook for 15 minutes.
While the beef and vegetables are cooking, take one can of refrigerator biscuits (like Pillsbury) and cut then into quarters and set aside. With the next 10 minutes free, you can run around and get as many other things done as possible or just take a break.
At the end if 15 minutes, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s directions. Once it is safe, open the cooker and spread the quartered biscuits over the top. Put the pressure cooker back on the stove over low heat, and place the lid back on but do not secure (you don’t want the pressure to build again) and let cook for 10 to 13 minutes, until the biscuits are big and fluffy-looking.
Should make 4 to 6 servings (unless you have teenage boys). Total prep and cook time is about 40 minutes.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can do the recipe in a slow cooker: Just brown the meat then add meat, beef broth and Veg-All to your slow cooker and set for the day. Cooking the beef all day long will have the same effect as the pressure cooker in tenderizing the beef. About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve, add the cut up biscuits and spread out over top of stew and cook for 15 minutes or until done.
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