Yep… more stews… in the middle of summer too.. yep. I don’t care. I don’t need no winter to dictate no official stew season 🙂 Can’t help it. It’s one of my favourite things to make and of course eat. I kept the recipe as simple as possible. With a pressure cooker, this whole ordeal takes about an hour and a half from start to finish. That’s not bad considering we’re talking about short ribs. Short ribs are delicious and fatty. They take about 45 mins in a pressure cooker to get really tender and still hold their shape. Conventional cooking of short ribs can take up to 2 hours and a half, and going sous vide as long as 3 days.. check out my recipe for sous vide short ribs here. I found these short ribs at some local store and they had been stripped off the bone. Sacrilege?… whatever. I work with what I have, plus they looked amazing anyways. I also made a russet potato puree to go with this dish. Plenty of heavy cream and butter. The whole dish is extremely creamy and rich. Perfect for those hot summer nights… or not… probably not… I do have an AC tho.
The basics of stews. Probably 3 important things to keep in mind… again…says me, so proceed at your own risk. Meat, veggies and a cooking liquid. The meat can be seared or not. I like the bolder flavour of browned meat so I sear it when I make stews… or pretty much every chance I get. The veggies…well, sky is the limit, but a good safe base can be onions, celery and carrots. Mushrooms.. yes. Mushrooms and meat complement each other incredibly well. Tomatoes compliment meat just as well. It’s all that umami business. The cooking liquid can be as simple as water. I used water and a cup of port wine. Some people like to use stocks and that’s perfectly fine but I believe stews render their own stock just fine, and with proper seasoning you could forgo of any additional stock needs. That’s all debatable of course so leave a comment if you wanna battle over it. The port wine adds an awesomeness and sweetness kick to the dish but enough yada yada… let’s go:
Ingredients (serves 4 hungry people):
2 lbs of beef short ribs, no bone.
1 lb brown mushrooms.
1 celery finely diced.
1 white onion finely diced.
1 medium carrot finely diced.
6-8 garlic cloves.
1/2 C tomato sauce.
1 Cup port wine.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Chives finely chopped.
Russet Potato Puree:
2 big russet potatoes peeled and medium dice. No skin.
butter and cream to taste.
salt to taste.
The stew. Cut the short ribs meat into cubes. Brown on a skillet with some vegetable oil on high heat. Set aside. Brown the mushrooms as well and reserve. In a pressure cooker, add some butter and sweat the celery, carrots and onions for a few minutes. Add the tomato sauce and reduce until it caramelizes and turns a deep dark brown. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, including the browned mushrooms and meat. Add the port and some water to barely cover the solids in the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer. Season with salt. Secure the pressure cooker lid on. Pressurize and cook for about 40 mins. Depressurize running cold tap water over the pressure cooker in the sink. Remove the lid. If there’s too much liquid in the pressure cooker bring back on the stove and reduce for a few minutes on medium lo heat. Check seasoning and adjust if needed.
The puree. Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Boil until fork tender. Discard the water. The water from russet potatoes is too starchy and could make your puree a bit gooey. I really eyeball this process every time I make this mash so I don’t have proper measurements here. I add some cream and mash the taters by hand. Sometimes I whip them with a wire whisk or even with my kitchenaid for extra fluffiness. If too dry, I add more cream. I also add butter for silkiness. And generous kosher salt. The end result should be creamy but not runny. It should hold its shape and be ridiculously delicious. That’s when you know you’re ready to serve it. Make this puree while the stew is cooking. You should be able to end up with both stew and mash ready at the same time.
Happy hot summer stewing season 😛