Anyone that knows me, knows that my number one favorite food in the entire world is beef stew. Specifically, my Granny Mae Jean’s. She makes me a pot every time I come to visit, so in my lifetime I have had gallons upon gallons. Some may think that it is extremely random that beef stew is my fave food but I would seriously lay my life on the line for that shit. Savory, hearty and booty shakin’ good.
While I have tried and tried in the past to get mine to turn out as good as my Granny’s, it just doesn’t happen. For a while I thought there may be a secret ingredient but I think the real ingredient is honestly love. Food really does taste better when someone else makes it for you, right? Anyway, throughout many different recipes and tweaks on this classic comfort food, I have finally mastered the easiest and closest version of my Granny’s beef stew.
Savory Beef Stew
1 ½ pounds of beef stew meat
1 packet of Lipton onion soup mix
6-8 cups of water
Salt & pepper
For my recipe, I use a pressure cooker. I have used a crockpot (low for 8 hours) and stove top (simmer for 2-3 hours) in the past, but my boyfriend officially converted me to the pressure cooker. I was skeptical at first but I hate to admit that he was right. Only about this one thing though. Truthfully, using the pressure cooker really is a godsend. It cooks everything in a fraction of the time and you end up with the same melt in your mouth result. If you don’t have one though, a crockpot or stove will work just fine.
I want to preface this by saying that in my life, potatoes are a food group. On the real. I would rather have potatoes be the star than the beef, so I add honestly about 10-12 potatoes to my stew. Feel free to modify that amount, but why would you?
So, with that in mind, let’s start with the potatoes first. Rinse, peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks. Set these to the side. I like the flavor of gold potatoes best.
Now, turn the pressure cooker on the “sauté” setting or on low and let’s get to it. Take the beef stew meat and toss it into the pot. Add salt and lots of pepper to taste and let it cook until brown. I love pepper so the peppery-er the better.
Then add some water until the beef is covered and mix in the Lipton onion soup packet. Let that simmer for a bit.
Next, wash off the carrots and mushrooms and dump those into the pot. I use one small bag of baby carrots and one small carton of sliced white mushrooms. Add more water to cover and more salt and pepper as needed.
Last, the crown jewel, add in the potatoes and water to the pot until they are almost covered. I like my stew on the heartier side so add more water if you want it soupier.
A tad more salt and pepper and you are done! Screw the lid on the pressure cooker and change the setting to “stew/soup”. Make sure the pressure knob is closed all the way! Set the timer to 45 minutes and impatiently pace your house.
The worst (or best) part about waiting is the smell. The oniony beefy aroma. Mmmm!
When the timer beeps, carefully twist the pressure knob and let all the steam come out. The smell, ya’ll.
I am super impatient so when all the pressure is finally released, I twist that lid off and get right to it girl. Burning the roof of my mouth in the process. But…just look at that!
Eat a bowl (or 3) and take a nap. You’ve earned it. What with all that pressurizing and impatient pacing.