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Recipe: Instant Pot Southwest Stew

I have this cookbook of slow-cooker recipes that are lower-carb and it’s got a number of recipes I enjoy. I will sometimes substitute things that are less low-carb (black beans for soybeans, for example, because I take medication that limits the amount of soy I can eat) but overall the recipes in it are quite good. One in particular I’m fond of is called “Mexican stew” in the book. I prefer to call it a Southwest stew because it’s not Mexican food (and I’m not a fan of cooking bloggers who mock up quasi-ethnic food and call it ethnic; actual ethnic food generally has a history and a culture behind it that ought to be respected). It’s a beef stew with a Southwestern slant.

I wanted to make it for dinner yesterday, and around 1pm realized I’d forgotten to start it. Whups. So I decided to do some web research and see if I could figure out a way to do this in the Instant Pot. What came of that research has become my new favorite way to cook this stew.

1 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup beef broth (I use Better than Bouillon, 1 tsp per 1 cup of hot water)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 rounded teaspoon of pre-minced garlic)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water (for thickening)

Set the Instant Pot on Saute, and add the olive oil. Add the stew beef and onion, and saute until the beef is browned and the onion is soft.

Turn off the Instant Pot. Add the beef broth, stir well to deglaze the pot so you don’t get that burn warning.

Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic, taco seasoning, and tomatoes. Stir well, then close and seal the Instant Pot. Set for manual pressure (Pressure Cook), on high, for 30 minutes. When it beeps, quick-release the steam pressure.

Once the pressure is fully released and it’s safe, turn off the Instant Pot and open the lid. Switch it to Saute mode on low, and add the drained black beans. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until it’s fully mixed up, and add that to the pot once it’s started simmering. Stir the cornstarch mixture in and continue to stir for a few minutes until the liquid has thickened up just a little.

And that’s really all there is to it. It comes out with just a touch of a zing, so if you wanted it to be spicier you could use the diced tomatoes with green chilis, for example, or add a touch of ground habanero to the mix when you add the rest of the spices. This tastes good served plain, but it also tastes really yummy with a dollop of sour cream or some shredded cheese on top.

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