Stew Beef with Round Zucchini and Carrots

Stew Beef with Round Zucchini and Carrots (Serves 4-5)

Round zucchini has a nutty, sweet flavor that compliments stew beef and carrots nicely. Ordinary zucchini is an okay substitute, but now that I’ve tried round, I prefer it. This meal qualifies as comfort food that I would be happy eating every week.

Prep and cook time: 50-60 minutes

Ingredient list:

1 pound of stew beef (mine was frozen)
2 sweet yellow onions
1 pound of baby cut carrots
1 pound of round zucchini
Beef tallow or coconut oil
Ground coriander
Red chili powder
Ground cumin
Garlic powder

Directions: Add 1 tablespoon of beef tallow or coconut oil to pressure cooker over medium heat. Peel and chop onion into half moon slices, add to pot, and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dust generously with salt and garlic powder. Add stew beef. If your meat is frozen (like mine), wait for things to heat up a bit (5 minutes or so) so you can break the blocks of meat into smaller chunks with a wooden spoon or spatula. Once you can separate the pieces of stew beef, add a generous dusting of salt, garlic powder, ground cumin, red chili powder, and ground coriander. Add two cups of water. Chop zucchini into bite-sized pieces. Add zucchini and baby cut carrots to pot. Stir ingredients together. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure (may take 5-10 minutes), reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, allow pressure to come down naturally (about 10 minutes), and remove top. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef and vegetables to a plate. Enjoy!

Notes: My chicken broth comes from pressure cooking a whole young hen submerged in water and seasoned generously with salt, garlic powder, turmeric, ground cumin, and red chili powder. If you use store bought chicken broth, you may need to add more spices to get as much flavor as I do.

Thawing meat is not necessary before cooking in a pressure cooker. I simply ran cold water on my block of meat to make it easier to remove its packaging and got on with it. The guideline I use to pressure cook beef is 12-15 minutes per inch of thickness. Stew beef is less than an inch thick, so I cook it 15 minutes under high pressure.

Cows raised on grass are healthier than cows raised on corn and soybeans. The resulting meat is lower in fat and higher in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Grass fed beef is increasingly available directly from ranchers. I bought the beef in this story at the Alpharetta Farmers Market from Bobby and Jennifer deGraan of deGraan Farms in Calhoun, Georgia. My freezer is full of ground beef, stew beef, and roasts from Bobby and Jennifer.

I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from (check it out in my “Store.”) After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three!

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