My grandmother made a melt-in-your-mouth beef and vegetable stew that always made us run to the table for dinner. Using a bounty of fresh vegetables and tender beef, this updated version of the best beef stew continues to get me excited for dinner.
Press Sauté; the indicator will read “Normal.” When the display says “Hot,” add oil to the pot and heat until shimmering. Add beef (see tip, at left) and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Press Cancel. Add carrots, celery, onion, potato, broth, beef and tomato paste, stirring well.
Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing. Press Manual; the indicator will read “High Pressure.” Use the ‘–’ button to decrease the time on the display to 11 minutes.
When the timer beeps, press Cancel. Let stand, covered, until the float valve drops down. Turn the steam release handle to Venting and remove the lid. The beef should be melt-in-your-mouth tender. (If more cooking is needed, reset the manual pressure to “High Pressure” for 2 minutes.)
Press Sauté. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, for 7 to 9 minutes or until soup is your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook the beef cubes in batches for more even browning. Transfer the browned cubes to a plate after each batch. Add them back to the pot when all are browned.
If you like your stew a little thicker, in step 4 mash a few of the potatoes and stir into the broth along with the tomatoes. The liquids will continue to thicken.