This rich stew goes well with baguettes or another crusty bread and a nice cabernet sauvignon. To lighten the meal with a refreshing side dish, add your favorite green salad.
2 lbs. stew beef
2 envelopes dry onion mushroom soup mix
1 envelope dry Ranch dip mix
1 16 oz. bag frozen peas and carrots
2 15 oz. cans whole potatoes (drained)
3 cloves garlic, minced
pearl onions (peeled) — cipollines have a rich taste
2 envelopes dry brown mushroom gravy mix
Combine flour with salt and pepper (to taste) in mixing bowl. Coat chunks of beef in this mixture while heating large skillet with thin coat of olive oil on the bottom.
In skillet, brown the beef in olive oil. Transfer the beef to a pressure cooker. Empty two envelopes of dry onion mushroom soup mix and one envelope of Ranch dip mix over the beef.
Deglaze the skillet with water and then empty water onto the beef. Add more water until beef is covered and stir until everything is well mixed. Bring to boil, stirring now and then to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir now and then to avoid scorching on the bottom of the pot. Then cover pot with pressurizing lid and simmer for another 20 minutes. (The pressure cooker helps make the stew beef, an inexpensive cut of meat, more tender.)
Remove pressure cooker from heat and release pressure with cool running water before opening it.
Add peas and carrots, potatoes, garlic, pearl onions, and brown mushroom gravy mix to pot and stir. If you’ve lost a lot of steam, you’ll want to add another couple of cups of water.
Pressurize pot again and cook on medium high heat until steam begins to escape the valve, and then reduce heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes. Remember to depressurize with cool running water before opening lid. Stir and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
You can increase the recipe for larger groups: for 8 people (for example), add another pound of stew beef and another can of potatoes.