Instant Pot Whatever You Have Geek Stew

The first time I made this delicious and hardy beef stew recipe, I barely had any vegetables on hand.   I decided to go for it anyways, inspired by one of my favorite childhood stories Nail Broth.  So this recipe will vary slightly depending on what you have.    The basics are the same though… kind of like making vanilla ice cream.    Using organic veggies increasing the flavor exponentially.

Thanking the cow for its service to you is also and awesome thing to do.  🙂

Geek Stew!


1 lb of grass fed stew meat (because we want the cows to be happy)

2 cups water (if you add more veggies, reduce this slightly)

2 tablespoons olive oil (oil is a must to prevent foaming within Instapot)

1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix (this is the secret ingredient)

2 cups chopped celery (include the leaves for intense flavor)

1 8 oz package of baby bella mushrooms

6 small potatoes – quartered

1 teaspoon baking soda (with one cup water)

2 tablespoons cornstarch (with two tablespoons water)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Soak the stew meat in a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon baking soda for 20-30 minutes.  This will make the meat easier to brown.

Set the Instant Pot to saute and add the olive oil.    When oil is hot, add beef and stir to brown.   Add salt and pepper as desired.   Adding too much meat at same time may steam instead of brown, so try to add gradually if possible.

Once meat is nicely browned, add water then stir in the package of onion soup mix.  This adds the perfect ratio of onion flavor and creates a wonderful bouillon.   Add any veggies you’d like at this point and mix.

Cancel saute mode and set your Instapot valve to seal. Press the meat stew button.

Your Instant Pot will start cooking for 35 minutes after pressure is reached, which could take anywhere from 5-10 minutes,  maybe even longer.   After cooking time is finished, many folks recommend natural release for better flavor, it’s up to you.   I have tested this recipe twice with manual release.    Before opening the Instant Pot, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water.    Mix the slurry into the pot to thicken stew.   Let cool and enjoy with your favorite book, person or Netflix show.   The flavor is wonderful and ever so comforting… just like my mom never made.    I always hated stew when I was a kid, so no happy memories there.

The lid is opened and wow!!! Add your slurry and mix well. The more moisture in your veggies, the less water you need to add. I would start with 2 cups minimum.

Let me know in the comments any variations you might have tried!  Like throwing in a regular size  can of tomato sauce… I did this last night and it was crazy good!

Instant Pot Spaghetti with Mushrooms

I’m a huge lover of Italian Food and the man in my life recently gave me an Instant Pot pressure cooker for my birthday.    So I figured what could taste better than spaghetti infused with its own sauce?   Turns out nothing much, it’s freaking delicious.   I searched online for some recipes, and found one, but I tweaked it so much I decided to create my own version and publish it on my blog.    So here it is, the most delicious and fast Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe in the world.  It feeds four easily (even more if you portion like a human)  and will run you about $50 if you follow recipe exactly.

It’s a computer controlled pressure cooker and so much more!

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Grilled Steak Condo Style

steak like it was meant to be enjoyed

Living in a condominium has its perks… being able to grill your favorite steak on a barbecue isn’t one of them.  Sure, your neighbors might not have a problem with open flame, tanks of fuel, and smoke flooding into your living room through open windows (as nature finds a breeze way,) but the local fire department does.  Chances are your association rules also prohibit this prehistoric method of preparing a meal, one that seems to give everyone the warm and fuzzies.   If you’re like me, you also have only electric appliances as natural gas in the attention deficit age of Instagram and Facebook doesn’t mix well with high population density.

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My Favorite Chimmichurri Recipe


For those of you that have never heard of chimmichurri, it’s a topping traditionally used for meats in Latin American cuisine.  I’m addicted to the stuff.  In the past I had tried so many chimmichurri recipes, and none of them gave me the flavor I’ve experienced in really great Churrascarias (all you can eat steak houses) .    They all tasted like they were missing something, so I decided to just experiment until I found the right combination that was simple to make, but hit a home run for my taste buds.   I made this for a work event once, and my co-workers divided it amongst themselves to take home afterwards.   I use it on steak, chicken, mix it in rice and even scrambled eggs.  It also makes a great topping for sliced french bread.  Yum!!  The best part is, you can add additional ingredients like red pepper flakes if you like a kick, but I find the garlic already does that.

It keeps for about a week in fridge.  Enjoy!!

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