One-Pot Wonders

A Coconut Milk–Laced Beef Stew to Warm You Up in an Instant (Pot)

November  2, 2017

The Instant Pot combines several appliances in one, but it’s the pressure-cooking function that most people swoon over. (Yogurt-making, I love you too, but you’re an occasional romance; pressure-cooking is my steady dinner date.)

Part of the charm of pressure-cooking in the Instant Pot is developing flavor and tenderness that ordinarily would take hours with other cooking methods. Another part of the charm: Sautéing the onion in the same pot in which the stew later cooks saves the mess of a separate sauté pan and—most importantly—takes advantage of the flavor that develops at the bottom of the pot. Here, every last bit of that onion’s flavor gets reincorporated into the stew.

Don't forget to top with (salted) peanuts! Photo by Julia Gartland

Coconut milk stirred in at the end lends the stew a warm, velvety note and a beautifully creamy finish. Meanwhile, salted peanuts provide pleasant bursts of salinity and crunch. A touch of ground ginger and cinnamon complement the earthy flavor of the cumin, which rounds out the richness of the coconut milk. Don’t forget the lime segments when serving for a touch of color and a welcome note of acidity.

Don’t have an Instant Pot? Making a similar dish on the stovetop is also a possibility by using these ingredients and borrowing the process outlined in Secret Ingredient Beef Stew. Know that without the high heat that comes from cooking with pressure, developing flavor and tenderness will take much longer.

My new book How to Instant Pot is out now! The book makes the machine’s learning curve more of a gentle slope—and feeds you as you get the hang of it.

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I'm the author of "How to Instant Pot," the delicious guide to demystifying and mastering this incredibly useful and sometimes baffling appliance.