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Gluten-free, Allergy-friendly Beef Stew

We have a problem. Raya wants to eat and I don't know what to feed her! I'm kidding, it's not a problem. I've been waiting for this for years so I'm finding a lot of joy in cooking for her and trying to find new foods for her to eat that won't cause problems for her.

Last night, I had thawed out a roast but then when it came time to start cooking and we got the meat trimmed, we realized it was a smaller roast than I thought it was when I got it out, so stew in the Instant Pot became plan B. I looked on Pinterest and didn't find any recipes that worked exactly as written so I combined ideas from a few and decided to just wing it. Here's what I came up with:

Gluten-Free, Allergy Friendly Beef Stew
1-2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
2T tapioca flour
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
8 medium red potatoes, cut and diced
4-5 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 cans beef broth (approx. 4 cups)
2T tomato paste
1T Worchestershire sauce
1T soy sauce
1T brown sugar
1T minced garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
1T oil for browning beef

1. In a large bowl, toss beef with tapioca flour until coated. Season with salt and pepper. Turn on Instant Pot's Saute' function and pour 1T oil into the liner of the Instant Pot. Brown beef in 2 batches. Some of the tapioca may stick on the bottom of the pot and that's okay as long as it doesn't burn.

2. In a small bowl, mix tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning and set aside.

3. When the beef is all browned, remove it from the pot and pour in about 1/2 cup of the beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Once pot is deglazed, add chopped onion to the pot and saute' until onions start to become translucent. Turn off Instant Pot. Add tomato paste mixture to pot and stir.

4. Pour in remaining broth, and add beef and vegetables to pot. Mix until all ingredients are coated with sauce mixture.

5. Put lid on Instant Pot and close vent. Press Meat/Stew button and set time to 35 minutes.

6. At the end of cooking time, allow 5 minutes natural pressure release (NPR). Then open steam vent and quick release the pressure.

7. If the stew is not as thick as desired, use a ladle to remove 1/2 cup of liquid from the pot and pour into glass measuring cup. Add another 1-2 T of tapioca flour and stir to make a slurry, then pour into Instant Pot and stir. Turn Instant Pot off and then push Saute' button again to bring stew to a boil so that the slurry will thicken the stew. Once desired thickness has been reached, turn off pot.

This stuff is DELICIOUS. We did add a little salt after it was cooked but the flavor was great! All of the kids loved it, including Raya, who ate almost a full cup of stew. She had seconds and then thirds, and took leftovers for lunch today. I didn't calculate the calories in this exact recipe but we estimated it to be about 200 calories per cup.

I ate leftovers for lunch today too. I decided to add a little bit of cooked quinoa to my bowl and it was good that way! I put 1/2 C red quinoa in a large glass measuring cup with 1 C water and covered with a small plate, then cooked for 4 minutes, stirred, and cooked another 3 minutes. Perfect.

This could be done in a slow cooker instead of the Instant Pot. I would still brown the beef first and saute' the onions, and then add everything to the slow cooker, give it a good stir, and cook it for a few hours on low. But with the Instant Pot, it was done from start to finish in about 90 minutes, including prep time, the time it took for the pot to come to pressure, cooking time, and pressure release time.


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