This Instant Pot Dump Stew Recipe is brought to you from The Whole Smiths in partnership with Belcampo sustainable farmed and sourced meats. This stew just might be the best stew you will ever eat. It’s family friendly, gluten-free and best served over mashed potatoes.
Feel free to use the code “WHOLESMITHS” at your Belcampo checkout for 20% off your first order.
Stew is one of those recipes that seem to have been around forever. And it has! Its roots can be traced back to ancient Japan where meat was mixed with water and boiled over fire. Fortunately we have more convenient and tasty ways to make stew these days and I’ll show you how in this recipe.
The secret to a good stew.
I’ve narrowed the secret to a good stew down to two components; the sauce and the quality of the meat. I find often times in stew that the sauce is highly underwhelming. This is where all of the flavors of the ingredients should blend together beautifully and be to uniting force of the stew. But more often than not, the sauce is too broth and thin or lacking flavor. Both of which are highly undesirable.
So instead, I’ve focused on creating a perfectly seasoned sauce and created it to be thick enough to cling onto the components but thin enough to smother your mashed potatoes in. I paid special attention to the flavors and used ingredients like coconut aminos to add some extra complexity to the sauce. I also used Belcampo’s bone broth which brings beautiful, deep beef flavor.
As far as consistency, I used a bit of cornstarch at the end and also left some of the veggie components (onions and carrots) behind and blended them into the sauce to create a nice texture.
I also notice that the quality of meat matters when it comes to a stew. For this particular recipe I used the Grass-fed and finished, Pasture-raised, Organic Beef Stew Meat from Belcampo. I find it’s perfectly marbled as a good stew meat should be as it prevents the meat from drying out. Not to mention, the flavor is fantastic which of course lends to a robust flavor profile for the stew itself.
One thing I want you to be aware of is making sure the meat is not too grisly or fatty. While you want the stew meat to be properly marbled, if it’s overly fatty it’s going to make the stew feel greasy. Often times this comes from poorly butchered meat, which has never been a problem with Belcampo meats for us.
The Whole Smiths Sustainable Meat Philosophy.
While we’re on the subject of meat, let’s chat about how we approach our meat consumption over here, shall we? In the most simplest of terms it’s “Quality over Quantity”. What that means is that we’ve slightly reduced our meat intake to accommodate for us incorporating more sustainably sourced and properly raised meats into our diets. It gives up room in our meals and wallets to be able to fiasco on the quality of what we’re consuming.
I don’t worry about getting meat in to every single meal but instead focus on our daily or even weekly meat intake and focus on incorporating better quality, health promoting meat products instead.
Why we choose Belcampo.
By making the choice to reduce our meat consumption in favor of better quality meat consumption we searched for sustainable meat sources that would “meat” (sorry, I had to do it) our needs. And that’s how I came to find Belcampo. It can be a bit difficult to source properly raised meat products on a regular basis at a local grocery store and other sustainable meat services left me underwhelmed. Enter Belcampo.
Their selections of sustainable meat products is by far the most robust and the quality is above and beyond what I would expect. I can find everything from pork butt (hello Instant Pot Carnitas!) to bone broths, jerkies and pre-seasoned meats. It’s not easy to find a wide selections of properly raised items like pork and chicken and appreciate they make that available to us.
Not to mention, it’s so damn convenient. Belcampo has an easy-to-navigate website and I can order what I want, when I want. There’s no subscription service I get roped into and I can order just what my family likes in the amounts that make sense for us.
Once I place my order, it arrives on my doorstep perfectly frozen and ready to be transferred into our freezer. One complaint I’ve heard and experienced myself with other meat delivery services was in texts of packaging and shipping. Things like spoiled or defrosted meat, leaky packages were a regular occurrence but I have not experienced that once with Belcampo. And I haven’t heard of any of my audience members experiencing it either.
The benefits of properly sourced meats.
All of this talk about incorporating sustainable meats into our diet lends to the question, why? Why is it important and how does it impact our health and environment?
Let’s dive into the health components first. When animals are raised on open pastures and natural on organic diets their meats are higher in omega-3 fatty acids which has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart disease. Belcampo recently released its quarterly nutrition data from third party testing which shows that its meats have a nearly 1:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids compared to conventional meats having a 1:30 ratio, making it the optimal choice for meats.
Pasture raised meats are also lower in total fats but higher in “good” fats and low in “bad” fats. Not to mention, it contains more linoleic acids which are proven cancer fighters.
As far as environmental concerns, Belcampo also partners with farms that are dedicated to regenerative agriculture through its Partner Farm program. Which means they are climate positive and carbon negative. Animals are rotated amongst different lands based on herd size and plant growth cycles to cultivate healthy soil, capture carbon from the environment, and limit impact on watershed.
By choosing to purchase animal products from companies like Belcampo, you are literally doing something proactive and positive for both your health and the environment. If you’d like to give Belacampo a try, and I suggest you do, you can use “WHOLESMITHS” at checkout for 20% off your first order.
How to serve and store.
Now that we understand the importance of the quality of the meat we’re consuming, let’s get back to the stew, shall we? There aren’t really any “tips” per se for this recipe as the title says it all, “dump”. You just dump all of the ingredients, give it a stir and let the Instant Pot do it’s magic.
As I mentioned before, I find the coconut aminos to be the secret ingredient in this recipe as it lends a touch of sweetness to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.
While many stews have diced potatoes in them, I found this one best to be served over some mashed potatoes. The reason being is that this sauce is that good and you’ll want a vehicle to enjoy it with. My go-to mashed potato recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen.
And with that my friends, I think you are ready to indulge in your new favorite stew recipe!
- Feel free to swap the thyme for freshly chopped basil (2 tablespoons) for a slightly different favor variation.
- If you are looking for a more low-carb way to enjoy this recipe, serve the stew over some roasted spaghetti squash instead of mashed potatoes.
- Feel free to add additional vegetables to the stew like chopped kale, green peans or peas.
Can I make this in my slow cooker?
Yep, just cook it on low for 7-8 hours until the meat is cooked through and tender.
Can I omit the cornstarch?
You can. The sauce won’t thicken up quite the same however. You can also try substituting with tapioca starch.
Can you make this with chicken? Is that a weird question?
Not a strange question at all! Yes, try it with chicken. Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cut them into smaller pieces.
Instant Pot Dump Stew
- 2 pounds beef stew meat
- 3 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 carrots sliced into 1/4 inch discs
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 20 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Salt the stew beef with 2 teaspoons of the salt and add it to the Instant Pot.
- Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE CORNSTARCH to the Instant Pot and stir to combine the ingredients.
- Set the Instant Pot to “Manual” for 35 minutes. Once done, let the Instant Pot depressurize naturally.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the meat and majority of the vegetable (leaving some bits of the onions, carrots and tomatoes behind in the sauce) into a large bowl and cover with aluminum foil.
- Set the Instant Pot to “Saute” and sauté the sauce for 10 minutes then turn off the Instant Pot. Transfer the sauce to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Return the sauce to the Instant Pot and tun off the "Sautee" function.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to create a slurry. Slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and stir to combine, the sauce will slightly thicken.
- Add the meat and vegetables back into the Instant Pot.
- Serve over mashed potatoes or spaghetti squash.
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