Beef Tips and Vegetables in Brown Gravy

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This is a very simple recipe prepared in a pressure cooker.  A couple years ago an electric pressure cooker was at the top of my Christmas wish list.  For anyone who is a little afraid of using a pressure cooker and has visions of a pressure cooker lid imbedded in the kitchen ceiling, fear not.  They really are very simple and safe to operate.  It’s an appliance I wish I had had when I was still working full time and preparing meals when I got home from work.  Even as a retired person I am not a good advance meal planner.  Five o’clock rolls around and I start thinking about what I’m going to make.  The two primary functions of my microwave are reheating leftovers and defrosting frozen solid meat so I can make dinner.  While it’s not recommended, because of the amount of time necessary to build to full pressure, with a pressure cooker you could actually start with a piece of frozen meat and have a great dinner on the table in less than an hour.  You can brown meat, sauté, simmer and keep your food warm all in one pot.  The pressure cooker makes even inexpensive cuts of meat tender and seems to intensify favors in a very positive way.  Be careful with salt.

I’m hoping that this recipe motivates my good friend who has a spanking new electric pressure cooker (probably still in its original box) to get it out and give it a try.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of sirloin steak

2 T olive oil

1 large onion rough chopped

2 carrots sliced

2 stalks of celery rough chopped

1 cup baby bellas

3-4 cloves of garlic sliced

2 cups of beef broth (I use better than bouillon)

1/4 cup brandy

1 T Dijon mustard

1 T tomato paste

salt and pepper to taste

2 T room temperature butter

2 T AP flour

1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

2 green onions sliced

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Heat the oil in the pressure cooker over medium high heat.  Cube the beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add the meat to the pressure cooker in batches and brown.  Don’t crowd the meat or it won’t brown properly.  Remove to a plate and continue until all the meat has been browned.

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Add the onion, mushrooms, carrots and celery to the pot.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.

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Add the sliced garlic and brandy.  Cook until the brandy comes to a boil.  Add the mustard and tomato paste to the broth.  Return the meat to the pot and pour in the broth.  Lock the lid in place and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes.

Release the pressure naturally.  Remove the lid, always tilting the lid away from you to allow for any steam to escape.  Bring the sauce to a boil.  In a small bowl whisk together the butter and flour to form a paste and stir it into the sauce.

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Bring back to a boil.  Simmer for 2 minutes.  Serve over rice or noodles.  Garnish with the parsley and green onions.

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Enjoy!

NOTE:  I keep a few staples in my freezer that make spur of the moment food prep easier.  Recipes always call for one or two tablespoons of tomato paste.  You can buy tomato paste in tubes but it is more economical to buy the small cans.  Open one end of the can and put it in the freezer for awhile.  Once it’s frozen open the other end of the can and use the lid to push the tomato paste out.  Slice and put each slice into a snack bag.  Store in your freezer.

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