Instant Pot Mongolian Beef with Stew Meat
I got my instant pot a while back, and I gotta confess, I have not used it to its full potential. But this is one recipe that is tried and true! My favourite part about this recipe is that it takes stew meat, which can be a bit of tougher cut, and turn it into a tender, mouth-watering dish. You might look at this recipe and think "holy crap that's a lot of sugar", because that was my first thought, but trust me it's delicious!
So the cool thing about the instant pot is that it also has a saute function that works basically the same as a skillet. In order to make this, turn it on to saute, put a bit of oil in the bottom, and brown the stew beef in batches. There will be a bit of liquid in the pot, but I like to leave that in there to add extra juice and flavour. Once you've got the beef browned, turn your instant pot off while you mix up the sauce. This will give the pot a bit of time to cool down, which will help avoid your instant pot beeping at you telling you your meal is burning and causing a minor freak out. Don't ask me how I know...
For the sauce, combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and sesame oil together. If you don't have sesame oil, you technically can leave it out, but I recommend adding it to your pantry. The sesame oil just adds a whole level of flavour and aroma to this dish, you definitely want to add it in if you have it! Once you've got the sauce mixed up, mix it in with the browned beef and set the instant pot to "Stew" for 35 minutes - make sure the pressure valve is turned the right way!
The thing about instant pot cooking that I've found is that it's not always as quick as the name would lead you to believe. It takes some time for it to come up to pressure - like in this recipe, my instant pot needs about 10-15 minutes to get up to pressure before the 35 minute cook time actually starts. BUT I still love it because for something like stew beef that usually takes a few hours to get to this level of tenderness, the instant pot does it in only a fraction of the time. And that's just wicked cool, which is why this is still a favourite kitchen gadget.
As your beef is cooking, take this time to make whatever you'd like to go along with your beef. I like to serve mine with rice and some steamed broccoli for a veggie.
Once the beef is cooked, let it sit for 5 minutes, then release the pressure. Mix together the 2 Tbsp water and 2 Tbsp corn starch, and add to the beef. Serve and enjoy!
This would also work well with sliced/cubed round steak, chuck roast, crossrib roast or round roast.