This recipe’s a hybrid of sorts. Stew + Ragu = voila!
You’ll want to deeply brown the pieces of beef chuck. Seriously. Don’t gray them. They should have dark spots across the surface, not just golden patches. Be patient and let all those natural sugars become more intensely flavored.
To balance all that browned goodness, we call for dried spices, rather than fresh, because the dried ones have a slightly earthier flavor, less bright and so more balanced in the ragu.
2lbsboneless beef chucktrimmed of any large chunks of fat and cut in half
28ounceswhole tomatoes1 can
1/2cupfrozen pearl onions(do not thaw)
3/4cuplight dry red winesuch as Pinot Noir
1tbspdrained and rinsed caperschopped
1mediumgarlic clovepeeled and minced (1 teaspoon)
1/2tspground black pepper
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Press Saute, set time for 20 minutes.
Warm the oil in the cooker for a minute or two. Add the beef in two batches and brown, turning a couple of times. Make sure the first piece is well browned before transferring it to a bowl and adding the second one. At the end, both pieces of beef should be in the bowl.
Wash and dry your hands. One by one, squeeze the whole tomatoes over the pot, then add any remaining juice from the can. Add the pearl onions and stir well to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, just until the onions begin to brown lightly. Turn off the SAUTE function.
Stir in the wine, capers, garlic, rosemary, oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Return the beef pieces and any juice in the bowl to the cooker. Lock the lid onto the pot.
Optional 1Max Pressure Cooker Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 44 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
Optional 2All Pressure Cookers Press Pressure cook (Manual) on High pressure for 55 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
Option 3Slow Cook Press Slow Cook option on High for 5 hours with Keep Warm setting off (or on for no more than 2 hours)
If you’ve used a pressure setting, when the machine has finished cooking, turn it off and let its pressure return to normal naturally, about 30 minutes.
Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Use a flatware tablespoon to skim off any excess surface fat. Find and discard the bay leaf, then use two forks to shred the meat.
Press Saute, set time for 10 minutes.
Bring the sauce to a full simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a fairly wet ragu, about 5 minutes. Turn off the SAUTE function and set the lid askew over the pot for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
• You must halve the recipe for a 3-quart cooker.
• Stir up to 2 tablespoons butter into the ragu before serving.
• This ragu takes well to pasta shapes like rigatoni or fusilli. Or serve it as a stew over large spoonfuls of ricotta.
• Garnish with minced fresh parsley leaves.