Friday, February 5, 2016

Swiss Chard, Beef and Bean Stew

Swiss chard has long been one of my favorite vegetables, ever since I was little--my parents used to grow it in our little yard in Philadelphia. We ate spinach more often (usually frozen), so that was my official favorite. Some of my students turn up their noses when I tell them this, though, as apparently it's considered pig food in parts of China! Others have learned to eat and love it since moving here. 
When I saw the recipe for Beef, Bean and Barley Stew in the book I'm using to get my health on track, Always Hungry? by Dr. David Ludwig, it called for 8 cups of chard, and I knew I had to make it happen (and I could do it in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, which made me even happier). Alas, it seems to be mislabeled for all phases of the program, so I had to omit the barley. I also replaced the water with broth, which always improves flavor, and subbed white beans for kidney beans since I only had the former on hand. 

The white beans are hiding in the container behind the olive oil...I cooked those in the pressure cooker the day before. A well-drained and rinsed can of them would be perfectly fine, or a can of kidney beans. 

Sprinkle 1 lb cubes of beef (stew meat or chuck) with salt and pepper. Pre-heat electric pressure cooker on saute or Dutch oven on stove with one Tbsp olive oil. Brown beef on at least two sides, being careful not to overcrowd the pot like I did here. I still got a little browning, but that foamy stuff is liquid that's really steaming the beef. Better to do it in two batches.
Finely chop 1 medium onion and 1 stalk celery. Remove beef from pot and add celery and onion to the drippings. Saute until soft but not brown, 3-6 minutes.

Wash the chard and remove the leaves from the stems.
Chop up the stems - you might as well use them, no? If you just can't even, save them in the freezer for your next batch of broth or stock.

Mince a clove or two of garlic. Add chopped stems and garlic to onion and celery mixture, then saute for a couple more minutes. Add 1 tsp thyme and 1/2 or 1 bay leaf.

Chop chard leaf into strips and add 1/3 to 1/2 to the pot.

Add tomatoes, stir well, then add 4 cups of beef or vegetable broth and let warm up a bit. Add beef and 1 1/2 cups white beans.

If using Instant Pot, lock on lid. Cancel saute function and set valve to "seal". Press "Meat/Stew" button. Allow 20 minutes of natural release time before opening up, then switch valve to "vent" to release remaining pressure. Open lid and stir in remaining chard, letting that cook in the hot stew for a few minutes while you get the table ready.

If you're using a Dutch oven on the stovetop, bring everything to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook
over low heat for 1 hour, then stir in remaining chard and let cook for a few minutes.

Top with sour cream and fresh parsley if you have parsley wilted on me, so it was no longer picture-friendly :(


  1. Hi Ingrid - nice to see a blogger on AH!!! Is there a way to follow your blog via email? Also - saw your note on this re: barley. I believe it's ok for P2.

    1. Hi! There are two ways...I recently added the gadget at the top right to "follow", which should send emails to your social folder if you use gmail. Below that and the list of categories is another place where you can follow with any email. It usually sends you a message within 2-12 hours.