Oxtail Stew by Instant Pot: One Thing at which it Excels

I make this dish all the time in fall/winter either with Hay Creek meaty soup bones (neck bones) or actual oxtail segments. Both turn out great but the oxtail definitely has the more intense beef flavor. Thing is, you have to remember to begin very early morning if you hope to eat anywhere near normal lunchtime with the extensive stove-top stewing time required. Seemed at last an ideal task for Instant Pot (IP) ’cause lots of moisture already comes along with the recipe ingredients and needs no reduction/thickening after cooking. Yeah, IP and I have a history.

Last made this on a busy cattle-working day the first of November with help arriving at 9 am and minimal time after that to spare for meal prep.

Seared (browned) the oxtail segments in a 12 inch saute pan, ignoring Instant Pot’s “one pot” capabilities. Yeah, it’s possible but a pain the ___ to turn beef pieces in a deep-walled pot using tongs. Don’t mess with it!

Added the browned oxtail, 3 cups water, and the sauteed onions to Instant Pot along with peppercorns and bay leaf. Set for 60 minute “pressure cook” at 7:30 am and went on to prepare the ingredients to be added later so I could simply come inside , pop them in and reset cook time.

These were a couple cups of course-chopped red cabbage, a couple cups chunked carrots, a cup of chopped celery, 2 cups stewed or crushed tomato, 1/3 cup barley, a tablespoon dried parsley, and a teaspoon each dried marjoram, basil, thyme and sage.

Got back inside at 10:30 am. The pressure cook cycle was complete, IP had shifted to “warm” mode and the pressure indicator was down so simply removed the lid, added the prepared ingredients, replaced lid and set for 10 minutes “pressure cook”. Back in for lunch break at 1 pm and all was ready, warm and smelled great on removing cover! The ability to complete a timed pressure cook, shift modes and hold warm automatically is the real beauty of Instant Pot. I hereby retract some of the more disparaging commentary made in earlier post.