Beef stew is a dish of magic. How else would you explain being able to turn tough chunks of beef into velvety, rich morsels of tastiness in a matter of hours? Okay, I’m sure there’s some science involved, but I’m going with magic.

You can make this in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot, but I prefer the Instant Pot, and not just because it’s quicker, but because you can sear your beef and do everything in one pot. The fact that it’s faster is really a bonus. But really, either works.

I used two Ava Jane’s Kitchen seasoning blends in this. Everyday Blend is a rich peppery blend that stands up well to the beef, and Nana’s Italian Seasoning, a fresh, herby tasting Italian blend that is delicious in winter soups and stews.

When I made this recipe, I had mashed potatoes on my mind, so there are no potatoes in the stew. You can add them if you want, but I know you really want to ladle this over a big bowl of fluffy, buttery, creamy mashed potatoes don’t you? Mashed cauliflower also works nicely for a lower carb, keto version. Anyway you serve it, it’s perfection.

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