I’m the queen of reinvention when it comes to meals; sometimes it’s with purpose and sometimes it’s completely accidental.   Beef Stew is a classic dish that goes back way before my time and every now and then I like to switch things up a bit.  I started adding new ingredients and making slight variations and then I simply made a dry beef stew.  It’s dry because there is little to no sauce; I typically cook it down until the sauce becomes thick and clings to the meat thus resulting in a rich savory dish.  One day I accidentally stumbled on a bottle of Mezzetta Peperoncini – you know those peppers that are served along with your pizza or in your talian salad.  I’ve never considered using it in any other way other than previously mentioned but boy have I been missing out.  Instead of languishing in my fridge I not only got to the bottom of the jar, I now keep it on hand at all times.  The tangy vinegar and pepper flavor works well with the savory flavors of beef stew and brightens the flavors of the stew.  I cooked this in my go to way to cook beef and that is in a pressure cooker.  It cuts the cooking time drastically and turns a meal that would take 2 hours into a 30 minute or less meal.  I’ve been thinking of sharing more pressure cooker meals so let me know if that’s something that you would like to see on the blog.   

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  • 2 lbs chuck beef, cut into 2 inch strips
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 beef bouillon
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 6 peperoncini
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced


  • Combine beef, salt, pepper and garlic and mix well. Add oil to pressure cooker and heat over high heat. Add beef and cook until liquid evaporates then add Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and stir, cook for about a minute or so.
  • Add water and beef bouillon and cover the pressure cooker. Cook for 12-15 minutes once it starts to release steam. Remove from stove then run under cool water to release the pressure (do this according to the directions on your model).
  • When it’s safe, open the pot and add thyme, peperoncini, red onion and red bell pepper. Cook for an additional 10 minutes until the liquid has thickened. If the meat is still a bit chewy, add a bit more water and cook until tender. Serve over rice.
Author: Jehan Powell