How you doin’? As we enter another month, we hope that you and yours are staying healthy and happy. For obvious reasons, I’ve been featuring many comfort food recipes in this blog series. Some of these foods may not necessarily have been on your “before Covid-19” diet. Many, not all, comfort foods are high in calories and fat, so every few days, try your best jeans on just to make sure they still fit. Pajamas and sweatpants will have you believing all is well around the waistline.
Do you know the first use of the term “comfort food”? It has been traced back to 1966, when the Palm Beach Post used it in a story: "Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called 'comfort food'—foods associated with the security of childhood, like mother's chicken soup."
Common sense and Wikipedia tell us that eating energy-dense, high calorie, high fat, salt or sugary foods, such as ice cream, chocolate or French fries, might trigger the reward system in the human brain, which gives a distinctive pleasure or temporary sense of emotional elevation, relaxation and temporary relief. When psychological conditions are present, people often use comfort food to self-treat. Those with negative emotions tend to eat less healthful foods to experience the instant gratification that comes with it, even if only short-lived.
Comfort-foods fall into four categories (nostalgic foods, indulgence foods, convenience foods, and physical comfort foods) with a special emphasis on the deliberate selection of particular foods to modify mood or effect, and indications that the medical-therapeutic use of particular foods may ultimately be a matter of mood-alteration, making you feel better.
When you’re feeling under the weather, comfort foods seem to take too much energy to accomplish when you're achy and sniffling, so put on your most pathetic sick face, add a line whine to your voice and very nicely ask a family member to make this Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe for you.
DISCLAIMER: I’m really not getting paid by Instant Pot (or any other food or equipment company) to post recipes using their products, so I should qualify my posts by saying that there are other makers of similar equipment. Whenever I suggest a manufacturer of any equipment (or an ingredient), it’s because I like it, most likely own it and use it quite often to prove the recipes being posted.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck or boneless short rib meat
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 medium carrots (about 12 ounces total)
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces total)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup frozen peas
Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)
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