Electric Lunchbox #9: Beef Stew and Corn Bread with optional Flan

Comfort food!

Someone asked for an American dish for the Itaki, so I made beef stew and cornbread! My dad loved beef stew and for me cornbread goes really well with it so here goes!

Disclaimer: I used the Itaki Jumbo since my son and I wanted flan again! 😊 The second tier, medium bowl, had another experimental flan recipe! I am trying to make a softer flan so I upped the amount of milk to see if it would work better.

Although it is perfectly fine to just use the Itaki pro and make beef stew and cornbread only, I figured since we’re steaming for a good amount of time, I want to maximize the food created.

*Please note that the word “cup” in any of my electric lunchbox recipe refers to the little itaki cup included with the lunchbox. It holds 40ml.*

Beef stew:

6.5 oz beef, cubed (I used ground beef as that was what I had)

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

1 small potato, peeled snd diced

1 small carrot, peeled and diced

3 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 tablespoon diced onions

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 1/2 cups beef broth

Salt and pepper

Cornbread:

2 1/2 T melted butter

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

1/4 c cornmeal

1/4 cup + 1 T all purpose flour

2 T sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Beef Stew:

Place the beef, flour, salt and pepper in the bottom bowl of the electric lunchbox and mix well. The flour will help thicken your stew. Do not pack the meat down.

Place the potatoes, carrots, green beans, celery, and onions on top of the meat. Add tomato paste and beef broth and mix the ingredients in the bowl. You can add a little more beef broth if you want a runnier stew but remember to leave at least an inch space between the ingredients and the top of the bowl. Place the bowl in the Itaki base.

Now for the CORNBREAD:

Grease the small Itaki bowl or spray with nonstick spray. Mix all ingredients in a separate bowl until combined and pour into the prepared bowl of the Itaki. Place over the prepared beef stew bowl and cover with foil.

For the JUMBO:

If you have an Itaki Jumbo and want a flan for dessert after this meal (like me and my son did!), you can use the second tier for it! Follow the Italicized instructions. Otherwise continue to the Steaming instructions below.

Flan in the Jumbo

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon water

1 egg

1 cup condensed milk

4 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Place sugar and water in the medium Itaki bowl. Caramelize over low heat until you get a golden syrup, swirling constantly by holding the bowl with a stainless tong. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix egg and condensed milk until smooth and condensed milk is incorporated. Add milk, and vanilla, stir to combine. Strain into the bowl with caramel. Cover with foil and place on the second tier of the Itaki Jumbo.

Steaming:

Add 3 cups water to the Itaki base, clip on the top cover and turn it on. Let it steam until it shuts off by itself, around 1 hour 12 minutes.

Open the Itaki carefully, refrigerate the flan if you made one, stir the beef stew and adjust seasoning to taste. Remove the cornbread from the pan and cut into wedges, if desired.

The flan did turn out softer than my previous trials. It is a keeper for me. Chilled, it firmed up a little but still delicious. I will still try to make an all yolk flan soon.

Enjoy your meal!

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See Itaki’s offerings here! https://www.itakico.com/theresa

Papa’s Beef Stew

I remember my papa cooking once in a while. I believe I got the love of cooking and buying kitchen gadgets from him. He told us stories about him working in a Tony’s pizza (“you do not put too much sauce, just enough to coat the dough with a thin layer”), in an apple orchard (climbing tall ladders to reach the fruits), and we had a rice farm (so we got our own special type of rice for home) when we were growing up. We also grew a lot of vegetables and fruit trees in our yard too. Always food centered!

He had all these beautiful pots and pans, refrigerators (yes, multiple!), mixers, dishes from 1950 to 1970. However, aside from the refrigerators, they were for display and never really used. We used regular pots, pans, and dishes on a daily basis. But I was drawn to the pretty stuff! He was shocked when I started using them. I felt lucky as I already had a lot of things I needed to start baking and cooking and they were beautiful!

My papa was in the US Navy for 20 something years and then a dean for the Aeronautical Engineering department of FEATI university for another 20 something years. Yet he always found time to have weekend parties at our home. I never liked crowded places so I didn’t enjoy it much but the food was always good!

Today is my papa’s 9th death anniversary and I’m happy to share a recipe he showed me to make. He used a pressure cooker and a more simple recipe. I included a photo of the original recipe below. However, he always said that it’s okay to tweak recipes and adapt it to what you have and like, so tweak I did to this one! Remember that the amounts are only a guideline, add or reduce the amounts to suit your personal taste!

I hope you enjoy this! I hold this recipe dear to my heart.

The original recipe we followed was from a Presto pressure cooker manual from around 1990-92.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds beef

Salt and pepper

1 large onion

1 cup red wine

2 cups crushed tomatoes

1 cup water, plus more as needed

4 potatoes, peeled and cut into big cubes

1 cup baby carrots

1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces, optional

1-2 tablespoons beef bouillon

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the beef and place in the heated pan. Leave for about 5 minutes, until browned. Turn over and brown the other side for about 5 more minutes.

Add onions and cook until onions wilt. Add wine and scrape bottom to loosen the browned bits as these are very flavorful. Add tomatoes and water and stir well.

Place potatoes, carrots and beef bouillon in the pan and stir. Cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, adding water if sauce thickens too much. Add green beans and cook for 5 – 10 minutes more.

Papa's Beef Stew

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Easy to make and tastes better the next day, this is a cold weather staple in my home.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds beef

Salt and pepper

1 large onion

1 cup red wine

2 cups crushed tomatoes

1 cup water, plus more as needed

4 potatoes, peeled and cut into big cubes

1 cup baby carrots

1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces, optional

1-2 tablespoons beef bouillon

Directions

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the beef and place in the heated pan. Leave for about 5 minutes, until browned. Turn over and brown the other side for about 5 more minutes.

Add onions and cook until onions wilt. Add wine and scrape bottom to loosen the browned bits as these are very flavorful. Add tomatoes and water and stir well.

Place potatoes, carrots and beef bouillon in the pan and stir. Cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, adding water if sauce thickens too much. Add green beans and cook for 5 – 10 minutes more.