Mechado is a beef stew in tomato sauce. This recipe uses an Instant Pot!
1 ½ lbs beef stew meat
1 ½ tbsp salt
1 small onion OR ½ large onion
Bell peppers (optional; not typically in mechado, but it’s nice to have for more nutrition)
2-3 medium potatoes (remember: use either yellow or red potatoes, NOT russet potatoes because they disintegrate)
Baby carrots (just as much as you have potatoes; or, one large carrot, chopped)
2 tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional; makes the mechado tangier)
1 can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
If your beef is not already sliced into the cubic chunks, slice them accordingly. Salt the beef and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Chop up the onion, and chop up the bell peppers into 1-inch squares.
Cut up your medium potatoes into quarters (if you have baby potatoes instead, cut them in halves, and vice versa). Take the baby carrots and keep them in the same container as the potatoes. Set aside.
Take the Instant Pot and click the “Sauté” button. Pour in the oil, and once the display says “Hot” throw in the salted beef chunks. Brown all sides of the beef.
Throw in the chopped onions until they have become translucent. Follow up with the crushed garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
Pour in the soy sauce, lemon juice, and the apple cider vinegar. Then, pour in the can of tomato sauce. Mix all ingredients well. Add the bay leaves, and season with black pepper.
Stir well and then pop the lid back on, with the vent closed (since we’re going to pressure cook!). Press “Cancel” and then press the “Pressure Cook” button. Adjust the timer using the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons to 30 minutes. Make sure the pressure level is set to “High.”
Once the pot is done cooking, place a towel over the vent to control the steam. Open the vent and let all the pressure release.
Open the lid and then add the potatoes and carrots. Fully submerge these ingredients, and then pop the lid back on. Follow step 7 for pressure cooking again, but set the timer to 4 minutes this time.
Once the timer is done, add in the bell peppers and let boil on “Sauté” for about 5 minutes (if you are using bell peppers).
Press “Cancel,” and you’re done! For best results, let the stew sit for a few hours for the flavors to mingle a little bit. If not, then just serve right away!