2 tablespoons olive oil -- (up to 3 tbsp)
2 pounds boneless chuck or round -- cut in 1" cubes
1 clove garlic -- minced
3 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 green bell pepper -- cut into strips
1 dash crushed red pepper flakes -- optional
1 28 oz can tomatoes with juice -- coarsely chopped
1 te whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 3 inch stick cinnamon -- halved
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder -- (up to 2 tbsp)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt -- or to taste
1 cup cooked red kidney beans -- (up to 2 c),
-- optional 1 cup tightly packed -- mihced fresh
-- cilantro 2 tablespoons finely ground yellow cornmeal -- optional
***GARNISH*** grated Cheddar cheese -- optional finely chopped onions -- optional
Trim meat of excess fat.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the cooker. Over medium-high heat, bronw the meat in 2-3 batches. Remove to a platter and set aside. Adding more oil if
necessary , saute the garlic, onions, green pepper, and hot pepper (if desired) for 3 min utes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the brow ned meat to the pot and add the tomatoes. Stir in the spices and salt.
Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Adjust heat t o maintain high pressure, and cook for 16 minutes. Let the pressure drop natur ally, about 10 minutes. Do not use a quick release method. Remove the lid, ti lting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.
Test the beef for doneness. If it is not sufficiently tender, lock the lid bac k into place an dreturn to high pressure for a few more minutes. Again, let th e pressure drop naturally. When done, remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick s. Stir in the kedney beans (if desired) and ciantro. If the stew is too thin , gradually whisk in the cornmeal while boiling over medium heat until thickene d. Pass the Cheddar cheese and chopped onions on the side, if desired.
Author's notes: I consider chili naked without beans, but the success of this stew doesn't depend on them.
Vegetarian Variation: For a delicious vegetarian version, substitute 1 pound of cubed, firm tofu for the beef. Skip the browning stage and quick release th e pressure. Reduce cooking time to 5 minutes.