As most of you already know, I live in Florida. There’s not a single day in winter time that I don’t hear how blessed we are to not have harsh winters. And I agree! I remember winters in my native country, walking to and from school on certain winter days was definitely a struggle. However, even though we don’t experience bad winters here in Florida, we still get all the colds, flus and germs circulating this time of the year. The past 2 weeks have been a struggle for the whole family, we were all sick and are still recuperating. One of these days I wanted to make our favorite stew – Green Peas Stew (Albanian gjelle me bizele), however I ended up creating a similar recipe to be made in Instant Pot. I was honestly looking for a hearty, comfort dish that required the least amount of time from me and that’s how this Green Peas, Sweet Potatoes and Meat Stew came to be.Jump to Recipe
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Instant Pot or Stove Top?
Honestly, you can cook this stew in both Instant Pot or Stove Top. I continuously use different cooking methods based on convenience. I felt that if I just sauteed the meat and vegetables, then I could just pressurize the IP, set the timer and forget about it.
Usually, I would cook a new recipe 2-3 times at least until I feel comfortable to publish the recipe. I want to make sure I’m sharing the best version and a true tried and tested recipe. I feel that my Albanian recipe for the stovetop version of Green Peas Stew, it’s a lifetime tested recipe. We’ve cooked that in my household since I remember. This Green Peas, Sweet Potatoes and Meat Stew cooked in instant Pot is very similar, just few extra ingredients. But it’s also easier and less active time consuming. So I’m sharing the results with just one try. I promise to edit as necessary after cooking it few more times.
Green Peas & Dill
Dill is a cooking herb. It’s widely used in Mediterranean cuisine, most famously in Greek tzatziki. In Albania, we use it in Tarator, soups and Potato Salads. The Albanian name for dill is Koper. Admittedly I haven’t looked a lot, but I find the combination of green peas and dill so unique that I often try to create recipes with both these ingredients. I am not sure if I favor this combination because it reminds me of back home or if it’s something I really love anyway.
We grow dill, basil and mint in pots in the deck area. I love having fresh cooking herbs handy. My hope is to add a small garden in my backyard one day.
Green Peas, Sweet Potatoes and Meat Stew Recipe
This stew is a bit on the sweeter end because of the type of vegetables used: green peas, carrots and sweet potatoes. It’s still a salty stew but I feel you can test the carbohydrates. I’m not sure if that is because lately I have been eating low carb and I can detect the least amount of carbs in a dish or if you can test them for real. You can do few things to eliminate the ‘sweetness’. Instead of water add broth to the IP before pressurizing. Also, if you are not feeding this stew to children, then you can add some kick to it. Make it spicy, that would balance the carbohydrates perfectly.
The below version is exactly how I cooked it for my family. My kids ate the stew over rice while my husband and I enjoyed it as stew.
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Green Peas, Sweet Potatoes and Meat Stew
- 1.5 lbs beef chunks
- 2 shallots
- 4 tbsps olive oil
- 13 oz green peas
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 can diced/crushed tomatoes if you can use fresh tomatoes, just dice them or liquify them in an electric food chopper.
- 3 tbsps fresh dill
- 1 sweet potato
- 3 cups water
- salt/pepper to taste
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 avocados
- Chop shallots, dill, carrots and sweet potato. Keep all ingredients separately.
- Saute meat in olive oil in Instant Pot.
- Once meat is browned, add chopped shallots and minced garlic. Mix well so onion doesn’t stick the bottom of IP. Continue stirring occasionally until onion becomes translucent.
- Add chopped carrots to browned meat and onion.
- Add green peas to the mix. Continue to stir occasionally so all vegetables get a bit of cooking time and start getting soft.
- Add chunks of sweet potato to green peas and meat. The reason i cut the sweet potato in big chunks is that it cooks a bit faster than the meat. In the stove top, i would add it halfway through. However, since I’m cooking this in IP and i don’t want the sweet potato to disintegrate completely, i add it in big chunks.
- Add chopped dill (just 2 tbsps – leave the rest for decoration at the end). Mix well and let everything saute a bit longer and the flavors start to mix.
- Add 1 can of diced or crushed tomatoes, mix well and let cook for few minutes. I prefer using fresh, soft tomatoes whenever possible.
- Add 3 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste and close IP. You can add broth instead of water. Also, feel free to add more spices to the stew.
- Set Instant Pot to a meat setting for 30 minutes. Serve with few sliced of avocado on top and sprinkle with fresh dill.