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Exceptionally tender beef, perfectly cooked vegetables, and a luscious, flavor-packed sauce. This Instant Pot Beef Stew is so quick and easy that it can be on your menu any night of the week.
My love for my Instant Pot knows no bounds!
I’ve been over here huddled in my kitchen recipe testing my heart out and I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe with you today.
Working on this recipe has convinced me that pressure cooking is the very best method for making beef stew. Your Instant Pot has the amazing ability to transform tough little cubes of chuck roast into incredibly tender beef and in a fraction of the time of all other methods. I am still true to my Classic Stovetop Beef Stew recipe for those lazy Sunday suppers when it’s oh-so pleasing to have something simmering away on the stove. But, it’s just so awesome that the Instant Pot allows us to create classic, comforting meals any night of the week.
The Best Cut of Beef for Stew
Chuck is hands down the best choice for stew, regardless of the method. This tough cut is relatively inexpensive and breaks down and transforms into fork-tender beef when cooked properly. I highly recommend picking up pre-cut “beef for stew” at the grocery store. This beef chuck has been trimmed of fat and cut for you by the stores’ butchers. This is a huge time-saver. You will still likely need to cut down any large pieces so that all of the beef is in uniform bite-size pieces.
Intent on preparing your own beef stew meat? Check out this great video tutorial on myrecipes.com.
The Best Seasoning for Beef Stew
One of the issues I’ve found with countless other beef stew recipes is that the end result is bland. To ensure that homestyle flavor we all crave, I’ve created a simple seasoning mix that I also use in my Classic Stovetop Beef Stew recipe.
We do not want to depend on salt and pepper alone! In fact, adding a variety of other spices means you can be a bit conservative with the salt (always a good thing for all of us) and only add more at the end if you feel it needs it.
This seasoning mix is added to the Instant Pot Beef Stew in layers throughout the cooking process so the flavor is infused throughout both the beef and the sauce.
I just recently upgraded from my older Instant Pot DUO06 to the new 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo Nova. I was thrilled to find some very important differences in this appliance from my older model. First, once you close the lid and set the time it automatically seals and begins to come to pressure with no maneuvering of the steam release valve. If you’ve ever forgotten this step when cooking in your Instant Pot you know how welcome this new feature is. They’ve also improved the system for releasing the steam with an easy to press button.
It’s so slick and so easy to use.
How to Make Beef Stew in an Instant Pot
The step-by-step photo tutorial is below but be sure to watch the short instructional video at the end of this post.
Let’s get cooking!
Set your Instant Pot to SAUTÉ and when the indicator reads “HOT’ add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add half of the beef cubes and season with 2 teaspoons of the seasoning mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is nicely browned.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a dish and repeat this process with the remaining beef and an additional 2 teaspoons of seasoning mix. There will be a little seasoning left and you want to reserve that for later.
Add a little more vegetable oil to the empty pot, if necessary, and add some diced onions, chopped celery, and minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened.
Add a few tablespoons of tomato paste and stir it well to combine. Tomato paste adds some “oomph” to the sauce.
Pour in some low-sodium beef broth, a little red wine (more “oomph”), some Worcestershire sauce, the remaining seasoning mix, and a bay leaf.
Time to add the browned beef back to the liquid in the pot and give it a stir. Scatter the potatoes and carrots over the top and do NOT stir the mixture at this point. They should rest on top of the meat and liquid so that they will cook to fork-tender perfection. I use this same method in my Instant Pot Pot Roast and it works like a charm.
Secure the lid and set your Instant Pot to cook at HIGH pressure for 30 minutes.
Once the cooking time is over, release the steam and open the lid. It takes about 5 minutes to finish it off.
Add a cup of frozen peas straight from the freezer, some chopped parsley and thicken the mixture with a simple cornstarch slurry. The sauce will thicken and become silky and just downright luxurious.
This Instant Pot Beef Stew is a true, quick and easy, one-pot meal.
Just slice the bread and pour the wine and dinner is served.
Instant Pot Beef Stew
BEEF STEW SEASONING MIX
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine ground sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus additional as needed
- 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
- 1 cup diced white or yellow onion
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup medium to full-bodied red wine like Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Merlot
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound baby yellow or red potatoes or a combination of both, halved or quartered
- 3 or 4 carrots peeled and roughly chopped (1/2-inch slices)
- 1 cup frozen peas no need to thaw
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. Cut large pieces of stew meat into smaller bite-size pieces (1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes), if necessary.
- Press the SAUTÉ key three times to select the MORE setting (on older models press the ADJUST key to toggle to the MORE setting). Wait for the the pot "HOT" indicator before adding ingredients. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the heated pot. Add half of the beef and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture. Sauté the beef until nicely browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a dish and set aside. Repeat with the remaining beef, adding additional oil if needed, and seasoning with 2 more teaspoons of the spice mixture. Reserve remaining spice mixture for later.
- Leave any accumulated beef drippings in the empty pot and add additional oil, if needed. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the tomato paste and stir until well combined. Add the red wine, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, remaining spice mix and the bay leaf. Add the beef and all the juices that have accumulated back to pot. Top with the carrots and potatoes. Don't stir. You want the meat submerged in liquid and the carrots and potatoes on top. Press CANCEL.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot. Press the MANUAL or the PRESSURE COOK button, select HIGH, and set the time to 30 minutes (making sure the steam release handle is in the "Sealing" position on older models). It will take approximately 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and begin counting down the 30 minutes. After the cooking time is complete, push the steam release handle (or button) to the "Venting" position to allow the steam to release completely before you open the pot. Press CANCEL.
- Press "SAUTÉ" and toggle to "LOW" and set time for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the frozen peas and parsley. Combine the water and cornstarch in a measuring cup or small bowl and stir it into the beef stew. Continue cooking, uncovered, until thickened. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
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