An Instant Pot recipe that delivers a great stew in far less time than any other method we know.
If there was one ubiquitous item on sale on Amazon’s Prime Day, it was the Instant Pot. We’ve had good meals using this Canadian invention. It’s a Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker all in one. We’ve also had some nights when we weren’t quite sure whether we’d saved any time at all. And we’ve had some instances where the meat was so meltingly tender, it fell apart. Butter Chicken comes to mind. But I have to say, this recipe from a woman named Christine Gallary, delivered a fantastic result—a beautiful combination of tender beef, sweet baby carrots, Yukon Gold potatoes and sweet green peas in a wonderfully savory sauce. And it lived up the Instant Pot’s reputation for speed. The whole thing, start to finish, was on the table in just under an hour.
Lessons learned from Christine Gallary.
Christine Gallary is a regular contributor to Kitchn which is where I found this recipe. She is a very thorough recipe writer and her observations are well-worth noting. Here’s my take of what she had to say: Braises turn tougher cuts of meat into far more tender bites. But those pre-cut packages of stew meat tend to be high in gristle and uneven in shape. Better by far is to spring for a boneless Chuck roast. You can easily trim it and cut it into 1-1/2 inch cubes that cook evenly. Using the Instant Pot’s Sauté feature, you can get a beautiful brown outside. If you’re really pressed for time, you can sear just one side. Since it takes all of 7 to 10 minutes to achieve a nice dark brown, I went for browning both sides. This only makes the all-essential gravy even richer and more full-bodied. The second tip is to use nice big pieces of potato and carrots. Because everything cooks at the same time in the Instant Pot, smaller pieces will overcook and fall apart. We didn’t even cut up our carrots, relying on Trader Joe’s perfectly trimmed Les Petites Carrots of many colors. They went in whole. And our Yukon Golds were 1 ½ inch chunks.
So Essential to the success of the dish: The All-Important Beef Gravy.
What’s a beef stew without a great, bread-dippable gravy? To make this one, all you add is a half-cup of beef broth and some Worcestershire sauce. After the pressure cooking is done, the gravy is thickened with a simple slurry of cornstarch and water and simmered on Sauté. This replaces the often-used technique of tossing the meat in flour before it is seared. And that’s great news if you want to keep this recipe Gluten-Free. To finish off the dish, swirl in your favorite frozen peas for a pop of color and a note of sweetness. Garnish with parsley and serve the stew over buttered egg noodles or have some crusty country bread on hand to soak up the gravy. Here is the recipe and after if, some other Instant Pot recipes to enjoy.
Instant Pot Beef Stew in An Hour
Everything you love about a great beef stew in about an hour--tender beef, sweet carrots and peas, and Yukon Gold potatoes all in a deeply savory gravy.
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 3 medium carrots (about 12 ounces total)
- 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces total)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)
- Step 1 Cut the aromatics and beef. Dice 1 medium yellow onion, mince 2 garlic cloves and place both in a medium bowl. Trim 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
- Step 2 Season and sear the beef in two batches. Toss the beef with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker on the Sauté setting until shimmering. Add half of the beef and sear undisturbed until browned on the bottom, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer with tongs to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and beef.
- Step 3 Soften the aromatics. Add the onion and garlic to the cooker and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the vegetables.
- Step 4 Cut the vegetables. Peel 3 medium carrots and cut on a slight diagonal into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Quarter 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (you want about 1 1/2-inch chunks).
- Step 5 Add the seasonings and liquid. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 teaspoon dried thyme to the onions and cook until the tomato paste is darkened in color, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup beef broth and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits.
- Step 6 Add the vegetables and seared beef. Add the carrots, potatoes, seared beef, and any accumulated juices from the beef, and stir to combine.
- Step 7 Cook on HIGH pressure for 25 minutes. Lock the lid on and check that the valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 25 minutes on HIGH pressure. It will take 7 to 10 minutes to come up to pressure.
- Step 8 Natural release pressure for 10 minutes and make the cornstarch slurry. When the cooking time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water together. Coarsely chop some fresh parsley leaves for garnish if desired.
- Step 9 Release the remaining pressure and thicken the sauce. Quick-release any remaining pressure. Carefully open the pressure cooker and turn on the Sauté function. Stir in 3/4 cup frozen peas and the cornstarch mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Step 10 Season and serve. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the parsley if desired.
- Step 11 Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.