For the meat:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1.5 pounds beef stewing meat (cubed)
- 2 tablespoons flour
For the gravy:
- 2 large yellow onions (cut into wedges)
- 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/3 cup dry red wine (OR use more stock)
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup OR brown sugar
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
For the vegetables:
- 1/2 pound waxy potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
- 4 large carrots (peeled, ends trimmed and cut into chunks)
- 4 large celery sticks (trimmed and thickly sliced)
- 8 ounces brown button mushrooms (cleaned and quartered)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (no need to defrost)
- Brown the meat: Set instant pot to sauté and heat oil in it. Add beef, season with salt and pepper and stir. Sprinkle flour over the meat and stir well. Cook until browned.
- Start the gravy: Add onions and cook until starting to soften. Stir in garlic, Italian seasoning and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until herbs are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour wine into the pan, scratching the browned bits off the bottom. (make sure to catch all bits or burn warning may get triggered; browning can be done in a skillet on the stove instead). Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in stock, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
- Cook: Add potatoes, carrots, celery and mushrooms to the instant pot. Stir very well. Close lid on the Instant Pot and set steam valve to "sealing". Press "meat/stew" button. Once cooking time is up, allow a natural pressure release (just leave the instant pot alone until it's safe to open).
- Finish: Once pressure has released, release lid. Stir well and check for seasoning and consistency. Set Instant Pot to sauté and add peas. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Thicken with a slurry of 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2-3 tablespoons water, if desired.
What cut is best for stew?
For a beef stew, I prefer diced chuck roast. It gets tender and flavorful when cooked right.
Please don’t go out and spend a ton of money on expensive meat when you make this stew! Cheap stew meat will definitely do.
The instant pot will tenderize it in no time at all!
Do I have to brown the beef?
You can technically skip browning the meat if you’re short on time, but it will have a big impact on the final taste.
I do recommend taking the extra 10 minutes to follow the recipe’s instructions.
If you’re not a fan of soft veggies:
I’m not going to lie. Vegetables cook fast in the instant pot, and they will be soft all the way after 45 minutes or so under pressure. It’s an extra step (so I do not usually bother), but for the sake of recipe testing I have tried this three ways:
Adding the veggies for the entire cooking time: Everything will be soft, but not disintegrated.
Adding the veggies for the last 15 minutes, only: The veggies will be cooked pretty much on point, but it is a small extra step, and you’ll lose some time bringing the pressure down, and then bringing it back up.
Cooking the vegetables separately on the stove, then adding them once the meat is done cooking: Huge extra hassle, less flavor in the gravy, thinner gravy (the potatoes help thicken), BUT you get to cook the vegetables exactly to your liking.
Personally, I always add the veggies for the entire cooking process… Since they are part of a stew, I don’t mind them being super soft. AND I’m a hater of any and all extra steps I can prevent, ha!
How do you make the meat tender?
Pressure cooking the stew helps a lot with tenderizing the meat without having to cook it for seventy hours.
The one thing you have to take care off when using a pressure cooker is to allow the stew a natural pressure release for 10 minutes after cooking. I know it’s annoying and we all want to rush this step – but it’s crucial to allow the meat fibers to relax.
That way, your meat will be tender and delicious.
How can I thicken the gravy after cooking?
While the stew won’t thicken in the pressure cooker (the liquid cannot cook away because the lid is always closed), you can thicken the stew to your taste after cooking using one of the following methods:
- blend 1 cup of the stew and stir it back in
- make a slurry of 1-2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water, set the instant pot to sauté and stir the slurry into the stew. Simmer until thickened.
The second method is my preferred one (because I don’t want to mess around with the blender etc while my family is hungry), but you can use either.
PS I love chopping vegetables with my chef’s knife, it’s so much faster than with a smaller knife! If you don’t have one, this is an amazing, budget-friendly and high-quality option:*
And this is my favorite instant pot model – look at the cute color!*
PS: I have a pretty old-school 6-quart DUO instant pot (this is an affiliate link and I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase) and that’s what I use to test my instant pot recipes. Please check your own instant pot for liquid requirements and cooking times to make sure the recipe turn out right for you.
What to serve with Beef Stew:
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P.S: For more stew recipes, check out our collection of homemade beef stew recipes!