Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
Instant Pot beef stew is one pot dinner with fall apart beef and lots of veggies cooked in delicious gravy sauce. Like my Ukrainian grandma used to make. Easy instructions and simple ingredients will blow your mind in this most flavorful pressure cooker beef stew recipe on the web.
This Instant Pot stew was the recipe that convinced my husband, Alex, that Instant Pot is the thing. It was his turn to cook. He pulled out a huge chunk of frozen deer meat, cut it up and it was enough for 4 stews. Since then we have perfected this recipe over 20 times.:)
What Are Instant Pot Stew Ingredients?
My simple Instant Pot beef stew recipe has minimum ingredients and maximum flavor. The way I remember my grandma cooked in Ukraine 30 years ago. I met you, my American and Canadian friends, in the middle and added your stew’s staple, peas, at the end.
- Beef stew meat
- Onion, celery, carrots and potatoes
- Tomato paste and stock
- Oregano, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and pepper
- Fresh dill and garlic (do not skip!)
No paprika, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, red wine etc. Save your money and time, seriously.
What Is the Best Beef Stew Meat?
Beef is expensive. I use chuck roast or any other cheap roast. Affordable roast turns into tender beef in Instant Pot. Just slice it into 1 inch pieces and you are good to go. Organic or grass fed is a bonus but as you can tell doesn’t happen here always.
Game meat. I have used cubed venison and moose many times. Delish! Same cooking time. My mom hunts.
Do I Have to Brown The Meat?
I do not brown meat when pressure cooking. Simply because food cooked under high pressure is more flavorful than using a stovetop method. The whole point of using Instant Pot is to save time and not hover over the stove. I also feel like stainless steel pot with high walls doesn’t exactly brown the meat. It steams it more. There is no that brown char.
Tip: But hey, if you got time and think you should brown meat – go ahead. You will make Instant Pot stew only better.:)
Can I Use Frozen Meat?
You can use frozen cubed meat. Just make sure pieces are not more than 2-3 stuck together. As for cooking time, I show you in the video how I added some frozen meat along with fresh and it cooked perfectly all at same time. When cooking frozen meat in Instant Pot, it just takes longer to build up pressure as liquid is cooler. Cooking time is the same as with fresh meat. And while I am 99% confident in that, I will say that you can add 10 minutes to cooking time when making Instant Pot beef stew with frozen meat.
Tip: Thaw frozen meat a bit in water or on a counter (if have time) and separate.
What Are Best Potatoes to Use?
- Yellow potatoes, yellow flesh or red potatoes cut into 2″ pieces.
- I like to use baby potatoes because a) pre-washed b) Costco always has them c) barely any cutting.
- Russet potatoes if you like fall apart potatoes in a stew.
Tip: According to Organic Facts, potatoes contain a lot of potassium especially in the skin and right underneath it. For this reason, I do not peel potatoes, only Russet.
How Long to Cook Beef Stew in Instant Pot?
30-35 minutes on high pressure. Those 5 minutes do not make or break the deal. But the longer any stew or soup cooks or sits (especially under pressure and steam), the more flavor it develops.
Nothing is sauteed, no unnecessary ingredients, no “burn” message. The best pressure cooker stew recipe on the net. I mean it. Go Google yourself and I will see you in 5, you’ll be back.
Do I Have to Stir the Stew?
No need to stir before cooking most Instant Pot recipes. The reason is because heating element is located at the bottom, some ingredients like canned tomato products, ground turkey or lack of water can cause dreaded “burn” message. Just add ingredients in the order listed in the recipe: vegetables, meat, tomato paste, spices and broth. Don’t stir and you are good to go.
My Instant Pot stew will never give you a “burn” message.
Natural or Quick Release?
Doesn’t matter much.
With kids sports, business, house renos I am always running everywhere. I do not have time to wait for Instant Pot to bring pressure down naturally. I need to feed everyone and go. I use natural release and vent outside…
Venting pressure right after Instant Pot has finished cooking is a very messy process. Liquids are still bubbling because of high pressure. So, to avoid cleaning countertops and house smelling like stew for days, it’s much easier to vent outside.
What Makes This The Best Beef Stew?
After venting pressure out, open the lid and “oh, yeah, baby!”. Add frozen peas and my 2 secret flavor boosters – fresh garlic and dill. It is one thing to cook garlic. And it is completely different experience to eat a dish with freshly grated garlic.
And fresh dill. You have never tried dill in a stew? Try and you will be blown away, pinky promise!
Tip: I don’t recommend to use dried dill. If you are not a fan of dill or don’t have any on hand, add fresh parsley.
How to Thicken Instant Pot Beef Stew
If you like thick gravy beef stew, you can make a slurry and thicken the stew. Switch electric pressure cooker to Saute. In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup cold (!!!) water + 4 tbsp cornstarch, add to the pot and stir gently. Cook for a few minutes until thickened.
Tip: If you made a slurry beforehand, make sure to stir it right before adding to the pot. Cornstarch settles fast.
What Instant Pot Size Can I Use?
I have included Instant Pot beef stew recipes for 2 sizes: 6 quart Instant Pot (the most popular) and 8 quart. If you have 3 quart one, cut 6 quart ingredients in half but use same cooking time.
Tip: Check out slightly cheaper Cosori that works just as good (I have one too).
More Healthy Instant Pot Recipes to Try:
Now, did I make you open that box finally?! Good! Go try my other Instant Pot recipes and keep being blown away how easy it is to cook healthy and delicious meals:
- Instant Pot chicken and potatoes is a version of chicken stew with amazing reviews!
- Instant Pot bone broth– same health benefits in 1 hour instead of simmering all day.
- Instant Pot chicken noodle soup – another Ukrainian grandma’s recipe.
- Instant Pot chili that tastes like it has been simmering all day.
Watch Olena Make Beef Stew in Instant Pot
And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!
It’s my Ukrainian heritage recipe that is neither thick nor soupy, and packs so much flavour, even if you hate cooking, you will want to cook this easy Instant Pot stewing beef recipe. I still have a few tricks under my belt.Print
Instant Pot Beef Stew
Pressure Cooker Beef Stew is one pot dinner with fall apart beef and lots of veggies cooked in delicious gravy sauce. Like my Ukrainian grandma used to make. No Burn message too. Pinky promise, you will love it!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 7 (6 Qt.), 11 (8 Qt.) servings 1x
- Category: Soup and Stew
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Ukrainian
6 Quart Instant Pot
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 small celery stalks, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, grated & divided
- 2 lbs potatoes, cubed
- 1.5 lbs chuck or any cheap roast beef, cubed into 1” pieces
- 6 oz can tomato paste, low sodium
- 1 bouillon cube
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- 1 tsp thyme, dried
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
8 Quart Instant Pot
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 4 small celery stalks, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, grated & divided
- 3 lbs potatoes, cubed
- 2 lbs chuck or any cheap roast beef, cubed into 1” pieces
- 6 oz can tomato paste, low sodium
- 2 bouillon cubes
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme, dried
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 bay leaves
- 7 peppercorns
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 4 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- In Instant Pot, add onion, carrot, celery, 2 garlic cloves, potatoes and beef as you are cutting them. Then add tomato paste, bouillon + water or stock, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaves and peppercorns. No need to stir, just flatten tomato paste with a spoon.
- Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High for 30 minutes. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown from 30 minutes will begin.
- When display says OFF, stew is ready. Now your Instant Pot needs to bring pressure down before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve. You can let it do it on its own which will take about 15-20 minutes – Natural Release. OR you can do Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 2-3 minutes. I recommend doing so outside to avoid countertop mess and house smelling like stew for days.
- Open the lid, add peas, remaining 2 cloves of garlic and dill. Stir.
- To thicken beef stew: Switch electric pressure cooker to Saute. In a small bowl, whisk cold water with cornstarch, add to the pot and stir gently. Cook for a few minutes until thickened.
- Serve hot.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container or inner Instant Pot pot with a fitting glass lid for up to 5 days.
Freeze: I have not tried to freeze the stew as there are never leftovers and I question how well potatoes would thaw.
You can use frozen cubed meat. Thaw it a bit in water or on a counter (if have time) and separate into blobs of 2-3 pieces. Add 10 minutes to cooking time.
Replace bouillon cubes + water with any stock. I just like to keep dry cubes instead of open carton going bad in the fridge.
If you made a slurry beforehand, make sure to stir it right before adding to the pot. Cornstarch settles fast.
I don’t recommend to use dried dill. If you are not a fan of dill or don’t have any on hand, add fresh parsley.
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