Beef Stew is full of tender meat, carrots, and potatoes with a luscious broth that is perfect for dipping crusty buttered bread in that is easy to make in the Instant Pot! Warm your belly on a brisk Fall evening with this delicous stew that is gluten free and can be made a head to enjoy during the week. This would be perfect with my Instant Pot Pineapple Upside Down Cake!
History of Stew
Stew is a hearty main dish that has some sort of combination of meat, vegetable, broth, and seasonings. Cooked in one pot traditionally then simmered for hours at a low heat. Once cooked the broth can be thickened to make a delicious and rich gravy. Stews have been around since ancient times with the oldest evidence of stew having been found in Japan according to Wikipedia. Different cultures around the world have been eating and perfecting stews using different cooking equipment like turtle shells then using many types of meats. If you’d like to read more about stew check out the link above to read more at Wikipedia.
How to prepare the beef stew
I’ve made this stew with sirloin which is easy to cook and makes for fall apart tender meat. So, first trim the excess fat from the sirloin. Cut the meat into fairly uniform and generous 1 1/2-inch cubes. Season the meat to your taste with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I season directly on the board, but you can remove to a bowl to season.
To brown or not to brown the meat is the question. Of course, I browned the meat for my stew. The reason is to add more complexity to the flavor of the dish. You can skip this step if you are pressed for time. However, it is worth it to sear the meat. Preheat the Instant Pot on saute or preheat a skillet to brown the cubed meat in batches then remove to a plate.
While you are browning the meat dice the onion, slice the celery, and cut the mushrooms (for small ones cut in half and large ones in quarters).
Once you are done browning the meat add the onions and celery to the pan. I like to salt and pepper just tiny bit for a little extra flavor. Saute until softened then add the mushroom to cook for another couples of minutes.
You’ll notice that the vegetables will pick up some of the crusty bits from the pan where you had cooked the meat. This is great because it’s going to add another layer of flavor. Next add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add a cup of beef broth to deglaze the pan, and scrape the brown bits of the bottom of the Instant Pot or pan.
Combine everything into the Instant Pot. Next add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, fresh thyme sprigs, parsley, bay leaf, and beef bouillon. If you don’t have fresh thyme you can substitute with dried or ground.
To this add a few peeled and cut carrots in large chunks. Then add some red potatoes with or without the skin. I scrubbed mine and then cut in half. Due to the cooking time for this recipe be sure that your vegetables are cut large. Add to the Instant Pot and add the remaining beef broth. Be sure to add enough broth to cover the ingredients. I made a double batch of this in my 6-quart. If you are doing the same only fill to the 2/3 line, and the cook time remains the same.
Cooking your beef stew
With everything now in your pressure cooker, close and seal the lid. Cook on high normal pressure for thirty minutes then follow with a ten minute natural pressure release. Once done you can make a cornstarch slurry to slightly thicken the broth. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Best Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 2 pounds beef sirloin cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- Garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
- 1 onion, small diced
- 1 celery stalk sliced
- 4 ounces mushrooms halved (small) and quartered (large)
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf small, or half a large one
- 2 sprigs of thyme can substitute with one teaspoon dried or ground
- 1 tbsp parsley dried or fresh
- 4 cups unsalted beef broth
- 1 cube beef bouillon
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp water
- 3 large carrots peeled, chopped large
- 3 large red potatoes halved or quartered
- salt and pepper to taste
- Take the cubed beef and season to taste on the cutting board or in a bowl with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Preheat the Instant Pot to saute or a skillet. Saute in olive oil until seared on all sides in batches then remove to plate.
- Add the onion and celery to the pan to cook until softened. Add the mushrooms and saute a few minutes then follow with the garlic to cook about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of the beef broth to the pan to deglaze and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot except the cornstarch and 4 tbsp of water. If needed add additional broth to cover the stew. If doubling the recipe do not fill beyond the 2/3 max fill line (I used a six-quart and I doubled the recipe).
- Seal the lid and cook on high pressure (normal setting) for 30 minutes then follow with a 10 minute natural pressure release. Combine the cornstarch and water in a bowl. Set the pot to saute and add in the cornstarch slurry. You can add more cornstarch slurry if you would like it thicker. Server immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.