It’s only fall here in Minnesota, but even the hint of chilly weather demands more soups like this fantastic Instant Pot Beef Stew! This hearty soup is a savory combination of tender beef chunks, carrots, potatoes, and celery that is ready to eat in less than an hour! Serve your stew up with some of our crowd pleasing Yorkshire Puddings, or some slices of our quick French bread loaves to soak up every last bit of the amazing beef stew broth.
The most fantastic part of this essential instant pot recipe, is that beef stew is so very versatile! There are so many additions, substitutions, and variations that can be made which is a huge plus when dealing with picky eaters. For us, our picky eater isn’t a fan of carrots…however, stewed carrots like these are apparently OK with her as they are soft enough. Go figure!
What Kind of Meat To Use for Stews
Your choice of meat is important when making any stew. You need to choose a cut of beef that has enough fat content to allow the stewed meat to break apart a bit for the soft, tender beef pieces you want in a stew. Look for a cut that has ample fat marbling throughout the beef for best results (we like and recommend chuck roasts, but alot of stores will have pre-cut stew meat available as well). Overall, your best choices for any pressure cooker or slow cooker recipe is chuck roast, shoulder roast, short ribs, one of the eye or round roast varieties (eye round roast, bottom round roast, round tip roast, etc), and skirt steak.
So many of those beef cuts can usually take 2 hours or more to cook properly to achieve a moist and tender chunk of beef, using the pressure cooker just cuts that time down immensely! I would never cook a beef stew for less than 3-4 hours before, so I have to say how much I love this instant pot beef stew.
Tips for thickening your beef stew
To thicken your stew: Without flour, you can use the food processor to finely chop walnuts and add it to the soup (they are a natural thickening agent, like tomatoes). With flour, combine 3 Tbsp flour with 2 cups cold water and whisk until smooth then whisk into your stew until well combined. Stir frequently on saute for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Similarly, you can add 1 Tbsp cornstarch to a half cup of cold water, whisk until you have a smooth slurry and then whisk into the stew.
The usual beef stew is made up of beef, broth, onion, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes, and seasoning (bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper) but it can be adjusted to your family’s preferences. Just a few additional beef stew vegetable ideas are included below:
Additional Beef Stew Vegetables
- Tomato Paste
- Fresh, diced or canned tomatoes
- Frozen Peas
Last Updated: November 19th, 2019
Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 onion (medium sized, yellow or white, chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped or sliced)
- 3-4 lbs chuck roast (cut into approx 1-1 1/2 inch cubes)
- 6 c beef broth (we recommend bone broth; the broth cartons at the store are typically 32 oz = 4 cups)
- 2 lbs red potatoes (russet or yellow potatoes work; cut into large chunks, or quartered)
- 4-5 carrots (cut into large chunks or slices)
- 5-6 stalks celery (cut into large chunks or slices)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp thyme (dried, or use 6-8 stems of fresh thyme)
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- Cubed meat can be seared off prior to cooking your stew, either in a few batches in the instant pot on saute, or stovetop in a skillet at medium high heat. If you choose to do this, the cooking time can be reduced from 40 to 30 minutes.
- In your instant pot, add the oil, onion, garlic, beef, broth, potatoes, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. (Optional additions include 6 oz can of tomato paste, cut or canned tomatoes, turnips, frozen peas, mushrooms - peas and/or mushrooms would be added after the cooking time, then turn your pressure cooker to saute and cook for an additional 5 minutes)
- Stir to combine your stew ingredients. Set and seal the lid, then cook on Manual High Pressure for 40 minutes.
- Carefully vent the pressure once cooked, or allow the pressure to release slowly.
- Serve with more fresh thyme for garnish (if desired).