Nothing quite beats a good insta pot beef stew recipes; it is a recipe you pull out when the weather gets cold, and you need a tasty stew to warm up your weary bones. It has a way of warming you up and leaving you feeling cozy, unlike any other winter dish.
This delicious stew is an easy-to-make dish. You can even make it on a busy weeknight. Even in a rush, it won’t alter the delightful layers of divine flavoring.
The savory tender beef, soft potatoes, and wholesome veg give you all you need to feel warm, complete, and happy!
When you have some time to spare, make it on the stovetop. However, you could even try it in a slow cooker if you need to do some errands and chores while you cook!
What Is Insta Pot Beef Stew?
Insta Pot Beef Stew is a hearty, comforting dish made using the Insta Pot, a popular electric pressure cooker. It combines tender beef pieces, vibrant vegetables, and rich broth infused with spices and herbs.
This modern approach to a classic dish ensures faster cooking times without compromising flavor or texture.
The result? A mouthwatering stew that evokes traditional home-cooked goodness, prepared in a fraction of the time. It’s a perfect blend of convenience and culinary delight.
History Of Insta Pot Beef Stew
The history of beef stew dates back centuries and is relished across cultures as a hearty comfort food. The Insta Pot, however, is a 21st-century invention, revolutionizing how we cook.
Merging the age-old love for beef stew with modern technology, Insta Pot Beef Stew was born. This innovative method reduces slow, simmering hours to mere minutes while retaining rich flavors and tenderness.
As the Insta Pot gained popularity, this contemporary take on a classic dish became a household favorite, signifying both tradition and innovation.
Interesting Facts About The Insta Pot Beef Stew
- Time-Saver: Traditional beef stew could take 3-4 hours to simmer. Insta Pot reduces this to under an hour!
- Nutrient Retention: Pressure cooking in the Insta Pot preserves more vitamins and minerals than other methods.
- Versatility: The Insta Pot allows variations, from wine-infused broths to global flavors like curry or teriyaki.
- Safety First: Modern pressure cookers like Insta Pot have multiple safety mechanisms, ensuring no repeats of older cooker mishaps.
- Sealing in Flavor: Cooking under pressure locks in the juices, ensuring every bite is flavorful.
- Eco-Friendly: Using Insta Pot conserves energy, making it an eco-friendlier choice compared to prolonged stove cooking.
- Rising Trend: #InstaPotRecipes trend frequently on social media, with beef stew being a popular star.
What Makes The Insta Pot Beef Stew Special?
Why should you try this recipe? Well, there are a few reasons you should give it a try. Let’s look at why this insta pot beef stew recipe should be your first choice when the weather gets cooler!
It produces a savory and succulent beef that melts in your mouth. Your fork will easily tear pieces off each chunk!
- It is packed with wholesome potatoes and vegetables for all the nutrition you need.
- It is a dish easily doable in the middle of the week, and it only takes an hour to make!
- It spreads a fervent warmth around the dinner table.
|Vegetable oil||3-4 tbsp|
|Beef stew meat||2 lbs, cut into ½ inch cubes|
|Onion||1 ½ cups, chopped|
|Garlic cloves||4, minced|
|Tomato paste||2 tbsp|
|Low-sodium beef broth||3 cups|
|Beef flavored “Better Than Bouillon”||1 tbsp|
|Worcestershire sauce||2 tbsp|
|Italian seasoning||1 tbsp|
|Dried thyme||½ tsp|
|Salt||2 ¼ tsp|
|Black pepper||1 tsp|
|Russet potatoes||2 cups, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes|
|Carrots||2 cups, peeled and diced|
|Peas (frozen)||1 cup|
|Cornstarch (dissolved in cold water)||3 tbsp in ¼ cup of water|
|Parsley||2 tbsp, chopped|
Ingredients You Will Need
Let’s take a look at what you will need for this stew. There is some leniency, however, and if you do not like a particular ingredient, you can substitute. However, ensure that any substitutions you make suit this dish!
Stew Meat/ The Beef
- We prefer to use beef chuck in this recipe. It will come from the front shoulder and has enough connective tissue to melt into the meat and make it extra tender.
- If you are unsure about using this specific meat cut, be aware that it works scientifically, and the amount of connective tissue in this particular cut of beef is precisely what makes it so juicy and tender!
- We usually use a mixture of carrots, peas, onions, and potatoes to give this stew the flavors and texture it needs and the essential nutrition required to warm it up.
- Choose a low-sodium beef broth for this recipe, as it will allow you to add salt separately, so you can have a stew as high or low as you wish. This choice is also best as it tastes better than water.
- If you add salt separately, then at the right concentration, it can enhance the umami flavor of a savory dish like this!
- Add in a can of tomato paste; even though it may sound unorthodox, it can help with the fond and introduce a delicate but sweet undertone to the recipe.
Better Than Boullion
- This is a spiced flavoring paste that is divine. It has more flavor than the traditional salty bouillon cubes we are all familiar with. It is also easier to measure as well.
- Use a lot or only a little, depending on the desired outcome!
Additional Herbs & Spices
- Add in some thyme, some parsley, maybe some Italian seasoning, and a Bay leaf to provide your insta pot beef stew recipe a unique ambrosial flavor you won’t forget any time soon!
Before you get cooking, there are a few things that you will want to be mindful of as you cook. Let’s take a look at these things.
Considerations With Browning The Beef
- Building the incredible beefy flavor that is in this stew is something that should be done in stages. The first part of doing this is browning the beef.
- This dish aspect is vital; you must do this in a single layer. Even if you need to brown a couple of batches, this will create proper browning that will caramelize the beef’s exterior and create a fond.
- A fond is the little brown bits at the bottom of your pot.
- This will add great flavor to the insta pot beef stew, and you will surely notice it if you missed out on this stage!
Don’t Forget To Sauté The Aromatics!
- You must take the time required to sauté your onions and garlic until they are soft properly.
Don’t Forget To Sauté Your Veggies!
- Sautéing the veggies will help to coax out the mild, sweet flavors of the vegetables into the stew.
Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?
- Keto: Replace potatoes with low-carb alternatives like radishes or turnips. Use bone broth for added nutrients.
- Paleo: Opt for grass-fed beef. Remove cornstarch; thicken with a blend of tapioca starch and water. Exclude Worcestershire sauce or find a paleo-compliant version.
- Gluten-Free: Ensure the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce are gluten-free. Use a gluten-free thickening agent like arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch.
- Whole30: Skip the cornstarch and tomato paste. Ensure no additives in beef broth and use Whole30-approved seasonings.
- Vegetarian & Vegan: Substitute beef with hearty mushrooms, lentils, or tofu. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth, and omit “Better Than Bouillon.”
- Use a 6.5-quart Instant Pot and select “sauté”.
- Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil; wait for “hot” display.
- Brown beef in batches for even cooking.
- Add 1 ½ cups of onions and 4 cloves garlic. Sauté until soft (~3 mins). Mix in 2 tbsp tomato paste.
- Pour 3 cups of beef broth. Scrape the pot base to loosen browned bits, preventing the “burn” indicator.
- Stir in ‘Better Than Bouillon’ (1 tbsp), 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp thyme, 1 Bay leaf, and 2 ½ tsp salt and pepper.
- Seal the lid and set it to “manual-high pressure” for 35 minutes. It’ll start automatically.
- After, “quick release” for 10 minutes. Open the lid carefully, and discard the Bay leaf. Enjoy!
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
- Global Twists: Incorporate flavors like curry spices for an Indian touch or soy sauce and star anise for an Asian flair.
- Vegetarian: Swap beef for lentils, chickpeas, or tofu.
- Veggies: Green beans, corn, bell peppers, or zucchini can add more color and nutrients.
- Grains: Barley or quinoa can be introduced for extra heartiness.
- Fresh Herbs: Chopped cilantro, basil, or rosemary can elevate flavors.
- Cheese: A sprinkle of Parmesan or crumbled feta can add creaminess.
- Nuts & Seeds: Crushed cashews or pumpkin seeds can offer a delightful crunch.
- Zest: Lemon or orange zest can provide a surprisingly fresh twist.
Scaling The Recipe
- Ingredient Proportions: If doubling or halving, adjust all ingredients accordingly. For example, if the original calls for 2 lbs of beef and you’re halving, use 1 lb.
- Sautéing: When increasing, brown meat in additional batches to prevent overcrowding.
- Liquid Levels: Ensure the liquid doesn’t exceed the Instant Pot’s max fill line. Conversely, always have enough liquid to cover a minimum requirement, preventing burn notices.
- Cooking Time: While meat and vegetable quantities might change, the pressure cooking time remains relatively consistent. However, note that larger quantities might take longer to reach pressure.
- Taste & Adjust: Always taste before serving. Larger batches might need seasoning tweaks.
What Is Used For Garnishing?
- Fresh Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, or chopped parsley sprigs add color and aromatic freshness.
- Crusty Bread Crumbs: Lightly toasted crumbs add crunch and absorb the rich broth.
- Grated Cheese: A sprinkle of Parmesan or aged cheddar melts delicately into the hot stew.
- Sliced Green Onions: Their mild, sharp bite complements the stew’s depth.
- Red Pepper Flakes: For those desiring a spicy kick.
- Lemon Zest: Brightens the dish with its citrusy notes.
Can I Make Insta Pot Beef Stew In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?
- To make beef stew in a slow cooker, brown the beef and sauté the onions and garlic in a skillet for added flavor. Transfer these to your slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except for thickening agents like cornstarch.
- Cook on ‘Low’ for 7-8 hours or ‘High’ for 3-4 hours. If thickening is desired, mix in the dissolved cornstarch during the last 30 minutes.
- “Insta Pot” is often used interchangeably with “Instant Pot,” a popular brand of electric pressure cookers.
- So, the provided recipe is already tailored for the Instant Pot.
Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?
- Convenience: Ready to use, it’s a time-saver.
- Consistency: Offers a uniform taste and quality.
- Variety: Comes in multiple flavors – low-sodium, organic, bone broth, etc.
- Flavor Control: You can adjust seasoning, richness, and intensity.
- Freshness: Free from preservatives and additives.
- Cost-Effective: Utilize leftover bones and veggie scraps.
- Nutritional Value: Often richer in nutrients, especially if making bone broth.
Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Stew?
- Chicken: Use boneless chunks for a lighter stew.
- Pork: Tenderloin or shoulder brings a different richness.
- Salmon or Cod: They hold up well but reduce cooking time to prevent overcooking.
- Orzo or Ditalini: Add these for a soup-stew hybrid. Ensure sufficient liquid.
- Sweet Potatoes: A nutritious alternative to russet potatoes.
- Kale or Spinach: Add greens for added nutrients.
- Bell Peppers: Introduce color and sweet notes.
Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup
Tips and Tricks for Insta Pot Beef Stew:
- Meat Cuts: Choose chuck roast for tenderness. Cut uniformly for even cooking.
- Veggies: Dice to similar sizes for consistent cooking.
- Browning: Searing meat enhances flavor depth. Don’t overcrowd the pot.
Cooking Time Tips
- Reach Pressure: Larger quantities take longer to pressurize. Factor this into the total cook time.
- Thickening: For a thicker stew, use a cornstarch or arrowroot slurry. Add post-pressure cooking and simmer using the ‘sauté’ function.
- Deglaze: After sautéing, use broth to scrape up browned bits. This prevents burn notices and infuses flavor.
Understanding the nutritional components of Insta Pot Beef Stew can guide healthier dining choices. This dish boasts essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals, balancing indulgence and nourishment. Let’s delve into its nutritional profile.
What Are The Total Calories In The Stew?
Calculating the exact calories in the Insta Pot Beef Stew requires detailed nutritional data for each ingredient and their specific quantities. However, following the same recipe above, you will get 301 kcal per serving. It is better to use a calorie-counting app for an accurate calorie count.
Dietary Restrictions Of The Insta Pot Beef Stew
- Gluten: Ingredients like Worcestershire sauce and some store-bought broths might contain gluten.
- Soy: Worcestershire sauce can contain soy.
- Red Meat: The dish contains beef, making it unsuitable for vegetarians and some who avoid red meat for health or religious reasons.
- High Sodium: Store-bought broths and “Better Than Bouillon” might be high in sodium.
- Allergens: Some might be allergic to specific ingredients, such as tomato paste.
- Carbohydrates: Ingredients like potatoes and cornstarch increase carb content, which may not be suitable for low-carb diets.
Health Benefits Of The Insta Pot Beef Stew
- Protein-Packed: Beef provides essential amino acids, supporting muscle growth and repair.
- Rich in Iron: Beef elevates iron levels, aiding red blood cell formation.
- Vitamin Boost: Vegetables like carrots and peas offer vitamins A, C, and K, bolstering immunity and eye health.
- Fiber Source: Potatoes and carrots promote digestive health with dietary fiber.
- Bone Health: Beef broth can contain collagen and minerals, supporting joint and bone health.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Ingredients like garlic and onion have properties that combat inflammation.
- Herbal Goodness: Thyme and bay leaves provide essential oils and antioxidants, potentially benefiting overall health.
How Can I Make Insta Pot Beef Stew Lower In Sodium?
- Homemade Broth: Use homemade beef broth without salt. This gives control over sodium content.
- Low-Sodium Products: Opt for low-sodium versions of store-bought broths, bouillons, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Limit Added Salt: Reduce or omit added salt. Enhance flavor with herbs and spices instead.
- Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato paste, which can be high in sodium.
- Rinse Canned Goods: If using canned vegetables, rinse them to remove excess sodium.
- Herbs and Spices: Enhance flavor with rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, and spices like pepper and paprika.
How Can I Make Insta Pot Beef Stew Lower In Sugar?
- Natural Tomato Products: Use fresh tomatoes or no-sugar-added tomato paste. Some brands add sugar for flavor.
- Homemade Broth: Commercial broths can contain hidden sugars. Homemade versions offer control.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Opt for a brand without added sugars or reduced quantity.
- Veggies: Choose low-glycemic vegetables like zucchini or green beans instead of higher-sugar veggies.
- Watch Add-ins: Avoid ingredients or accompaniments with hidden sugars, like certain breads or sauces.
- Seasoning: Rely on herbs and spices for flavor enhancement, not sugar-based seasonings.
- Check Labels: Always check labels for sugar content when using store-bought products.
How To Serve The Insta Pot Beef Stew At Its Best?
- Rest & Thicken: Allow the stew to rest a few minutes after cooking; this lets flavors meld. If needed, thicken with a cornstarch slurry.
- Warm Bowls: Serve in pre-warmed bowls to retain the stew’s heat longer.
- Accompaniments: Pair with crusty bread or a side of green salad for texture contrast.
- Garnish: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley or a dash of black pepper on top for a fresh touch.
- Reheat: If serving later, reheat gently to avoid overcooking the meat.
- Pairing: Consider a robust red wine or cold beer complementing the rich flavors.
- Serving Size: Provide ample broth with meat and veggies in each portion for a balanced bite.
Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Insta Pot Beef Stew
- Crusty Bread: Grabs the rich broth and adds a crispy contrast.
- Mashed Potatoes: Offers a creamy base that enhances the stew’s heartiness.
- Steamed Greens: Kale or Swiss chard provides a fresh counter to the stew’s richness.
- Roasted Vegetables: Caramelized Brussels sprouts or carrots introduce a sweet note.
- Polenta or Grits: Their creamy texture balances the stew’s meaty components.
- Coleslaw: A tangy, crunchy side to break the stew’s savory profile.
- Red Wine: A medium-bodied wine elevates the beef’s flavor.
- Rice Pilaf: Absorbs the broth and provides a mild, grainy contrast.
- Garlic Knots: Adds a garlicky touch, perfect for dipping.
How Long Can We Store The Stew?
This is totally doable if you fancy freezing or simply storing your insta pot beef stew.
Like any stew, it is also a great idea to make this dish in advance so that dinner is already made when you get home late from that busy meeting, and you only have to heat it.
How Long Can You Keep An Insta Pot Beef Stew In The Fridge?
If you store this stew in the fridge, feel confident it will last around 3 to 4 days. You should keep it in a reasonably sized resealable container or use a gallon-sized Ziplock to save space.
You can keep them in single-serve portions in shallow, airtight Tupperware containers. For easy grab-to-go work lunches, you can reheat them at the office!
Can You Freeze An Insta Pot Beef Stew?
- You can freeze this stew if you decide to. It can stay frozen for up to 6 months. So, if you plan on freezing it, wait to add the potatoes and the cornstarch slurry.
- Freezing will cause the slurry to separate, making the potatoes grainy.
- So, instead, you can thaw this stew overnight in the fridge to ensure texture consistency.
- Or, you could pre-cook the potatoes, thaw the stew, heat it up, and then add the potatoes to cook. Then, you can finally add the cornstarch when you heat it to serve it.
Is This A Good Dish To Make In Advance?
This dish is a great choice to make in advance. If you make it a day in advance, the flavors are better one to two days later!
What Can We Do With Leftovers?
- Stew Pies: Fill pie crusts with leftover stew and bake until golden.
- Stew Sandwiches: Layer stew ingredients between toasted bread for a hearty sandwich.
- Stew-Topped Potatoes: Spoon over baked or mashed potatoes for a filling meal.
- Stew Pasta: Mix with pasta and a touch of cheese for a twist on pasta bake.
- Stew Omelette: Add to beaten eggs and cook for a meaty, savory breakfast.
- Stew Tacos: Use stew meat and veggies as taco fillings. Add fresh lettuce and salsa.
- Stew Soup: Thin with broth, add veggies, and reheat for a different soup version.
- Stew Croquettes: Combine with breadcrumbs and eggs, form balls, then deep-fry.
- Stew Quesadillas: Spread between tortillas with cheese and grill.
- Stew Stir-Fry: Reheat with added fresh veggies and serve over rice.
Special Tools/Equipment Needed
- Instant Pot: It’s a multi-function electric pressure cooker designed to speed up cooking.
- Wooden Spoon: Essential for sautéing ingredients and deglazing the pot to prevent the ‘burn’ warning.
- Sharp Knife: For dicing beef and chopping vegetables uniformly.
- Cutting Board: Preferably two for meat and one for vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
- Measuring Spoons & Cups: For accurate ingredient quantities.
- Mixing Bowl: Useful for seasoning beef or tossing vegetables in oil.
- Tongs: For turning and browning the beef evenly.
- Slotted Spoon: Helps in removing ingredients, leaving behind the broth.
- Strainer: If you’re making homemade broth, it’s essential for a clear liquid.
- Storage Containers: For refrigerating leftovers or prepped ingredients.
This is the ideal stew for busy people who do not always have the time to cook fantastic dinners. It is perfect as it can be made in advance, and the longer you leave it, the better it tastes.
Why not make this stew on a lazy Sunday evening and watch it last until Friday?
With so much flavor, warmth, and great flavor, you can’t say no to this delicious stew and how much it offers for a dish only cooked in an hour!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Wine In My Insta Pot Beef Stew For Added Depth Of Flavor?
Undoubtedly, red wine can be incorporated to impart depth and richness. If you add wine, consider reducing an equivalent amount of beef broth to maintain the liquid balance. Remember to allow the wine to simmer briefly to cook off the alcohol.
Is There A Particular Cut Of Beef That Works Best For This Stew?
For stews, cuts like chuck roast or beef chuck shoulder are ideal due to their fat content and connective tissue. These cuts become tender and flavorful when cooked under pressure.
How Do I Avoid Overcooking The Vegetables In The Stew?
Vegetables can become mushy if overcooked. Cut them into larger chunks or add them halfway through the pressure cooking process, especially if they cook quickly.
Can I Add Other Herbs And Spices To The Recipe?
Absolutely. The recipe can be customized based on personal preferences. Rosemary, basil, or paprika can be added. However, one should ensure a balanced profile to avoid overpowering the dish’s core flavors.
The “Burn” Notice Appears Frequently On My Instant Pot. How Can I Prevent This?
The “Burn” notice is often a result of insufficient liquid or food particles sticking to the pot’s bottom. Ensure you have enough liquid in the recipe, and always deglaze the pot after sautéing by scraping off any browned bits with a wooden spoon. This action not only prevents burning but also adds flavor to the stew.
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