Oh, my goodness. This is Heaven in a bowl.
This recipe makes me so glad that I am still blogging about food. (Novel almost finished! A week or two before I hit send to the publisher and I am so, so proud of how it’s turned out. Will keep you posted when they tell me its available.)
After I did an IG story where I made beef stew in the Instapot, I had a bunch of people ask me how I make it, so I was determined to snap some pics the next time we had it. Lucky for you, we made it last night. The sun set while it was cooking away and we took a nature walk, so these last few shots are only lit with artificial lights, which is my photo pet peeve. But the recipe is SO amazing, I have to spread the love, sub-par pics and all.
To start with, you just shake your cubed meat in a ziplock bag with the flour and salt and pepper. I tend to buy the already cubed meat from my farmer or local grocer, but cutting up a chuck roast or pot roast or even steak are fine too. Then brown them. (If you are trying to make this whole30 compliant, skip the flour and use Coconut Aminos instead of Soy Sauce. I think Worcestershire sauce is ok? If you want to be on the safe side use 2 cups beef broth + 1 cube beef bullion).
Note: This recipe calls for 2-2.5 lbs of meat, or enough for 6+ servings. You can sauté them in the Instapot on the sauté setting. But the bottom of the Instapot is small, so you have to do it in batches so you don’t crowd the pan. I usually just heat 2 T. oil in each pan and brown half in the instant (top picture) and half in the stovetop pan (bottom picture). You can see that both yield that lovely caramel brown color on the meat that adds so much flavor.
The key is to get the browned bits up with the beef stock, so don’t forget to de-glaze the pan with a cup or so of beef stock or the liquid mixture after you dump the meat into the Instapot. This is just 2 cups beef stock, 1 T. Worcestershire, 1 T. Soy sauce, and 3 T. tomato sauce.
Once all the browned meat is nestled into the Instapot with the liquid mixture and brown bits, add 2 bay leaves and 4 or so thyme branches, then put the lid on. Turn the Instapot “Meat/Stew” setting on, and it might default to 50 minutes, or 30 minutes. Use the +/- buttons to set it to 40 minutes. It will first just say “On” like this, but as the minutes start to tick down you will see the number of minutes left.
When it is done cooking you can see the amazing dark gravy that the Instapot produces:
While this cooks, chop up your veggies. I use 4 carrots, 4 potatoes, 2 celery, all cut to 2-inch size pieces, plus 2 onions sliced. When the 40 minutes is up, just toss all the veggies in, and add 1 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper on top.
Then, hit the Meat/Stew setting again, and using the +/- buttons set it for 15 minutes. When it is done you get:
What is in the bowl can be Whole30 compliant. What is outside of the bowl cannot.
The Instapot is fairly easy to use, the only thing that stresses me out is getting the lid on and off sometimes, but otherwise it is strait forward. If you have any questions using it feel free to leave me a comment or message me on IG.
I am blown away for the third time by how delicious this recipe is in the Instapot. I am convinced it makes the meat even more flavorful and tender than any other method. I hope you get to try this soon with your family. Mine licked their bowls. So so yummy.
Happy Eating, xoxo Katie
Best Instapot Beef Stew (printer version here):
4 T. extra virgin olive oil*
2-2.5 lbs. cubed stew meat
2 t. salt
1 t. Pepper
4 T. flour* (omit for whole30)
2 c. beef stock
1 T. Worcestershire sauce*
1 T. soy sauce*
3 T. tomato paste
3-4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 celery stalks
2 onions, sliced
* Items with asterisk may be omitted or substituted to make recipe whole30 compliant
Cook Times: Brown Meat = 5-10 minutes – Meat + Liquids = 40 min. – Veggies = 15 min. Total = 60-70 min.
Set Instapot to Saute setting and let it get to Hot, then add 2 T oil. (You will need to cook the meat in batches to not crowd the bottom of the Instapot. To save time, you can cook half in Instapot and half in a pan. I preheat a large pan on stove to medium high heat and add the other 2 T. oil and cook half in pan while first half cooks in Instapot.)
Add cubed meat to ziplock bag, and add flour, salt and pepper. Shake well to coat evenly.
Add half of seasoned meat to Instapot, half to hot pan (or cook in 2 batches in the Instapot). Cook until meat in each until it is browned, about 5-6 minutes, stirring both pans frequently to brown all sides. While it cooks, mix together beef stock, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste and mix together.
When meat is browned, put all meat into Instapot along with bay leaves and thyme. Deglaze pan with some of liquid mixture, scraping up brown bits, and add along with the rest of the liquids to Instapot. Add lid, and set Instapot to Meat/Saute setting for 40 minutes. Allow steam to release when done.
While meat cooks, chop carrots, celery and potatoes into 2 inch chunks. When meat is done, add to pot along with 1 t. salt and ½ t. Pepper. Add lid and set Meat/Saute setting to 15 minutes. When done, let steam out and then remove lid.