With the busyness of this time of year, I am finding myself far more called to creating nourishing, comforting food that doesn’t eat up half the day in prep work, but that also cooks quickly and leaves us time for all the other crazy tasks we have on ours lists right now. This time of year I just want the most comforting foods, soups and stews, roasts and other hearty, seasonal meals. This Instant Pot Beef Stew is basically the best ever version of all of this! Ready in under an hour, it’ll taste as if had been cooking ALL day long.
Last year I got myself the Instant Pot, after hearing from so many people how amazing it is. I am still, after a year, learning all the things it can do. I recently began playing with the sauté feature, which allows you to sear meat, before pressure cooking it. I find this seals in the flavor and the caramelized flavors from the browning really brings more depth and richness to the overall dish. Plus, it gives us little brown bits to deglaze, which is one of my most favorite things to do when cooking.
This is comforting, winter food at it’s finest. It actually reminds me of being a kid, this is the food we grew up on. My mom made a killer beef stew on the stove top. It tastes of love, coziness and comfort.
Here’s the deal, while I crave this kind of food and truly love making and eating meals like this, I also absolutely dread photographing it. Brown food is definitely not sexy, but #reallife. Take that disdain and my love of multi-layers of flavors and textures, I decided to take to the stove and my cast iron and brown up some tiny little pearl onions with some baby carrots to finish off the bowls. These made the perfect topping to the stew, for an extra layer of flavor, color and fresh crunch to offset the stewed veggies. Feel free to skip, if you want to keep this super simple, but if you have the extra time, it’s definitely worth it.
Also, if you don’t have an Instant Pot, check out the notes section of the recipe for instructions on how you can make it in your slow cooker.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
- 3 lbs grass-fed chuck roast (We got ours from Butcher Box)
- 2 tablespoons cassava flour (GF all-purpose flour or regular flour will also work)
- ¼ cup white wine (or stock)
- 2 small onions, thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, cut in 1 ½ inch chunks
- 2 medium carrots, cut in 1 ½ inch chunks
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 lb small organic yukon gold potatoes, wedged or quartered (you can also use sweet potatoes)
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup frozen peas
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups unsalted homemade beef or chicken broth or stock (I use homemade bone broth)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (leave out for AIP)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos, gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (be sure this is gluten-free), leave out for AIP*
- For Topping:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or ghee
- 15-20 pearl onions, peeled
- fresh thyme
- 2 cups multi-color baby carrots
- Season the chuck roast (or roasts) with sea salt and black pepper. Turn your Instant Pot to "Sauté" and add your oil or ghee. You will be sautéing without the lid on. Once hot (the indicator will say "hot"), carefully lower the seasoned whole beef roast on one side and let it sear. Brown for about 5-7 minutes per side, give or take. Once all sides are seared and brown. Remove from the instant pot and set aside in a large bowl.
- While the meat is browning in the pressure cooker, in a medium bowl mix together the broth, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, coconut mains, fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
- Once you have removed the meat, with the Instant Pot still set to Sauté, add in the white wine (or stock) and deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot, stirring and getting all the brown bits up. Let the liquid evaporate a bit.
- Add more oil if necessary, and add the onions, celery and carrots. Sauté a few minutes, then add the garlic and mushrooms. Continue to sauté for about 6-8 minutes, until everything is slightly browned and softened.
- On a large cutting board, cut the seared chuck roast into 1.5 inch – 2 inch cubes on a large chopping board. Add the meat and all it's juices back in the large mixing bowl. Evenly sprinkle 2 tablespoons cassava flour or gluten-free AP flour into mixing bowl and mix well with the stew meat.
- Add the potatoes, the floured stew meat cubes and any juices and the sauce mixture to the Instant Pot. Add the bay leaves and dried thyme. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper.
- Give everything a good stir.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure it is locked and the steam valve is closed. Set it to “Stew/Meat”. This should automatically be set for 35 minutes on high pressure (in the event you have to set yours manually)
- Once cooking is completed, your Instant Pot will automatically switch over to warm – leave it as is to release the pressure slowly, or if you'd like or quick release the pressure.
- Once the pressure has released, remove the lid and set the Instant Pot to "Sauté" again, medium, to bring the stew to a simmer to allow it to reduce down slightly and it will thicken. Cook as long as you'd like. 10-15 minutes should be more than enough. Mashing some of the carrots and potatoes with a spoon helps it to thicken.
- Add the frozen peas right near the end of simmering.
- The stew will also thicken up a bit as it cools down slightly.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil or ghee over a medium high heat. Once melted and the pan is hot, add the pearl onions and baby carrots. Cool for 5-8 minutes until browned and slightly tender but still with a bit of a bite.
- Serve the beef stew with a small serving of the fresh veggies and a little fresh thyme.
KETO OPTIONS: Swap in lower starch veggies to make this keto, celeriac root/celeriac, turnip or radishes instead of potatoes, green beans instead of peas, if you'd like. Leave out the extra carrots, if you'd like. You can certainly skip the cassava flour or opt for another grain-free flour, if you'd like. But, for what it's worth: 2 tablespoons has approximately 12 grams of net carbs, divided over 9 to 10 servings, it's VERY low carb
AIP OPTIONS: leave out the tomato paste, choose stock over wine and skip the Worcestershire sauce or google to find a recipe for an AIP-friendly Worcestershire sauce
Financial compensation was not received for this post. Sample product was gifted from Butcher Box. Opinions expressed here are my own.