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Instant Pot: Hearty Beef Stew

In the winter, one of my favorite dishes to make is a Hearty Beef Stew. Making the stew for dinner came at a perfect time since we had some leftover red wine from our recent sushi party. (Which is odd since I try my best not to have leftover wine under any circumstance lol!) Nonetheless, this hearty stew will warm you up like a comforting blanket on a cool night...

When it comes to beef stew, I find the best cut of beef to use is beef chuck. It's perfect for long, slow cooking and absorbs flavors really well. This recipe starts out with browning the cubed beef to get some color going as well as building up some flavor with the fond (the little brown bits from cooking the beef). Flour is sprinkled in to help the create a thickener for the stew and then the pot is deglazed with red wine and broth. Aromatics are added, including bay leaf, fresh thyme and soy sauce. After a quick stir, the stew does it's magic as it pressure cooks. Once the beef is tender, baby carrots and mushrooms are added and continues to pressure cooks for a little bit more. Just before serving, frozen peas are stirred in and warmed through. And after all that patience, it's finally time to dig in! This goes very well with a Mashed Potato Casserole, which I served with the stew. And just as they say with wine as it ages, this stew is even better the next day!

Hearty Beef Stew
recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

5 pounds boneless beef chuck eye roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 onions, minced (about 4 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1/4 cup all purpose flour, seasoned
2 cups red wine
2 cups low sodium chicken or beef broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound baby carrots
1 cup button mushrooms, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups frozen peas



In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Season the beef with salt and pepper and dredge in flour to coat. Shake off any excess.

Press SAUTE and add 2 tablespoons oil into the IP. When hot, add the seasoned & coated beef in batches to the IP in a single layer and brown on all sides. Remove browned beef from IP and transfer to a plate; set aside. Repeat with remaining beef.

After all the beef has been browned and removed from the IP, add the remaining oil, onions and garlic to the IP and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. 

Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Return beef to pot and add flour, stirring constantly, until no dry flour remains, about 30 seconds.


Slowly add wine, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits.

Allow wine to simmer until thickened and slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, bay leaves, thyme, and soy sauce. 

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 35 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 35 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 35 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

When the display reflects 10:00 (which is 10 minutes since the IP has beeped) all pressure should have naturally released. If not, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

D
iscard bay leaves. Stir in the baby carrots.


Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.


Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 5 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 5 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 5 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

When the display reflects 10:00 (which is 10 minutes since the IP has beeped) all pressure should have naturally released. If not, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Serve hot and with your preferred sides.