Instant Pot: Beef & Bacon Stew

Nothing beats a comforting dish this time of year. A favorite fall and winter dish is a beef stew and I knew this Hearty Beef & Bacon Stew was perfect for the cool weather we've been having and something I knew my family would enjoy. A large pot of pressure cooked beef and smoky bacon, a melange of colorful vegetables and mound of fluffy Parmesan garlic mashed potatoes hit the spot for dinner...

For this stew, I omitted the traditional chunks of potatoes thrown in and instead, served the stew over mashed potatoes for a heartier meal. We enjoyed this recipe quite a bit and it's especially delicious over mashed potatoes, steamed rice or noodles. The leftovers are great as well since it absorbs the flavors even more. 

Hearty Beef & Bacon Stew
recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma

4 oz. thick-cut bacon, chopped
3 Tbs. {gluten free} flour
1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
3 lb. boneless beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into chunks
3/4 lb. fresh white button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 lb. baby carrots
1/2 lb. frozen pearl onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry red wine {Merlot}
1 cup beef broth
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs. minced fresh thyme

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

In a sealable plastic bag, combine the flour, the 1 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the beef chunks and shake to coat evenly with the flour mixture. 

Press SAUTE and add 
the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 3-5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, leaving the drippings in the pan.

Add half of the flour coated beef to the now empty IP and cook in bacon drippings, turning once, until well browned. Transfer the beef to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef chunks. Once all beef has been browned, return all beef into the IP.

Add the wine, broth and tomato paste to the IP. Mix well and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom.

Add the mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic and bay leaves to the IP; stir to incorporate. 

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

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 25 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 25 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 25 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).

Remove bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6.