Instant Pot Easy Beef Stew. Recipe created for the Certified Angus Beef® Brand. Check them out at hashtag #BestAngusBeef and #SteakLover for more beef recipes, or join them in the Certified Angus Beef Kitchen group on Facebook.
Certified Angus Beef asked me to write an Instant Pot easy beef stew recipe using Bottom Round. I don’t usually cook with round – I’m a chuck man, Chuck – but their request made me ask: why? Why do I reach for the chuck, and avoid the bottom round?
Pressure cooking works best on tough pieces of beef from hard working parts of the steer. The chuck (from the shoulder), and the round (from the rump) are the traditional long-cooking cuts. They need extra cooking to tenderize the tough meat, and are used in pot roasts, braises, chilis, and stews.
Chuck roast has more collagen, connective tissue, and fat. Cooking breaks down the collagen and melts the fat, turning a tough piece of chuck into a tender pot roast. Round roasts are leaner, with less collagen and connective tissue. They don’t make as good of pot roasts, because a big piece of round will tend to dry out. But, testing this recipe, I found out that cubes of bottom round work great in a stew, where small, lean bites of beef are precisely what I’m looking for.
In other words, round is a great cut for a beef stew. It looks like I learned something!
Recipe: Instant Pot Easy Beef Stew
Certified Angus Beef’s version of the recipe: Instant Pot Easy Beef StewPrint
Instant Pot Easy Beef Stew with Bottom Round. A hearty beef stew, ready in about an hour thanks to pressure cooking.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 pounds of beef bottom round roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 cup beef broth (or water)
- 1 pound baby carrots (or 3 large carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths)
- 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- More fine sea salt to taste
Cornstarch slurry (optional)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Sear the beef in three batches: Heat the vegetable oil in the pot over medium heat (Sauté mode set to medium in an Instant Pot) until the oil shimmers. While the pot heats, sprinkle the beef cubes with 1 teaspoon salt. Add 1/3 of the beef in a loose single layer and sear until well browned on one side, about 3 minutes. (Don’t crowd the pot or the beef will steam, not brown). Transfer the browned beef to a bowl, add half of the remaining beef to the pot, and sear until browned on one side, about 3 more minutes. Transfer the browned beef to the bowl. Add the rest of the beef to the pot and sear until browned on one side, about 3 more minutes. Transfer the browned beef to the bowl.
- Saute the aromatics, toast the spices, deglaze the pan with wine: Add the onion and garlic to the pot, and sprinkle with the dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir the tomato paste into the onions. Sauté until the onions soften, about 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally to loosen any browned bits of beef. Pour the red wine into the pot, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1 minute. Scrape the bottom of the pot again to release any browned onions or tomato paste.
- Stir everything into the pot: Stir in the beef and any juices in the bowl. Pour in the beef broth, carrots, and diced tomatoes, and stir.
- Pressure cook the stew for 15 minutes with a natural pressure release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 more minutes. (If you’re in a hurry, you can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes.) Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam.
- Thicken, season and serve: Whisk the water and cornstarch together to make a cornstarch slurry, and then stir the slurry into the stew. Stir in salt and pepper: If you used store-bought beef broth, add ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt; if you used homemade beef broth or water, add 1½ teaspoons of fine sea salt. Also, add 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Serve and enjoy!
- The downside to pressure cooking is a thin sauce. The sealed pressure cooker lets us build pressure, but we don’t get any evaporation to thicken up the sauce. The cornstarch slurry thickens the sauce and gives it the mouthfeel of a long-simmered stew.
- You can substitute chuck roast for the bottom round roast if that’s what’s available; everything else cooks the same.
Keywords: Instant Pot Easy Beef Stew, Pressure Cooker Easy Beef Stew
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