Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew

A green bowl full of beef stew with potatoes, carrots and barley; sprinkled with parsley and thyme leaves, with a glass of stout and a bowl of thyme in the background
Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew

Here’s my (belated) St. Patrick’s day recipe – Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew, an all-beef cross between my Irish Lamb Stew with Guinness and Barley and Instant Pot Easy Beef Stew.

(My brother made the corned beef this year. It was fantastic, of course.)

A few notes on this stew: first, about the barley. Most pressure cooked stews come out a little thin, bordering on soup, because the sealed pressure cooker pot prevents evaporation. Not this stew! The barley soaks up liquid as it cooks, and the result is thick and hearty, perfect for a country the Romans named Hibernia, “the land of winter”.

The second note is about the liquids. Homemade beef broth is fantastic, and adds extra beefiness to the stew. I had some left over in the freezer from the Beef Brisket soup I made a month ago. But…as a commenter recently complained, beef broth ingredients can be expensive. That’s why I would usually use chicken broth in this recipe. Chicken broth is kitchen magic; I keep a stock of frozen, homemade broth ready at all times, in case of emergency. (It’s so easy to make in an Instant Pot – try it, and you’ll be stocking up with me. Get it? Stocking up? Ahem. Never mind. I’ll show myself out.)

Chicken broth adds plenty of body to the stew, but is neutral enough to let the beef flavor shine through.

Finally, about the beer. Irish stout for this one, please. This is not the time for “green beer” from your college St. Patrick’s day parade. If the beer is light enough for a few drops of food coloring to turn it green, then it might as well be water. (Not that there’s anything wrong with water – there’s enough going on in this stew that it works without stout or broth. But, if you can, try it with both stout AND broth. You won’t regret either.)

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A green bowl full of beef stew with potatoes, carrots and barley; sprinkled with parsley and thyme leaves, with a glass of stout and a bowl of thyme in the background

Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 812 servings 1x


Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew recipe – a hearty beef stew with flavors from the emerald isle.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds beef chuck roast (or bottom round roast), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup beer (preferably an Irish Stout, or substitute beef broth)
  • 2 cups beef broth (or chicken broth, or water)
  • 3 large carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths (or ½ pound baby carrots )
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, each potato cut in half
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (if using homemade broth or water)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, minced, for garnish (optional)


  1. Sear the beef in three batches: Heat the vegetable oil in the pressure cooker pot over high heat (sauté mode adjusted to high in my Instant Pot) until the oil starts to shimmer. While the oil heats, sprinkle the beef cubes with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add 1/3 of the beef and sear until well browned on one side, about 3 minutes. (Don’t crowd the pot or the beef will steam, not brown). Remove the browned beef to a bowl, add the second batch of the beef to the pot, and sear until browned on one side, about 3 more minutes. Repeat with the remaining beef – in the pot, sear until browned on one side, then into the bowl with the rest of the beef.
  2. Saute the aromatics: Add the butter and onions to the pot, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onions soften, about 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally to loosen any browned bits of beef. Pour the beer into the pot, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1 minute. Scrape the bottom of the pot one last time, to make sure nothing is sticking. Stir in the seared beef and any juices in the bowl, then pour in the beef broth. Stir in the carrots, potatoes, and barley, and float the thyme sprig on top. (Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt if using homemade beef broth or water; skip the salt with store-bought broth).
  3. Pressure cook the stew for 15 minutes with a natural pressure release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes in an electric PC, or for 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. (Use “Manual Mode” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) When the cooking time finishes, let the pressure come down naturally, about 30 minutes. (After 20 minutes you can quick release any remaining pressure if you are in a hurry.)
  4. Season and serve: Unlock the pressure cooker lid, tilting the lid away from you to avoid the hot steam. Discard the thyme sprig, stir in ½ teaspoon of fresh black pepper, sprinkle with the minced parsley leaves, and enjoy!



  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Irish

Keywords: Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew, Pressure Cooker Irish Beef Stew

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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Pressure Cooker Beef Stew Provencal (Beef en Daube)
Instant Pot Easy Beef Stew with Certified Angus Beef Bottom Round
Pressure Cooker Browned Beef Stock
My other Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

1 Comment

  1. Breanna says

    Just made this for the first time and we loved it! Making it again for sure

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