Beef Stew - Instant Pot

I found this incredible recipe on Pinch of Yum - it's absolutely pure comfort food, written by someone who knows her comfort food. I've added a couple of my own touches including dredging and browning the beef, herbes de provence, and adding some browned potatoes to the mix.

*Note: Even though this is an Instant Pot recipe it's pretty time-intensive what with the searing and browning steps. From start to finish it's about 1.5 to 2 hours to prepare, including the warm-up time on the Instant Pot.

*Note: If the Instant Pot pops up a "Burn" warning you have to hit Cancel, depressurize the pot, and then add 1/2 to 1/3 cup of beef broth to thin out the mixture a little. Restart the pot and you should be good. This added about 20 minutes to the time estimate above. :-)

Ingredients

  • Pictures can't do this stew justice!
    2 lbs beef, chuck roast, fat trimmed, cut into 1-2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup flour and salt & pepper in a plastic or paper bag for dredging
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced diagonally in thick pieces
  • 6 carrots, sliced diagonally in thick pieces, or use "baby" carrots
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 lb small potatoes cut into large chunks
  • 1/8 lb butter and some vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley

What To Do With Them

  1. Dredge the cut roast in flour and salt and pepper. In two batches brown each side of the beef, then remove to Instant Pot
  2. Deglaze the pan with beef broth, reduce to about 1/2 cup and add to Instant Pot
  3. Place everything (EXCEPT THE POTATOES/BUTTER/OIL/PARSLEY) in the Instant Pot. Select the stew/meat setting (about 35 minutes, high pressure. It will take a while for the pot to develop enough heat/pressure for the "35" to pop up - be patient.) After it’s done, let everything mellow out for about 10 minutes before releasing the steam. Technically at this point, it’s done. But you should finish with a quick browning session in the oven (see #5 below).
  4. Remove the stew from the Instant Pot into a Dutch oven and insert steamer, then pile the chunked potatoes in and add 1/3 cup of water to the bottom of the pot. Put the Dutch oven with the stew into your 400º oven now if you're going to serve right away. if you're going to serve later, start the Dutch oven at 400º when you start doing the potatotes. Set the Instant Pot to cook on the Pressure Cooker setting for three minutes. When the pot is done, allow 10 minutes to sit, then vent pressure. While waiting, heat a large saute pan on the stove and just before adding potatoes, add oil and butter; it should sizzle. Let the potatoes sit until browned on one side, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn them over and allow to brown again for 3 or 4 minutes. Just before removing the potatoes, sprinkle them with the dried parsley. Remove potatoes to stew, or keep them to serve on the side - browned potatoes are awesome on the side, but also just as good in the stew.
  5. Finishing in the Oven: Whether you make this in the oven or in the Instant Pot, finish by giving it about 10-20 minutes in a hot oven (400-ish degrees), uncovered, before serving. It gets the meat nice and caramelized on top and helps the gravy thicken up.
  6. Traditional Oven Instructions: Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Place all ingredients in a baking dish – it can be glass or ceramic (we use a round casserole dish – something between 8×8 and 9×13). Cover with foil and bake for 3-4 hours. If the gravy dries out, you can add a little water to the gravy to loosen it up before serving. See the notes below for additional modifications/instructions.

Notes

As written, this is more like a traditional saucy beef stew. If you want it to be more like a soup, just add a second can of tomato juice and an extra pinch of salt and sugar.

I use Clamato instead of regular tomato juice - it adds a little bit of the now-ubiquitous "umami" to the stew.