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Shallow china bowl with beef stew meat, carrot, celery, potato, and rice arranged in the center.

Fast Cooked Beef Stew With Slow Cooked Flavor

  • Author: Imei Hsu
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-5 people 1x

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This beef stew recipe is easy to make at home. The key is to cook the meat most of the way first, and add the vegetables in the final five minutes of cooking in the InstantPot. It’s a great food to have around when family members are eating at different times, and it travels well in a lunch box to take to work.



2 lbs top round beef for stew, cut into quarters

4 medium carrots, cut into thick chunks (I like my uneven and anti-industrial)

4 medium Rose Gold or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into large bite-sized pieces

4 stalks of celery, chopped into large pieces

1 tablespoon El Ras Hanout spice

1/2 tablespoon cooking oil

1/2 cup water

garlic and onions, chopped, to taste (I leave these out of mine)

salt to taste


Add oil to the Instant Pot or fast pressure cooker pot, and turn on the Saute setting. Using tongs, settle the four quarters of beef in the hot oil, searing them on all four sides for five minutes. There should be both oil and liquid from the meat at the bottom of the pot. Place the lid on the InstantPot and make sure when it’s closed that the vent setting is in the proper “closed” position for cooking. Set to “Manual” and 17-20 minutes cook time (less if your beef is already cut into small chunks; 12-14 minutes may be enough).

While the meat is cooking, chop the vegetables and set aside. Now, you’ll probably have fifteen minutes to yourself. Color. Pet your cat. Take a nap. Play the ukelele. Browse the Internets. Run an errand. The InstantPot is safe to leave unattended. I love, love, LOVE that!

When the meat has finished cooking, carefully unvent the InstantPot, and when it’s ready to open, add 1/2 cup water. Sprinkle the El Ras Hanout spice on top of the meat.  Add all the vegetables on top. Set the InstantPot for five minutes; seven if you like your vegetables soft.

When the timer indicates cooking is done, vent the InstantPot. When venting is finished, open the lid carefully, letting out any remaining steam. With a long spoon, stir the contents carefully. Bringing the beef quarters up to the top. You may wish to take a knife and fork and pull the meat into smaller pieces, or remove the meat quarters to a cutting board and gently slice the meat before returning it to the pot.

Serve piping hot, as is or on a bed of brown rice.


While stew can be looked at as a messy food, I personally like to arrange the stew in a shallow bowl over a bed of rice, taking care to arrange the vegetables and meat in such a way that every single bite has a little of each ingredient in it.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American, British
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