My family enjoys a variety of meals, but a hearty dish like this is always a favorite on a fall day. As I write this, the leaves are starting to fall to the ground, the air has a crisp chill in it, and we start using the Instant Pot even more than normal.
I can read your mind though...what’s the difference between this recipe and a beef stew in the crockpot? You could just as easily put it together in the crockpot and be done with it, but with this recipe, you’ll simplify things a bit, not have quite as many dishes, and it’ll be super easy. Don’t believe me? Well, let me count the reasons….
- Crockpot relies on having several hours. This recipe can be done in as short as 90 minutes.
- Usually meat needs to be thawed to cook best in crockpot. Not so with Instant Pot! Bonus - beef that is still slightly frozen is very easy to cut into cubes (although you can certainly buy pre-cut stew meat to save time like I did).
- Saute the beef chunks AND make the thickened gravy right in the Instant Pot instead of getting out a different pan to brown the beef and thicken the gravy on the stove. Everything is in one pot.
- Easy to customize for every member of your family. Have a picky kiddo who hates peas? You can easily leave them out of his serving! Have someone who wants each food separate on their plate? Done - easy to mix this together or keep it separate. You can even customize the seasonings on each serving.
Things to note - the potatoes need to be cut into similar sized pieces so they cook evenly - but they don’t need to be pretty since you’ll be mashing them. I never peel potatoes, choosing to retain the nutrients in the skins, but you do whatever your family likes. I also don’t peel carrots, just scrubbing them clean.
- 1 lb beef stew meat
- 1 TB vegetable oil
- 3 large baking potatoes
- 1 14 oz can broth (I used low sodium)
- 2-3 carrots, scrubbed and cut into chunks
- 1 cup frozen peas and/or corn
- 1-2 TB corn starch or flour
- Seasoning of choice (I used salt and pepper, and Penzey’s Brady Street Sprinkle and butter on potatoes)
- Turn Instant Pot to ‘saute’ and warm up the vegetable oil until hot.
- Add beef chunks, browning on each side. Remove and place in one of the divided basket sections.
- Pour beef broth into inner liner of Instant Pot
- Add beef chunks to one section of divided basket. Set to ‘manual’ high pressure for 20 minutes. Use natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then QR.
- Scrub potatoes clean, peel if desired. Cut into chunks. Place in one of the divided basket sections.
- Open Instant Pot lid, add potatoes to second divided basket, and carrot to the third. Place in IP and close lid. Set to ‘manual’ for 12 minutes. Use QR.
- Remove potatoes from Instant Pot and place in a large bowl.
- Add peas to the basket that the potatoes were in. Close IP and set for 0 minutes high pressure. Use NPR until potatoes are ready.
- Mash potatoes with 1 TB butter and 1 TB half and half or heavy cream.
- Open IP and remove baskets.
- Add cornstartch or flour to about 1-2 TB of cold water and mix well. Add to remaining broth and stir til thickened.
- Mix meat, carrots and peas together, and serve on top of mashed potatoes OR, serve a dollop of mashed potatoes on top of each serving.