You guys, I get so much joy out of converting slow cooker recipes into brand spanking new versions for the Instant Pot. There are so many advantages to doing this! Everything cooks much faster, so there’s no need to plan ahead—yet you can also leave the food on the “Keep Warm” setting if you don't get to it right away. Total flexibility.
This beef stew can even be left on the warm setting all day long, so you can start it in the morning, then come home to a hot dinner.
Adapting Slow Cooker Beef Stew to the Instant Pot
This stew is an adaptation of one of Elise’s tried-and-true recipes from the Simply Recipes archives. Instead of four to eight hours, the recipe only takes about an hour and a half to make in the Instant Pot! You could also use any other electric pressure cooker, and I've included stovetop pressure cooker instructions, too.
Since less liquid is required with pressure cooking, you only need a cup of Guinness (or another stout beer) for the whole pot.
That means I get to enjoy the leftover beer on the couch while the stew is bubbling away. Not only does the stew get a deep flavor, the cook gets a treat, too. This makes a tender, deeply flavored beef stew, packed with carrots, parsnips, and root vegetables. Pressure cooker for the win!
- New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.
The Best Cut of Meat for Beef Stew
I use pre-cut beef stew meat for this recipe to make it even quicker and easier to prepare. But you can also buy a whole chuck roast (2 pounds) and cut it into pieces yourself. This takes a little more time but you can sometimes save some money.
Sear all the cubes of beef in the Instant Pot before cooking. Yes, this takes time (which yes, we're trying to save!), but it's worth it for the added flavor that searing adds. This said, if you're short on time, you could skip this step; just know the flavors won't be quite as rich or intense.
How to Cook the Best Beef Stew in the Instant Pot
Cooking great beef stew in the Instant Pot is a two step process.
- First pressure cook the meat.
- Second, add the vegetables and pressure cook a few more minutes.
The vegetables cook more quickly than the beef, so this two step process means that the meat is perfectly cooked without the veggies getting mushy.
Keep in mind that after pressure cooking the meat, you can leave the Instant Pot on the "Keep Warm" setting for up to 10 hours and continue with the recipe when you're ready. The beef will become more tender the longer it sits.
Storing and Freezing Beef Stew
This beef stew makes great leftovers! Cool and store in the fridge for up to five days.
Beef stew also freezes very well. Transfer it to freezer containers and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and gently reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Want to Skip the Guinness?
- Don't have any Guinness handy? Swap in any stout, porter, brown, or amber ale. As long as it's not too hoppy, it will work just fine.
- Prefer to skip the beer altogether? Swap the Guinness for beef stock.
Love Beef Stew? Try These Recipes!
- Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms
- Beef Bourguignon
- Short-Rib Beef Stew with Ale
- Oxtail Beef Stew
- Irish Beef Stew
Instant Pot Guinness Beef Stew
- 2 pounds beef stew meat
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter or neutral flavored oil
- 1 large (8 ounce) onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup Guinness extra stout, or other stout
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3 to 4 parsnips (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 pound potatoes, rutabaga, or celery root, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Sear the meat:
Pat the pieces of beef dry with a paper towel, then season them on all sides with the salt and pepper.
Select the high “Sauté” setting on the electric pressure cooker and heat the butter or oil. Brown the beef in the butter in two batches, searing the pieces for 4 minutes per batch and flipping them halfway through cooking.
Don’t worry about trying to sear every side of the beef—you’re just trying to get some browning on the beef and some flavor developing in the pot. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the meat to a dish.
Cook the onions and celery:
Add the onions and celery to the now-empty pressure cooker. Cook until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute.
Add the liquids to the pot:
Pour in the Guinness. Use a stiff spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Let it simmer for five minutes to reduce the beer a bit, then stir in the reserved beef, beef broth, and thyme.
Pressure cook the meat:
Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure it’s set to its “sealing” position. Cancel the cooking program, then select the Meat/Stew,” “Pressure Cook,” or “Manual” setting, and set the cooking time to 30 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the actual cooking time begins.)
When the cooking program finishes, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure by moving the pressure vent to its “venting” position.
At this point, you may also leave the stew on the “Keep Warm” setting for up to 10 hours, before continuing with the rest of the recipe. The beef will become more tender the longer it sits.
Add the root vegetables and pressure cook:
When the pressure has released, open the pot. (Optional: for a leaner stew, you can use a ladle or spoon to skim off some of the fat.) Stir in the carrots, parsnips, and root vegetables.
Put the lid back on the pressure cooker and make sure it’s set to its “sealing” position. Cancel the cooking program, then select the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” setting and set the cooking time to 3 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the actual cooking time begins.)
Finish the stew:
While the stew is finishing, mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl to make a slurry
When the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure vent to its “venting” position. (It's also ok if you need to leave the stew on the "Warm" setting for a little while before venting the pressure and serving, though the vegetables will eventually start to get mushy if left too long.)
Stir in the cornstarch slurry right away while stew is still bubbling. The residual heat will thicken the stew within a couple minutes.
Ladle the stew into bowls and serve it hot, with fresh parsley sprinkled on top.