Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew (Paleo, AIP, GF)
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Beef stew is the ultimate classic comfort food. This instant pot beef stew is easy and free of nightshades making it completely Paleo and AIP compliant. Making a beef stew that is AIP compliant really only requires a couple of small ingredient swaps and you are good to go. Parsnips in this recipe serve as a great substitute for white potatoes. While they are a little sweeter than white potatoes, they look a lot like them, and the texture quite similar.
While traditional beef stew can take hours to prepare, it's not always possible to spend several hours on dinner. If you're like me, you might get home from work around 6 pm and start digging in the freezer trying to figure out what to cook. The great thing about this recipe is it's done in about an hour with the help of an instant pot.
What Kind of Beef Should You Use for Beef Stew?
Rump roasts, chuck roasts, round roasts, and pot roasts all work well for stews. I used a rump roast for this recipe and it turned out very tender. According to this article by the Kitchn, stew meat is actually not a great choice for stews because it's usually a mixture of different cuts of meat selected by the butcher. The inconsistencies in texture and cut make it difficult to make all the pieces come out juicy and tender. As such, buying a roast and cutting it yourself is the best bet for a stew.
Is it Necessary to Brown the Meat Before Stewing?
You don't have to brown the meat before stewing it but it's generally recommended. Browning the meat first caramelizes the surface of the meat creating a fuller, more complex flavor. If you try to brown the meat all at once, it doesn't work very well because it ends up steaming rather than searing. This is why the recipe calls for browning it in two batches. Be careful not to spend too long browning it though as you can end up with tougher meat if it gets overcooked. Just saute it long enough to get it browned on all sides.
Things to Keep in Mind
Make sure your vegetables and meat are cut into similarly sized pieces for even cooking.
Allow some time for the pressure cooker to come up to pressure (about 5-10 minutes).
Go with the natural release of the steam for best results. This produces better textured meat. It will also take 5-10 minutes after cooking for steam to release.
How Do You Thicken a Stew?
This recipe does not use any sort of thickener because I think it's great without it. However, if you would like a thicker stew, wait until the stew finishes cooking, then mix 1 tbsp of warm water and 1 tbsp of tapioca starch or arrowroot starch together to form a paste. Add the mixture to the stew and stir until well incorporated. Give it a couple of minutes to thicken up. If it's still not as thick as you would like, repeat the process.
Can You Make Stew Ahead of Time?
Yes! Stew is a great meal for meal-prepping lunches or dinners since it stores nicely. If you do make it ahead of time, see below for safe cooling tips.
How Do You Cool Stew for Safe Storage?
When you have a large batch of soup or stew that you want to make and then store for later, it can take a really long time to cool down to a safe temperature for storage which can increase the risk for foodborne illnesses.
The temperature danger zone is between 40 and 140 degrees- this is the range where pathogens grow most quickly. A rule of thumb is that soups and stews should cool from 140 down to 70 degrees within 2 hours and should reach 40 degrees F in 4 hours or less.
Of course, to know what temp your stew is, you need to have a good food thermometer. I recommend a digital one. Mine is from Weber- I've had it for 5 years and it's indestructible. The exact one I have is no longer available but this one is similar and it's super affordable.
If your stew doesn't cool fast enough on its own, you can speed it along by doing a couple of things:
1. You can make an ice bath to speed along the cooling process. To do this, just fill the sink or a very large bowl with ice and water and set the pot in the water. Stir it continually to distribute the cooler temperature of the soup on the outer edges of the pot towards the soup in the center of the pot.
2. If you have a particularly large batch and you don't want to mess with an ice bath, you can separate it into a few smaller batches placed into shallow dishes (no more than 3" deep) so it can cool down a little faster.
How Long Can You Store Stew in the Fridge?
Stew will stay fresh for about 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Stew?
Yes. It will keep well in the freezer for at least 3 months (possibly up to 6) if kept in a tightly sealed heavy-duty container. Make sure to leave about 1/4-1/2 inch of space at the top of the container to accommodate expansion.
I hope you enjoy the recipe. If you made it, please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought!
Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew (Paleo, AIP, GF)
- instant pot
- 2 pounds beef rump roast cut into 1.5-2" cubes.
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 onion, cut into medium sized wedges
- 1 8 oz carton of sliced mushrooms
- 2 parsnips, thickly sliced
- 4 carrots thickly sliced
- 1 sweet potato, cut into 1.5-2" cubes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 cups beef broth or beef bone broth
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (reserve for the end of cooking)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (reserve for the end of cooking)
- 2 tsp fresh sage (reserve for the end of cooking)
- Garnish with additional fresh parsley, sage, and rosemary if desired.
- Sprinkle sea salt over meat cubes.
- Set Instant Pot to saute function. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add 1/2 of the beef cubes. Brown on all sides and remove from pot. Add 2nd batch of beef cubes to the pot and repeat the process. Remove the second batch from the pot as well.
- Add in mushrooms, onions, garlic and apple cider vinegar to the pot. The vinegar will help to loosen the brown bits from the meat in the bottom of the pan. Mix in and sautee for 1-2 minutes. Add the meat back into pot and stir.
- Add the remaining vegetables, coconut aminos, garlic powder, onion powder, and beef broth. Stir once more, then lock the lid and make sure the vent is set to "sealing".
- Set to high pressure for 35 minutes. It will take 5-10 minutes to come up to pressure. Once the 35 minute cooking time is up, carefully open the steam release valve and allow the steam to release naturally.
- When the steam has finished releasing, open lid and add in fresh herbs. Stir herbs into the stew. If adding a thickener, add your thickener now (see notes below)
- Garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired.