Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Spiced Beef Stew Recipe

Spiced Beef Stew Recipe - Pressure Cooking School
A classic stew that showcases how the pressure cooker can give boundless flavor and tender meat by using few well-chosen ingredients and techniques.

Here are a few of the tricks that I use in this recipe that you can put in your pocket and use in your next meat recipe.

  • The meat is only browned on one side – that’s enough to enhance the flavor without having to take forever to prepare the recipe for pressure cooking.
  • The bay leaf is crinkled – if you’ve got a fresh bay leaf, crush it to unlock more flavor (don’t do that if it’s dry as you won’t be able to fish it out; ).
  • The onions aren’t browned – I’ve found that’s only important when they’re a major component of the flavor – such as in a pasta sauce.  In a strongly spiced stew, that already has some browned ingredients,  you can just toss in the onion for a more delicate flavor.
  • The carrots are phased-in – I add the carrots near the end of pressure cooking to keep them from getting mushy and tasteless – don’t worry pressure builds back up quickly in the second phase compared to the start of the recipe because everything inside is still boiling.
  • I thickened the stew AFTER pressure cooking -This is the biggest difference between conventional and pressure cooking (besides the time savings, of course). If I had thickened the stew at the beginning of the recipe the cooker wouldn’t have been able to reach pressure.  Thickeners make it difficult for the liquid to boil and generate the steam needed for pressure cooking.

Ready? Let’s get cooking!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
4 L or larger none 15 + 5 min. High(2) Slow Normal

5.0 from 4 reviews
Tender Pressure Cooked Spiced Beef Stew
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 4-6 servings
  • Serving size: ⅙th (about ¾ cup)
  • Calories: 630.8
  • TOTAL Fat: 37g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 14.1g
  • Sugar Carbs: 3.3g
  • Sodium: 161.2mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 3.6g
  • Protein: 49.1g
  • Cholesterol: 99mg
Recipe type: Main, Pressure Cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Beef can be substituted with any other meat with no other changes except for the cooking time.
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds (1k) stewing beef
  • 1 cup (250ml) red wine
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 whole cloves (1/4 teaspoon clove powder)
  • 1 bay leaf, lightly crushed if fresh
  • 6 medium carrot,s sliced in rondels
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup petite frozen green peas
  • garnish: fresh parsley
  1. In the pre-heated pressure cooker add the oil and beef - let it remain still (no stirring) for about 5 minutes in order for the cubes to sear on one side.
  2. The, add the wine and scrape the base of the cooker to lift the browned beef bits into the liquid.
  3. Then, sprinkle in the onions, garlic powder, salt, cloves, and bay leaf. Stir well.
  4. Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
  5. Electric pressure cookers: Cook for 15 minutes at high pressure.
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Lock the lid and cook for 12 minutes at high pressure.
  6. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Slow Normal release - release the pressure very slowly. If the release speed cannot be regulated by your cooker's valve, simply release pressure in short bursts. If anything other than steam comes out of the valve, stop and wait 10 seconds before continuing to release pressure slowly (or in small bursts), again.
  7. Throw the carrots on top of the stew and close the lid again.
  8. Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
  9. Electric pressure cookers and stove top pressure cookers: Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  10. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Slow Normal release - release the pressure very slowly.
  11. Meanwhile, make a slurry with cornstarch and water. Pour it in the pressure cooker and mix well. Simmer uncovered, if needed, until the desired thickness is reached.
  12. Sprinkle in peas to warm through and serve in a nest of skin-on mashed potatoes.



Pressure Cooker Spiced Beef Stew Recipe & VideoPressure Cooker Spiced Beef Stew Recipe & Video

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  1. Hi Laura, made that stew for the family last night and it is epic! Amazing what just a few cloves can bring to the party. The meat was not quite as tender as I would have liked but that was no fault of the recipe. Why do supermarkets here in the UK insist on selling diced lean steak (and at a high price for the privilege) rather than a cheaper and nicer marbled cut to make things tender? Of course I could have gone to the butchers, but work sometimes gets in the way of an ideal life…

    Thank you again for your amazing site.

  2. One question I meant to ask regarding the slow normal release. How slow ideally are you thinking? 2 mins or 5 mins perhaps. I released the pressure over about 5 minutes with my WMF but was beginning to wonder whether that was overstretching things a bit.

    1. Yes, about 5 minutes. It should be longer the Normal but shorter than Natural – just to make things less complicated. ; )



  3. I have a Tefal Cook4Me (marvellous device!) but it won’t let me control the speed of the steam release at all. Is that a problem for this recipe?

    1. Maybe try their “stew” program with this recipe?



  4. I love potatoes cooked with my stew when should I add them to the pressure cooker?

    1. It depends on the size. : ) If they’re sliced in 1-inch chunks, throw them in with the carrots.



  5. My first time making the beef stew in the Instant Pot and the meat was cooked too dry. is there a minimum time I could cook it other then the 15 minutes, to still get the flavor from the wine and spices?

    1. Yes you can cook for less time if you feel the need to. It is always better to undercook than overcook. You can always cook some more if you need to. It is kinda hard to “uncook something.

      But there are a few other things to check first:

      It is possible you used the wrong cut of beef. This issue is most likely when you use good beef. You really want to use the cheapest cuts you can find. And leave all the sinew and gristle on.

      Another possibility is that the chunks were too small. This will mean that they will cook too quickly and start to dry out before time is up. Basically you are making stock (broth) rather than stew.

      It may also be that you are releasing pressure too quickly. Quick release is a guaranteed way to dry out meat.

  6. What could I use in place of the wine?

    1. You could use water or stock. It will change the flavour, but it will still be tasty.

  7. Thank you!

  8. When do you put noodles in for beef and noodles.
    Please reply.

    1. What kind of noodles? What recipe are you making?



  9. If I wanted to double this recipe to make it for a crowd, would the cooking time change? Or would you recommend making it in two batches?

  10. Outstanding! Beef stew on a Tuesday night and it isn’t even snowing! Everything was delicious and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Thank you for a great recipe and a great website! BTW: I added chopped potatoes at the same time as the carrots and 5 minutes was perfect….

  11. Hi Laura. I made the recipe last night and followed your timing but I found that the meat was not as tender as I would have liked it so I increased the time by 5 minutes and the meat was just perfect for me. Also I added all the ingredients at the start of the cooking as I like my vegetables more cooked than crunchy.

    This might not work for everyone but for me and my family is was just right. I served it on a bed of long grain rice cooked following your steam method and wow what a dinner.

    This is another five star winner.

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing.

    Take care

    1. OK, fantastic. Did you add the veggies on top? I’m just wondering because if you mixed them in, some of the meat may have “steamed” instead of “boiled” and that could account for it being under-done.

      I love reading about how all the recipes you’re trying are working out for you!!



  12. Hi Laura. No I actually mixed everything together. Maybe as you said the meat steamed instead of boiled but none the less it was delicious. Next time I make it I will add the vegetables on top and see if that makes the difference.

    Yes all my recipes are turning out just as your recipes say they should. I give all the credit to you and the way you list all the instructions because nothing is left to the imagination.

    When my family comes over and I serve them food, they always ask if it is made in the pressure cooker. They call me the pressure cooker queen but I always correct them and give all the credit to you.

    i appreciate that you take the time to respond when there is something that is questionable.

    Thanks again for everything. Take care.

  13. Hello! I love your videos. If I wanted to make this without adding carrots would I just cook 20? Or 15 and do full NPR?
    Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Laura! Yes, you can do the full 20 minutes. You can still use the “Slow Normal” release as this is a stew and can follow the “exception” to Natural Release because the meat is covered in liquid and you probably want to reduce the sauce a bit, anyway. ; )



  14. Fabulous recipe! My family loved it!! The beef was perfectly tender and the flavor delicious. Thank you for your easy but detailed instructions!

  15. Does the alcohol in the wine “cook out” in this recipe?

  16. I still feel unclear on how you do a “slow normal release.”

    1. Open the valve slowly – 1/4 to start with, and then slowly to half open until all of the pressure has been released. There is a better explanation of the Slow Normal release here:


  17. Hi Laura,

    Can you reduce the quantity by using just 500 gr of beef? In that case, do you need to reduce the amount of wine too?

  18. I’m very confused about the amount of liquid issue. I purchased a 8qt cooker and i need a minimum of 18oz liquid so what should i do??

  19. I have a package of stew beef in the freezer. Saw the “boiling” method. How can I use the frozen beef in this recipe, please? As usual, this is my “go-to” site (and the cookbook when I’m offline) for all things food and pressure cooking. We LOVE Laura!!! Thanks!

    1. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to see that the pressure cooking time charts include “frozen” meat pressure cooking times:

      So according to the chart (and my experience), you would add 5 minutes to the recommended time in the recipe. : )

      Thanks for all the love, and have a great dinner!



  20. I have several recipes that use corn starch slurry to thicken the gravy/sauce, but every time I try it, the slurry turns instantly into a gelatinous ‘tire patch’ & does nothing to thicken the dish no matter how long I cook & stir. Doesn’t matter how I vary the slurry…same result. I must be doing something wrong but what?

    1. Gary, make sure to use cold water to make your slurry and if you’re already doing that add more water. Don’t worry, you can boil off the extra water when you reduce and thicken the sauce.

      Then, make sure to stir vigorously as you pour.



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