Beef and Vegetable Stew with Rosemary

by Sally on April 16, 2012 · 10 comments

in Beef & Pork, Pressure Cooker, Soups, Stews and Chiles

Mother Nature can be schizophrenic in the spring. Sunny and warm one day, raining and cold the next. What’s a cook to do? Go for a classic dish like beef and vegetable stew. Filled with chunks of top sirloin, carrots, tomatoes and herbs, this melt-in-your-mouth dish is a favorite with my beef-eating clients.

Done in a pressure cooker, this stew takes about 30 minutes instead of hours, getting dinner on the table fast. You can also make it 2-3 days ahead and refrigerate it or freeze it.

Re-Think the Meat

Beef stew recipes often use what is called stew meat; a cubed mix of tougher cuts sold at many meat counters.  My choice for stew is the more tender top sirloin. I’ve increased the vegetable content with lots of carrots, tomatoes, celery and onion and added Better Than Bullion concentrate for rich beefy flavor.

Save Time with a Pressure Cooker

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, it’s a worthwhile addition to your kitchen. When not being used as a pressure cooker, it works like any other pot. When you feel the need for speed, the lid can be locked on and the time it takes to cook soups, stews, rice, beans and many other dishes is greatly reduced. In a time-starved cooking schedule, a pressure cooker can be your best friend.

Prep Work and Cooking

Trim your meat into large chunks, about 1 ¼’. Trim off any extra fat. Brown the meat and set aside. Cook onion, celery and garlic until soft. Add red wine and reduce. Add herbs, spices, beef bullion and browned beef. Lock the lid on and bring to high pressure. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow the pressure to drop naturally. This will take just a few minutes. For the carrots, I find when they are cooked with the meat they get too soft and almost fall apart. Cook them in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes while the stew is cooking. Drain and add the carrots after the stew is done. For the tomatoes, they disintegrate in the pressure cooker, so I add them with the carrots at the end. They retain more of their shape and warm quickly when being added to the piping hot stew.

Serve in a bowl by itself or over whole wheat pasta or rice noodles for gluten free. Finish with a little fresh parsley for a nice shot of green color and fresh flavor.

Equipment note – I use Fagor pressure cookers. You will need at least a 6 quart model. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 days or can be frozen.

Beef and Vegetable Stew with Rosemary

Using a pressure cooker greatly reduces the time it takes to get a satisfying beef and vegetable stew on the dinner table. Top sirloin is my choice for meat, with lots of vegetables and herbs for great flavor. Serve over whole wheat pasta or rice noodles.

Serves: 2 (doubles easily)


  • 3/4 pound top sirloin, trimmed of fat and cut into large cubes, about 1 ¼”
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 cup (150 grams) diced onion
  • 2 large ribs celery, diced small
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced fine (or use a garlic press)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 generous tablespoon organic beef Better Than Bullion (see note below about alternatives)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) water
  • ¾ pound (340 grams) carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 15 ounces (411 grams) canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Equipment: 6-8 quart pressure cooker


  1. Add oil to pot over medium heat and brown the cubed beef. When beef is brown, remove to bowl along with the juices and set aside.
  2. Add the onions and celery to the pot. If it seems dry, add another teaspoon or two of oil. Cook onions and celery over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook another 1 minute.
  3. Add wine and cook down for a minute or two. Add oregano, thyme, rosemary, paprika, bay leaf, pepper, and Better Than Bullion. Add the beef back into the pot along with the 1/2 cup of water.
  4. Lock the lid on and bring the pressure cooker to high pressure. When the gauge goes up, turn heat to low and set timer for 20 minutes.
  5. While stew is cooking, bring a medium pot filled with water to a boil. Salt the water and add carrots.  Cook carrots for approximately 4 minutes, or until tender. Cooking time will depend on the size of your carrots. Drain and set carrots aside. When stew has completed pressure cooking, turn heat off and slide pan to a cool burner.
  6. Allow the pressure to come down naturally. It will take about 7-8 minutes. When the gauge drops, open lid away from your face, being careful of the steam. Add the warm carrots, drained tomatoes and chopped parsley. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate for enjoying later.

Stew will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days and freezes well.

Ingredient note – Although Better Than Bullion provides great flavor, it a product I am trying to eliminate from my kitchen because of concerns with ingredients. The organic version is better than the regular version, which I don’t use, but the organic version does still have caramel coloring. Caramel coloring, although naturally derived, can be questionable. An alternative is to use Stock Options All Natural Beef Demi Glace or another demi glace. One of the most difficult areas to eliminate unhealthy ingredients is in condiments and other flavor enhancing products.

Helpful Links:

Fagor 6 quart pressure cooker

Fagor 8 quart pressure cooker

Fagor 3-in-1 6-Quart Multi-Cooker for pressure cooking, slow cooking and rice cooking

A great cookbook with more pressure cooker recipes by Lorna Sass, Pressure Perfect

Laura writes a terrific blog filled with recipes and tips for pressure cooking, Hip Pressure Cooking.

More pressure cooker recipes from A Food Centric Life: Perfect Cheesecake and French Market Vegetable Beef Soup

A good tool to have for shopping – Chemical Cuisine mobile app for iPhone and Android available at CSPI

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This post contains links to Affiliate Programs, where I may receive a small commission for any purchases.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura @ hip pressure cooking April 17, 2012 at 12:12 am

This recipe sounds delicious – and the photo is stunning!




2 myfudo April 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Love the sweet, delicate freshness of rosemary in stews. Delicious recipe!


3 Jesica @ pencil kitchen April 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm

AWESOME looking stew!!! I miss stew all of a sudden!


4 Debs @ The Spanish Wok April 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

I love stews of all kinds, whatever the season LOL.

You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here all bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon. Different theme each month.


5 Chris October 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm

We analyzed 14,000 recipes from over 2,000 unique website and this was the third most nutrient dense … the only beef dish to make the top 10! You can read more about the study here.


6 Erin January 10, 2013 at 10:45 am

I made this adapted for stove-top since I don’t have a pressure cooker. It was wonderful! I especially loved the seasoning and the non-mushy carrots!

Thanks for the recipe!!


7 Ron April 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Lovely recipe. Had it for dinner last night and everyone enjoyed it.

Slight correction. This is missing between steps 3 and 4:
“Return the set aside beef to the pot and add the ½ cup of water.”

Putting the beef back in is obvious, but if I hadn’t already had the water measured out I would have missed adding the water in.


8 Sally April 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Thanks Ron for the catch! I’ve updated the recipe!


9 Rod Archer April 14, 2014 at 6:14 am

We made the stew last night. it was a hit on a cold snowy day. I added some fresh green beans for more color since I did not have fresh rosemary. I served it on polenta which was a very good complement to the rich beef flavor.
I will be looking over your other recipes for healthy, good food. thank you for this one.


10 Sally April 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

Thanks for commenting Rod. The polenta and green beans are a great idea. Hard thinking about snow in April when I live in CA! Stay warm and well fed.


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