Spring can be schizophrenic with sunny warmth one day and cold drizzle the next. A hearty vegetable beef stew is a classic welcome dinner no matter the weather. Filled with chunks of top sirloin, carrots, tomatoes and herbs, this recipe is a favorite with my family and clients.
Vegetable Beef Stew: Pressure Cooker, Instant Pot, or Regular Cooking
In stead of hours, this vegetable beef stew takes about 30 minutes using a pressure cooker so you can get dinner on the table fast. Make this stew on the weekend an enjoy on busy weekday nights. It holds for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or you can freeze it. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, make it the traditional way. Don’t cook the carrots separately. Add the carrots and tomatoes to the pot, cover and simmer on low heat until the beef is done and the vegetables are tender. It will just take longer.
Beef stew recipes generally use stew meat which is a cubed mix of tougher cuts. A more tender option is to buy top sirloin. I buy a 2 pound piece and trim away any fat or tendons. After trimming I have 1 1/2 pounds to cook with, which will serve 4 and extras freeze well.
Beef Broth – What to Buy and What to Avoid
Until I became a hawk at understanding labels and ingredients, I used bullion paste, but they have unhealthy ingredients like caramel coloring, crazy high sodium, sugar, molasses (sugar), evaporated cane juice (sugar), honey (sugar), beef “flavor” (who knows what that really is) and preservatives. A lot of stuff you don’t want to eat. If you have any bullion, throw it out and buy real beef bone broth. Find the good stuff in the freezer section.
Most boxed and canned broths are pretty bad too. Read labels. Higher quality bone broths do cost more, but they taste better and are better for you. Look for them in the frozen section. And “all natural” means nothing.
About Instant Pots and Pressure Cookers
In a time-starved cooking schedule, a pressure cooker can be your best friend. Use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot for cooking soups, stews, rice, beans and many other dishes faster. And with and electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, you can set it and walk away.
Prep and Cooking Tips
Trim your meat into large chunks, about 1 ¼”. Trim off any extra fat, brown the meat (saute setting) and set it aside. Cook the onion, celery and garlic until soft. Add red wine and reduce. Add herbs, spices, broth and browned beef. Lock the lid on and bring to high pressure. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow the pressure to drop naturally.When the carrots are cooked with the meat they get too soft. 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 (paleo) or over whole wheat pasta, brown rice noodles or polenta for gluten free. Finish with a little fresh parsley for a nice shot of green color and fresh flavor. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 days or can be frozen.
I developed this recipe with a standard stovetop pressure cooker but have since moved to the Instant Pot. It will work in either one, but i will be updating this to Instant Pot terminology soon.
Updated from April of 2012
Vegetable Beef Stew with Rosemary
- 2 pounds top sirloin trimmed of fat and cut into large cubes, about 1 ¼”
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 large celery ribs chopped small
- 2 large garlic cloves or use a garlic press, minced fine
- ½ cup dry red wine optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup beef broth or bone broth
- ¾ pound carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes drained
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 6-8 quart pressure cooker or Instant Pot
- Add oil to pot over medium heat (saute function) and brown the cubed beef. When beef is brown, remove to bowl along with the juices and set aside.
- Add the onions and celery to the pot. If it seems dry, add another teaspoon or two of oil. Saute onions and celery over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Add wine and cook down for a minute or two. Add oregano, thyme, rosemary, paprika, bay leaf, pepper, and broth. Add the beef back into the pot. Lock the lid on and allow the pressure cooker to reach pressure. Set timer for 15 minutes.
- 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. Alternatively you can stem them until soft. 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.
- Allow the pressure to come down naturally. 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.