Beef Stew with Guinness, a rich and hearty Instant Pot meal
This rich and hearty Beef Stew gets extra depth of flavour from the addition of the Guinness beer and it’s made in the Instant Pot, so it’s super quick and easy. Sweet Baby carrots, hearty and tender potatoes, simmered in rich Beef Beer Broth. Oh, and did I mention it’s budget friendly too? Perfect!
Often we think of using Guinness when St. Patricks Day rolls around, but this Beef Stew is so good there is no reason not to make this comforting dish all winter long.
Why use the Instant Pot?
I like the Instant Pot for so many different reasons. In fact, I like it so much I have two of them. For my larger family easily cooking large batches of family friendly, soups, stews, pasta’s and curries is a necessity, and the Instant Pots allow for that to happen much more quickly than traditional methods.
The Instant Pot is a time saver for sure! Yes, it takes time to come to pressure, but that’s hand off cooking time. Once you set it you can you can forget it, leaving time for you to set the table, make a side dish, catch up on email, or have a glass of wine!
For many the time saving aspect of the Instant Pot is the best feature, but for me, I also find that some recipes are actually better suited to this cooking method. Stew is one of those kind of recipes.
Is this Beef Stew Really tender?
The short answer, is yes. Yes it definitely is.
The Instant pot which cooks with “pressure” created by steam, is excellent for producing tender and juicy, well seasoned dishes, from cuts of meats that are often less expensive and less naturally tender.
A Beef stew made on the stove top or braised in the oven will need to cook for 2-3 hours to get good results. However, in the Instant Pot, beef stew takes 25 cooking time. You end up with tender beef, perfectly cooked vegetables and a delicious broth, and you don’t sacrifice flavor. YUM!
What cut of Beef should I use?
This is a good question. Most grocery stores sell packaged “stewing beef” already cut into little bite sized pieces. These are a good easy option. However, if you’re looking to save more money and have a little time to prep, cubing it yourself from a larger roast is the way to go.
- Chuck, also sometimes called the shoulder
These types of beef are generally tougher because they have more connective tissue, so it needs a special method of cooking.
When you braise the meat low and slow, or cook the beef in an Instant Pot, the connective tissue breaks down, or “melts”. This results in tender and flavorful morsels of meat.
Budget friendly and delicious, that’s a great combination in my book!
What kind of Beer should I use?
Well, it’s called Guinness Beef Stew, so it’s my first choice. And, if you don’t have Guinness? Stay in the Stout beer family. This compliments the beefy, bacony (okay not a word, but it should be), meaty, flavours in this dish.
What to serve with Guinness Beef Stew?
What to serve with stew is always a challenge for me. I like to serve balanced meals, and the GREEN Veggies are missing in most stews, and that includes this one. Since most green vegetables don’t lend themselves to the low slow cooking method in a stew, incorporating them isn’t really a viable option. So what to do?
I have a few ideas:
Many nights, if I make stew or a hearty soup, a quick Crudite Platter, with assorted cut vegetables is the easiest answer for me. At my house, I serve a selection of these:
- Broccoli Florets
- Cauliflower Florets
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Cucumber slices
- Radish slices
- Celery sticks
Choose your favourite homemade or store bought dip and you’re good to go. My kids always enjoy this Bacon Beer Dip for veggies.
Beer Bacon Ranch dip, not just for chips! We like this with veggies too!
An excellent option to serve on St. Patrick’s day with veggies, or corn chips, oh BOTH!
While the stew cooks in the Instant Pot, you’ll have time to whip up and bake this savory quick bread.
Serve warm from the oven, or make it ahead and serve lightly toasted slathered with butter.
And if you don’t have time for fresh quick bread? That’s OK! Really it’s okay. Dinner rolls, biscuits, canned crescent rolls, all good options. Whatever you’re family likes, or you have on hand is always the best choice.
Okay, so now we know what’s for dinner! Let’s get to the recipe shall we?
Instant Pot Beef Stew with Guinness
- 5 slices thick cut bacon diced
- 1 white onion; peeled and diced
- 2 lbs stew beef
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 5 red potatoes; peeled & cut into large pieces
- 32 oz beef broth
- 2 bay leaves; fresh or dried
- 2 sprigs of thyme; fresh
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup guinness extra stout beer
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch maybe more – see notes
- 3 tablespoons water
- Turn the Instant Pot on to sauté mode, and wait until it reads HOT. Add the diced bacon and cook until crispy. If it's browning too much, reduce the sauté to medium. Add in white onion and stir well, scraping up the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add in a little beef broth and deglaze. Scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot with a spatula or a wooden spoon, making sure there is nothing cooked onto the bottom. Deglazing well is key to not getting the burn warning.
- Add in stew beef and cook until lightly browned. Turn off saute mode. Add in carrots potatoes. Pour in the guinness and the remaining beef broth. If this does not cover your vegetables and meat then add water to just barely cover. Add in thyme and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Place the lid on the instant pot and set the valve to the sealed position. Press the pressure cook button or manual depending on the model of Instant Pot you have and set timer to 25 minutes. Once the timer beeps, turn the valve to open, and do a quick release. Normally it's recommended to do a natural release when cooking meat, but since this is stew and has a lot of broth, the meat which is in smaller pieces will be nice and tender. A natural release will over cook the carrots and potatoes.
- Cancel the pressure setting and turn on saute mode. Prepare the cornstarch slurry (this is 3 tablespoons cornstarch whisked well with 3 tablespoons or so of water). Pour slurry into the broth and stir well. Let the broth to a boil to activate the cornstarch and thicken the stew. If it’s still not thick enough you can add a little more slurry. The gravy will thicken as it cools, so keep this in mind and don’t over do it!
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