Stew in a bowl!

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew with Herbs and Root Vegetables

January 27, 2019

I wanted a stew that was heavy on root vegetables, with an eye towards ingredients that could be grown locally in Nova Scotia. I wanted a one-pot recipe that had the simple sequence I’m used to: saute meat and onions, deglaze, add vegetables and sauce, then cook. This is the result.


The quantities listed will fit comfortably in an 8qt Instant Pot and produce about 4qt (3.8L) of stew. If you double the recipe, dividing and cooking it in two batches, you end up with convenient units to buy at the grocery store like 1kg of beef, a 2lb bag of carrots, and 1 can each of beef broth and tomato paste. I’m from Canada so I can’t pick a system of measurement, I take what I am given.

Total time

It took me between 4 and 5 hours to make a double batch of this stew, but I am not especially organized in the kitchen. You could simplify this recipe by using Italian seasoning instead of the rosemary and other herbs. You could omit the bacon, the green onions and the mushrooms. And you should definitely take a break, when the first batch is done, to sit down and enjoy a bowl of it.


If you double this recipe like I did, shop for double the quantities shown. The amount below is what goes in the pot for a single batch.


  • 8 oz red wine (maybe could have used 5 oz)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce


  • 2 tbsp salt (plus salt used to season beef)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (maybe less?)
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 bay leaves


  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or another neutral oil)
  • 1 lb stew beef in 2-in cubes (or 3/4 lb)
  • 2 pieces of pre-cooked bacon (if you have it)
  • 1.5 lbs potatoes (3-4 large potatoes or 10 small ones)
  • 5 small-medium carrots
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1/2 medium turnip
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 1 med-large onion
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 oz white or brown mushrooms
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 5 oz (1/2 of a 10 oz can) of condensed beef broth
  • 2.5 oz (1/2 of a 5 oz can) of tomato paste (maybe less?)
  • salt to season beef (use a coarse salt if you have it)


Mix the dry seasoning in a small bowl

Mix the liquids into a measuring cup and open the canned tomatoes

Prep the beef

  • cut beef roughly into 2-in cubes and put in a bowl
  • sprinkle with a coarse salt, turning the meat to coat it evenly
  • set aside beef
  • chop or break up the pieces of pre-cooked bacon into 1-in squares
  • set aside bacon
  • clean your cutting board and knives

Prep the vegetables and mushrooms

  • be safe and use a big, sturdy knife to cut the turnip (and other root vegetables)
  • peel and chop turnip, parsnip, and carrots into 2-in chunks
  • scrub and rinse potatoes; later chop into 2-in chunks
  • break off 3 celery stalks, wash, trim, and cut them into 0.5-in slices
  • dice 2-3 green onions and set aside with the celery
  • clean and slice the mushrooms (into 1/4-in slices)
  • peel and mince the garlic
  • peel and dice the onion into 1/2-in sections

Saute garlic, onions, and beef

  • set the Instant Pot to saute (hot)
  • add the grapeseed oil to the pot, and wait for it to heat up
  • add garlic and about 1/4 of the onion to the pot
  • add the beef to the pot and spread the pieces out
  • turn the pieces so they brown on at least 2 sides

Add the liquid sauce and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon

Add the vegetables and seasoning

  • add the remaining onions
  • add the turnip, parsnip and carrots to the pot
  • add the celery and green onions
  • add the tomato paste and stir
  • add half of the seasoning
  • add the potatoes and the diced tomatoes
  • add the rest of the seasoning and stir well

Pressure cook

  • seal the pressure cooker lid
  • cook on high pressure (11.6 psi) for 20 min
  • let the steam release naturally for 15-20 min, then quick release
  • stir well, which breaks up the vegetables and meat a bit for a thicker sauce

Clean the inner pot between batches, and repeat