Looking for a good Instant Pot stew recipe
January 9, 2019 11:16 AM   Subscribe

On this cold winter's day, I am really craving a warm and hearty stew. I'd prefer beef, but I've never made a chicken stew before, so I am open to that. However, I cannot seem to find an Instant Pot beef stew recipe that looks appealing. Are there any great beef stew recipes that you guys can suggest?

I only have a few requirements. The recipe must create a THICK stew, I don't like soup-y/runny stews. I don't care for tomato based stews, either. Many of the recipes I'm finding look like tomato soup with thick cut veggies and chunks of meat. I don't care for those types of stews. My last requirement is that it must not contain fish sauce, I understand that it adds umami, but I don't want to use fish sauce!
posted by VirginiaPlain to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
Do you like beef bourgignon? I'd say it fits the bill pretty well, being very hearty and entirely tomato-free.
Alas, I have lost the recipe I used when I made Instant Pot bourgignon, but this one from the IP website seems pretty promising.

You may have to simmer for some time once the pressure cooking phase is over to achieve your desired consistency.
posted by TinyChicken at 11:24 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


you dont get any evaporative loss during cooking in a closed system like an instant pot - you're going to have to compensate for that by either using less liquid in cooking (and just the right amount) or by reducing your liquid after its done by letting it run on the sautee setting with the lid off. id be very wary of any recipe that called for chemical thickening via cornstarch or arrowroot powders or the like.

For ratios sake i just made a pretty solid pork vindaloo (not what you asked for but id loosely categorize it as a stew) that included 2 lbs of cubed meat marinated in a chili-spice paste, a couple of onions buzzed in a blender and caramelized in the IP on saute (adding a tablespoon of water every few minutes after the initial liquids are released by the onions is the key to not burning them before they get good color) and maybe a scant 3/4 C of liquid.

Again not a traditional european stew dish, but Kenjis green chili chicken is stupid easy and makes a great finished dish (it does call for fish sauce but you could easily omit).
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:32 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


You can always skip fish sauce, no point in ruling out an entire recipe for a minor ingredient. Soy sauce will work as a sub, if it's not there already. There's also worcestershire (use sparingly, it can overwhelm) or liquid smoke.

My favorite stews in the IP have some sweet potato in them to help bulk the sauce, since they disintegrate under pressure for me. The trick is to cut some of the sweet potato into big big chunks so they survive, and then do a modest slice or dice of the rest so it falls apart, in a base stew like this. I really like mushrooms added as well, either sliced or halved, and if you're looking for an interesting added dimension use radishes and/or brussels sprouts too.

There are dozens of "peanut stew" or "ground nut stew" recipes out there with and without sweet potato, and with and without chicken. What I make is basically this with sweet potato added, and I sometimes finish with a splash of coconut milk like other recipes use.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:37 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I'd try a Chicken Paprikash recipe. The recipe is pretty easy to work with and makes a nice thick sauce if you add some corn starch to the setup.
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:44 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Beef goulash is delicious! I'm sorry it's not an instapot recipe, but you can probably adapt it for such.

Last time I made it, I added potatoes and carrots halfway through, as well as some pearled barley. This essentially turned it into the best beef stew I've ever made. I don't keep both types of paprika on hand, so I used smoked and half-sweet, and it still turned out great. Edited to add that I like to add a bit of flour or a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up a bit too.
posted by hydra77 at 11:51 AM on January 9


Just substitute soy sauce or coconut aminos for the fish sauce. NBD.

Your best bet if you want a thick sauce out of the IP is to small dice some potato in. It'll thicken it up.

If you find the liquid is watery (and it will be, somewhat, as the IP doesn't evaporate anything and needs a certain level of liquid in there to work properly) then at the end of your pressure cook, just remove the meat and whatever vegetables you want to keep intact, and turn the IP to "saute'." Stir so it doesn't burn while you evaporate off the liquid. Then add your stuff back in.

all beef stews taste more or less the same, modulo actual mistakes in the cooking or ingredients
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:00 PM on January 9


How to Instant Pot by Metafilter's own, veggieboy.
posted by terrapin at 12:04 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I don't have a recipe to share with you (I think it was behind a paywall), but my husband recently made a Filipino beef (ox-tail) stew with red wine and peanut butter and it's been a big hit with all who got to try it. So if you like umami and don't want tomato or fish sauce, consider a little peanut butter.
posted by ldthomps at 12:21 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


ldthomps's suggested dish is called kare kare.
posted by wellred at 12:29 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


guinness stew is pretty great. it has tomato paste, but only a couple tablespoons.
posted by koroshiya at 12:32 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


The Chicken and Lentil Stew from Serious Eats is my go-to thick stew for when it's cold outside. No tomatoes, and the shredded chicken plus lentils means it's really thick.

The sherry vinegar is an essential component that lifts it from ho-hum to great, so I wouldn't skip or sub on that ingredient.
posted by iminurmefi at 12:39 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I’ve made this and just skipped the 2 spoons of tomato paste because I didn’t have any on hand - works fine. You can easily simmer it down to your desired thickness. It’s very good!
posted by The Toad at 1:12 PM on January 9


I like to throw a half cup of barley in instant pot stew to thicken it up.
posted by bq at 1:24 PM on January 9


regarding the green chili recipe, i don't know if it is traditional (whatever that may mean) but i have seen this served in restaurants with potatoes in the stew . you could easily parboil the potatoes separately and then add to the sauce afterwards and reduce.
posted by lescour at 1:41 PM on January 9


Do you like curry? This pumpkin and chicken curry calls for a bit of tomato paste, but you could just omit that. I also don’t like fish sauce so I either substitute with soy sauce or coconut aminos as fingersandtoes has already suggested or just skip it entirely and then add more seasoning (salt, pepper, soy sauce, etc.) later on if needed.
posted by theappleonatree at 2:07 PM on January 9


I made this Instapot beef stew on Monday, with leftovers for dinner on Tuesday, and it was very tasty.
posted by COD at 2:23 PM on January 9


You want this one. I’m sure many are good, but this is the one you want. Don’t skip the gelatin; other things “thicken” stews, but this is what creates the thick mouthfeel without adding flour/roux taste or cornstarch texture issues.

I often remove solids from stews and chilis and set the Instant Pot on high-sauté to reduce; this is also superior to adding thickeners.
posted by supercres at 2:41 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Came to share the Guinness stew recipe koroshiya linked.
posted by hanov3r at 2:47 PM on January 9


Pressure cooker stews can be watery. You can simmer the stew for a bit to reduce the liquid, as described above. Or you can use an immersion blender: after venting, remove most of the protein and veg and blend what remains in the pot. Then add your solids back, and give everything few good stirs with a spoon.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:03 PM on January 9


I feel pretty dumb for actually not realizing that Instant Pot stews were so watery because there's no liquid lost due to evaporation. Duh, it makes total sense now. I thought people with Instant Pots just liked watery stews! Thanks for the enlightenment.

There are some great recipes here. I'm making iminurmefi's Chicken and Lentil Stew recipe right now!
posted by VirginiaPlain at 6:42 PM on January 9


This recipe for Flemish Carbonnade isn’t an Instant Pot recipe, but can easily be converted, and it is one of my all-time favorite beef stews. Brown the beef and cook the bacon on the regular Sauté setting. Caramelize the onions on the Sauté setting adjusted to Low heat. You will likely want to cut back on the liquid, and you probably only need to cook it for 30-45 minutes. You can serve over egg noodles instead of with bread, depending on preference.

(The onion caramelization takes a good 30 minutes and unfortunately can’t be sped up. But it is worth it.)
posted by snowmentality at 7:08 PM on January 9


When I make stew in the instant pot I do always add a step at the end for boiling it to thicken/evaporate. It works great and gives an opportunity to season to taste and add any other ingredients that might not like to be pressure cooked (like more fragile vegetables).
posted by Lady Li at 9:14 AM on January 10


I throw together stews all the time - with and without the instant pot - and never bother with recipes.

I see lentils above; pearl barley is another water absorber that works well to thicken up stews by removing excess liquid. Unlike red lentils, at least, it hangs around in the stew, and I happen to like the texture. 20-30 minute cook times seem to do the job but it's hard to overcook, and it will pressure cook with the rest of the stew just fine. Anything from a quarter of a cup to a cupful will work. Yellow split peas also work, if you like them.

And there's no shame in using some corn starch after cooking to change the liquid texture. Mix in a cup with cold water before stirring in and it won't go lumpy; it thickens at near boiling so you probably want to add it the just as you open the lid; a heaped tablespoon is never quite the right amount but it's in the ballpark, just mix up some and add it in stages till it goes the way you like. As long as it gets hot it doesn't taste, in my experience.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 9:35 AM on January 10


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