Pressure Cooker beef stew

I pulled out the pressure cooker for the first time in a long time. John actually uses it more than I do, mostly for sweet potatoes and pumpkin.  Anyway, I have been craving beef stew for quite a while now and finally got around to doing this. I was going to use the slow cooker, but that takes all day for beef stew, and I figured I would do something different.




Anyhoo, this recipe comes from the book I got from the library that I mentioned last week Cook it Slow, Cook it Fast from Mr. Food Test Kitchen. This book has a lot of yummy sounding recipes in it, too. This is the Quick as a Wink Beef stew.  It’s not actually quick as a wink, but for stew it’s pretty fast LOL.


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4  tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 to 1.5 pounds of stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes (it calls for 2 pounds, but I got this size package)
  • 1 tablespoon oil – I used coconut
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 pounds of potatoes cut into large cubes
  • 2 to 3 carrots cut into chunks
  • 1.5 cups of broth
  • A 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of browing agent

I cheated a little and used frozen carrots:


and onions for that matter…

In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and pepper. Add the meat and toss to coat. In the pressure cooker, add the oil and brown the meat for 5 minutes or so. I like to do this in a couple batches. If you have too much meat in the pan, you end up steaming the meat because of the liquid. 


Then add in all the rest of the ingredients except for the browning agent.


Cover and bring to pressure. It takes a few minutes to come up to pressure, but the indicator will pop up like this:


Or whatever indicator the pot has. Now turn the heat down to medium low and maintain pressure for 8 minutes. If the button falls down, the heat is too low and you have to bring it back up to pressure. The nice thing about current pressure cookers is that they are safe. No more blowing lids and peeling your dinner off the ceiling. They have a pressure release valve that will automatically release pressure if it gets too high. I have seen that in action, so I know it works.

Anyway, after 8 minutes, do a natural release, which is removing the pressure cooker from the heat and letting the pressure come down on its own. It took about 10 minutes or so for me. The little button will fall back down.  


(FYI – a quick release is where you turn the knob to the steam vent setting and it will release the steam all at once. It’s pretty loud when it does that, but it only takes about 30 seconds.) Then carefully open the lid.  Now for the browning agent. 


This is a suprisingly flavorful add in, plus it darkens the color. You don’t need much, just 1/2 a teaspoon.


Yum, right? Then serve!


The nice thing about the pressure cooker is that it makes the meat really, really tender, but not mushy. I love the slow cooker, but sometimes the pressure cooker seems a little more fresh tasting, if that makes sense. Because of the shorter cooking time.

Since John is a vegetarian, obviously he will not be eating any of this, so I am set for a fair number of meals LOL. Unless anyone wants to come over and have some!

What do you cook in the pressure cooker?

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16 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker beef stew

  1. debby

    My mom had a pressure cooker, and she made “swiss steak” which was round steaks with tomatoes and probably dried onions. It was so yummy. I agree with you about the meat tasting fresher in the pressure cooker. But I’ve never had one. Maybe that will be my next appliance!
    debby´s last blog post ..Tidepools

  2. Shelley B

    I’ve never used a pressure cooker, nor has my mom (to my knowledge) so they are still a scary mystery to me, but I appreciate your tutorial, although I still think I’d end up with dinner on the ceiling (that is the perfect visual descriptor, thank you!). And I’ve never heard of a browning agent either – you are giving me a wealth of information today! I do love me some beef stew – your version looks delicious!
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..Wednesday Workout Update

  3. Helen

    Your beef stew looks yummy. I always end up freezing soups in individual portions for later lunches dinners since Mr. Helen is not much of a soup eater.

    My last experience with a pressure cooker happened 40 years ago – my mother was making something and I don’t even remember what, but it literally blew all over the kitchen ceiling, etc. I remember my baby sister wasn’t even walking but she had pulled up onto the kitchen cabinet and when that thing blew, she hit the deck and crawled away as fast as she could. I’m still traumatized by that whole thing! 😀
    Helen´s last blog post ..Tuesday Ten

  4. Jen

    I have been considering buying an electric pressure cooker. I wonder if I’d use it much. The concept is really interesting to me.

  5. Alissa

    That looks really good. I’ve never heard of browning agent. I also just recently learned about adding flour to the meat when browning it–all of this time I didn’t know about that! I don’t have a pressure cooker, but I might have to invest in one.

  6. Flo

    I have an electric pressure cooker/slow cooker – the Instant Pot. What I make most often is yogurt. It makes the BEST yogurt you’ve ever tasted.

  7. Flo

    I have an electric pressure cooker/slow cooker – the Instant Pot. What I make most often is yogurt. It makes the BEST yogurt you’ve ever tasted.

  8. Pubsgal

    I’ve never cooked with a pressure cooker, nor had food prepared in one. They seem intimidating, but it sure sounds like they cook the food quickly! I love a good stew, and yours looks delicious!

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