Beef Stew (with Fresh or Frozen Beef)

Beef Stew (with Fresh or Frozen Beef)

I am now officially a convert. I had never cooked stew with frozen beef... In. My. Life. But a while ago, I had the flu for three days. Then I got hungry but had no energy. I decided to take a chance and make a “dump” stew using a solid block of frozen stew beef and go back to bed. The result was unbelievable. Tender, brown beef and great flavour. I still do it the old-fashioned way as I describe in my real Beef Stew recipe, but this is a quick and very good alternative for sick days, or just “those days”.


1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup beef/chicken broth
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar, any kind
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 – 1 1/2 lb stew beef, frozen or fresh
3 or 4 red-skinned potatoes, in 1” pieces
2-3 carrots, in 1” pieces
1 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)


Toss the first ten ingredients, up to and including the frozen stew beef, into the Instant Pot. Close the lid and make sure the valve is set to Sealing. Push Pressure Cook (or Manual) and use the +/– button to get to 25 minutes.

While it's cooking, cut the potatoes and carrots into 1” pieces, with or without the skins. Make a slurry by stirring the cornstarch into the water until smooth.

When the pot beeps that it's done, leave it for a 10-minute natural release. Then flip the valve to Venting for a quick release of any remaining pressure and when the pin drops, open the pot.

Toss in the potatoes and carrots (not the peas) and gently push them into the liquid. Close the lid again and hit Pressure Cook (or Manual). Set the cook time to 4 minutes. When it's done, do a quick release - pin drop - open the pot.

Hit Cancel, then Saute. Give the cornstarch slurry a stir and when the stew is boiling stir in about half the slurry. Boil to thicken it and if you want it thicker, add more of the slurry.

Hit Cancel and stir in the frozen peas. The heat of the stew will be enough to cook them without turning them to mush. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add the parsley, if using, and You. Are. Done.

Go back to bed. And I hope you feel better soon.