• Instant Pot 4-Minute Beef

Instant Pot 4-Minute Beef

Recipe updated with how to make this delicious meal on plan for Slimming World readers – less than 1 Syn per serving :O

Roast beef is a magnificent feast of a meal. It always seems very special, mostly because I cook it only when at my parents as it hardly seemed worth the effort and expense for just the two of us. When Hungry Hubby and I needed a beef fix, I cook one large ribeye steak and cut into thin rags to share between us.

Well, I did do. Before I discovered this incredible piece of culinary magic that is my Instant Pot 4-Minute Beef!

Instant Pot 4-Minute Beef

This is such a splendid way to cook a joint of beef, I can’t imagine I will ever go back to attempting to get it right in the oven. Thanks to the magic marinade which helps to break down this relatively tough and certainly very lean cut of beef (topside in the UK, round in the US) before it even hits the heat for a brief sear and an even briefer pressure cook, you are practically guaranteed a succulent and tender piece of beef to preside over your Sunday lunch table.

What you can’t see clearly as it’s an unappetising colour, is the gravy that you make with the juices from the beef and the flavourings you add into the marinade.

My secret ingredient in a good gravy is to purée the onions that you use to sit the meat on as it cooks. It gives a silky unctuousness and helps thicken it up without the need for much cornflour.

If there are just two of you eating, I still encourage you to use the same amount of topside and even make the full amount of gravy – the beef is divine sliced cold into sandwiches or salads and the gravy can be frozen. That is if you aren’t married to a gravy guzzling monster 😉

A couple of serving suggestions for those of you like Hungry Hubby who isn’t a big fan of Yorkshire puddings (I know, don’t start…) – try my method for perfect roast potatoes, maple glazed carrots and parsnips, plus a big bowl of buttered marrowfat peas. A jar of mustard on the side won’t go amiss either:

Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot 4-Minute Beef

Make the very best of an affordable cut of beef with a magic marinade and a few minutes of cooking time in the Instant Pot! See the notes box for how to make this Slimming World friendly.


  • 1-1.5 kg topside of beef (I believe the equivalent is the "round" cut in the US)
  • For the marinade:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp green peppercorns (they are softer than black peppercorns)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • To finish:
  • 1 beef stock cube (I love Kallo ones as the salt is low but the flavour very good)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch in the US)


  1. Put the beef in a large food bag with all the marinade ingredients. Give it a good massage and pop in the fridge for 24 hours. If you can, give it another massage every now and again to distribute the ingredients.
  2. Bring the beef out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to take the chill off it and when ready, put the Instant Pot onto Sauté and sear the beef all over. Reserve the marinade in its bag for now. Take your time with this step and get a good char before turning.
  3. Tip the marinade ingredients into the pot and set the seared beef on the onions so that it is raised up a little off the base. Crumble the stock cube into the water. Pour in enough water to come just to the bottom of the beef, put the lid on and set to Manual High for 4 minutes* (make sure the vent is closed). 
  4. When the 4 minutes are up, don't touch the pot and instead leave it on Keep Warm for one hour for a perfectly cooked medium-rare topside of beef. 
  5. When the hour is up, remove the beef to a serving plate and cover with foil. 

To make the gravy:

  1. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs then turn the pot onto Sauté once more. Use a stick blender to purée the onions and garlic and make a smooth gravy.
  2. Whisk in the mustard powder. Slake the cornflour in a little cold water then whisk in enough of this mixture for the gravy to thicken to your desired consistency. Add boiling water if it becomes too thick and taste for seasoning before serving.
  3. When ready to serve, slice the beef very thinly with a nice sharp knife. You may have more gravy than you need so freeze any leftovers for another day. 


To make this recipe Slimming World Friendly:

  • Reduce the oil to just 1 tsp olive oil for 2 Syns and be sure to spray the inside of the pot before cooking also.
  • 2 tsp of cornflour is equivalent to 1 Syn for the whole gravy - that's only 1 Syn for the best gravy you will ever taste!
  • This is a total of 3 Syns for the whole recipe, divided between however many you wish to serve. This is enough for 4 people with a very generous serving of gravy.
  • Discard the fat from the joint after cooking before serving.

Please note this blog is in no way affiliated with Slimming World and it is always recommended that you check the Syn Calculator for all your ingredients.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will earn a little commission if you chose to buy items I’ve advertised, helping me to bring you all these recipes for free!

Like this post? Then why not try these related recipes:


  1. Penny Edwards 28th October 2017 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Do you include the onions and olive oil in the marinade? Or is the oil for searing the beef after it’s been marinaded and the onions used as a trivet?

    • Just Jo 28th October 2017 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Penny. You shouldn’t need any extra oil – that from the marinade should be just enough (but you can trickle in a little marinade if it’s catching or sticking). And yes, you use the onions as a trivet x

      • Penny Edwards 28th October 2017 at 6:40 pm - Reply

        But do you put the onions in the marinade at the beginning.

        • Just Jo 28th October 2017 at 7:11 pm - Reply

          Yes, they go in with all the marinade ingredients and the beef x

  2. Jennifer Kelly 8th February 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Do you know how long it takes in the instant pot begging to end, the meat is marinating now. I need to have dinner on the table at 6:00 sharp. What time should I start?? Still a beginner w the instant pot.

    • Just Jo 8th February 2018 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Jennifer, you would be best to start it 2 hours before you want to eat it so it can rest and finish cooking through. It wouldn’t hurt to do start it three hours before, unless you want it very rare x

  3. Valerie 21st March 2018 at 11:55 am - Reply

    My eye of round is 5 pounds and I have an 8 quart instant pot. Would you adjust liquid amount, cooking time or resting time as a result of this? I’m making it tonight and will make the marinade right now so any advice would be appreciated!

    • Just Jo 22nd March 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Hi Valerie, you could give it 6-7 minutes cooking time being a bigger joint but keep everything else the same. The other alternative I do for larger joints is to leave them for 90 minutes in the pot before removing to rest them, keeping the recipe the same. I hope that helps and enjoy your beef x

  4. cat bryant 24th April 2018 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    I have to say, my beef was really overcooked and I didn’t leave it for an hour to rest. I wish I’d taken it out at the end of the 4 minutes. The marinade was really good though and the gravy was good.

    • Just Jo 27th April 2018 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Oh how disappointing for you Cat. There are a few variables to play around with to tweak this to your favoured degree of “doneness” like how a big a joint, whether it is fridge cold or not, how long you sear for, and how long you leave it in the pot for. I encourage you to experiment and find your perfect way of doing it! I am delighted that you loved the marinade and flavour, that means a lot! Thanks for your comment x

  5. Terri 30th April 2018 at 12:51 am - Reply

    I used you recipe for a guide for making a small beef tenderloin. Well sort of, decided to rub the meat and let it warm in my room for about 2 hours – marinade can make a tenderloin mushy. Browned the meat on all 4 sides. Removed and covered the bottom of the pot with large chunks of onions. Put the meat on the onions, and added about a cup of water. I cooked for 4 minutes, rested for 4 and then let sit outside the pot for 20 minutes. Normally the beef in my part of Mexico is tough and flavorless. This was quite rare, sliced beautifully and was delicious. I know, not your recipe – but I did use your recipe for courage, since there are few beef roasts recipes online. thanks.

  6. Laura 30th September 2018 at 12:49 am - Reply


    What length of time would you recommend so that the joint is cooked through fully (not pink)? My Grandma is coming for dinner and doesn’t like her meat pink. I also omitted the garlic (for my Grandma and accidentally used thyme instead of rosemary so hoping it turns out ok tomorrow.

    • Just Jo 1st October 2018 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Hi Laura, I hope this comment reaches you in time. I would usually give it 8 minutes if I need to be sure it is cooked through and you can leave it for longer to rest in the pot before taking it out, which will allow for extra cooking. No problem about the garlic and herb subs, you really can make this recipe your own. Don’t be worried about experimenting to find how you like a recipe best x

      • Laura 15th October 2018 at 9:41 pm - Reply

        Thanks for your reply! I just went with what I thought in the end as I was making it that day (can’t remember time I did) but worked well. I will go with 12 next time I make it! Grandma enjoyed it anyway which is no mean feat!

  7. John Oxley 7th October 2018 at 5:54 am - Reply

    Hello Jo, I tried clicking on the picture of your ‘maple glazed carrots’, it just enlarged the picture, I wanted the recipie! I inputted ‘maple glazed carrots’ into your search panel, just asked me to try again?
    Regards John Oxley.

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