This is a real winter warmer, for freezing cold days perhaps with snow on the ground and the heating on high at home. Eaten over a bowl of mashed potato, this Instant Pot Beef Stew is pure comfort food. Of course, I eat mine from a deep bowl, curled up with a warm blankie on the couch. Some days it’s just too cold to sit and eat at the table. 

Lean cuts of beef sold, perhaps, labelled as “stewing steak” or “casserole steak” need an awful lot of cooking to tenderise the meat. Luckily, pressure cooking it in the Instant Pot is super easy and a very reliable way of cooking it. Again, like my Chunky Chilli, it will take over an hour to cook but it is perfect for batch cooking days.

Instant Pot Beef Stew (Syn Free)

These humble ingredients come together to produce a thick, unctuous sauce with tender pieces of beef. Some of the veg cooks down so much that it enriches the sauce with both their flavour and texture, whereas some is adding right at the end so that it is just cooked through and retains some bite.

If making to freeze, stop after the pressure cooking phase and freeze once cold. Add the remaining veg and if necessary, a splash of water to reheat the stew and cook the carrots and mushrooms when you have thawed out the beef another day. 

Sometimes, we like to have our stews with roasted vegetables, mashed carrot and turnip, plus some super crispy roast potatoes. Other times, a puddle of stew on top of a bed of fluffy mashed potato and a few slices of pickled beetroot on the side is what is needed. 

Instant Pot Beef Stew (Syn Free)

How do you serve your stews? What’s your favourite potato dish to serve alongside it? I’d love to hear in the comments below! 

Yield: 6-8 portions

Instant Pot Beef Stew (Syn Free)

Instant Pot Beef Stew (Syn Free)

Tender chunks of lean beef in a velvety rich sauce, thickened with butternut squash instead of adding flour (and Syns). Serve with your choice of potatoes and some more Speedy veg on the side, if liked. Instant Syn free comfort food.


  • 700g lean stewing steak (<5% fat)
  • one cal oil spray, such as Fry Light
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 6 cloves of garlic, bruised and skins discarded
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1 tbsp green peppercorns*
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or Henderson's relish
  • About a 1/3 of a small butternut squash cut roughly into large chunks
  • 250g button or chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks


  1. Start by setting the Instant Pot to Sauté and spray liberally with one cal oil spray. Tumble in the beef and brown well on each side. Don't stir it very often to allow it to caramelise a bit before turning (usually takes about 10 minutes).
  2. Add the diced celery and onion and stir well, before adding the tomato purée and all the herbs/spices.
  3. Crumble in the beef stock cube and add the Worcestershire sauce, plus 300ml of water. Stir very well. Place the squash chunks on top and put the lid on. Set to Stew and adjust to 70 minutes. QPR when the timer goes off as you need to add the remaining veg to cook briefly.
  4. Remove the cubes of, by now, extremely soft butternut squash, mash with a fork and stir into the stew.
  5. Tumble in the mushrooms and carrots then put the lid back on and set the pot to Manual High for 3 minutes. This time, allow a NPR before removing the lid, stirring, tasting for seasoning and serving.


Recipe Notes:

  • *= green peppercorns are much softer than black ones so you can eat them without cracking a tooth! But you can use black ones if that is all you can find, just eat around them rather than chomping them whole!

Important Information

  • Syn values given are correct at time of writing but may not always be accurate.
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