Lazy Day Beef Stew (Fresh or Frozen Beef)
By :The Rootitoot Cookbook by Ruth McCusker
Lazy Day Beef Stew (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”.
Votes: 25
Rating: 4.8
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Modern
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Soups, Stews & Broths
Duration 30-60 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook, Sauté
Cook Time 45 minutes
4 people
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cup beef or 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 - 1.5 lbs stew beef frozen or fresh
  • 3 - 4 red-skinned potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 to 3 carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley optional
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Modern
Difficulty Easy
Browse Category Soups, Stews & Broths
Duration 30-60 min
Cooking Technique Pressure Cook, Sauté
Cook Time 45 minutes
4 people
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cup beef or 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 - 1.5 lbs stew beef frozen or fresh
  • 3 - 4 red-skinned potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 to 3 carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley optional
Votes: 25
Rating: 4.8
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.  
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Go back to bed. And I hope you feel better soon.
Recipe Notes

Pressure Cook and Manual buttons are interchangeable.

66 replies
  1. Manacat
    Manacat says:

    This was a very good beef stew, I had to make one change as I was out of cornstarch, I used a pack of brown gravy mix and it was so good I am making it again within two weeks. It also make enough that we can have it for two or three days in the week and with our full work days it helps.

  2. Jan Armstrong
    Jan Armstrong says:

    Does it make a difference on the cooking time if you use frozen versus fresh stewing beef?

  3. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Jan,

    You may need to increase the cooking time but most of the defrosting will happen while the Instant Pot Preheats and pressurizes.

  4. Yonatan Shaked
    Yonatan Shaked says:

    I am about to purchase an Instant Pot, and this is the first recipe I’m looking at – and it sound GREAT! Can’t wait already to get my Instant Pot! However, there are a number of sizes of the Instant Pot; I am considering the Duo Mini – but my question is, is this recipe for all sizes of the Instant Pot?
    Thank you.

  5. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Yonatan,

    Recipes are typically created for the 6 Quart because they can be halved and used in a 3 quart.

  6. tfisher
    tfisher says:

    changed soy sauce to one tblspoon and put a tblspoon of worcestershire sauce which made it a little spicy but still very good!! extra peas is also great!

  7. ChrisKrosss
    ChrisKrosss says:

    Just tried this recipe, giving it a 5 star review! Super simple and super tasty! Had to add straight corn starch after the slurry to make it thicker but all in all I highly recommend this recipe for a cold winters day!

  8. Jamesroxford
    Jamesroxford says:

    Fabulous! I prepped the first 10 ingredients in a bowl the night before so I could just dump it in when I got home. My only gripe is that it isn’t quicker to make. I’ll be making it again.

  9. Gracie35
    Gracie35 says:

    This was my first attempt at using an Instant Pot and the beef stew was awesome! Meat was fall apart tender. I used baby carrots cut in half and the potatos and carrots cooked just fine in 4 minutes. The recipe said serves 4 and it did. I used low sodium soy sauce and the flavor was excellent

  10. Rachel.dipippo
    Rachel.dipippo says:

    This was my first instant pot recipe used… loved it… only change I made was used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes… fantastic

  11. Posygirl72
    Posygirl72 says:

    Made this tonight. It was very good. I’ll make the sauce thicker nect next time. The 1 1/2 cup of liquid was pleanty. But to be fair, i made mashed potatoes so tbey werent in the pot but the meat was fork tender.

  12. KathyH2
    KathyH2 says:

    This was my first instant pot use! Love the recipe. Tender beef. Veggies not mushy. Excited to try another recipe!

  13. Annieb53
    Annieb53 says:

    This is the 3rd time I have made this stew. I be used a different combination of vegetables, but it turns out the great each time I make it, and my family loves it. I usually have enough for lunch the next day, and it’s even better then.

  14. Ian FitzGerald
    Ian FitzGerald says:

    Superb!! Just tried my Instant Pot for the first time with this recipe. It is an excellent meal. My wife and I loved it. Hit the spot. I added chopped mushrooms in with the potatoes and carrots. I put in two pounds of stew beef instead of 1 1/2. Very meaty. This one’s a hit.

  15. Sharon Field
    Sharon Field says:

    Can I dbl the recipe or will it be too much for 6 quart. Also do I need to add more cooking time. This will be my 1st time using the instant t pot.

  16. dquillen60
    dquillen60 says:

    I made this but left over rib roast cut into cubes. I was afraid it would break down too much but it was fine. I added extra veggies and left out the potatoes and served it over mashed potatoes. My husband said it was the best stew he’s ever had.

  17. Susan
    Susan says:

    I am getting ready to use my Instant Pot for the first time and using this recipe. Can I double the ingredients? I am having dinner for 9 people. My Instant Pot is 6 quarts.

  18. Josh F
    Josh F says:

    I love this recipe! But does anyone know what the serving size actually is, and the caloric content? I know it says 8 servings, but is that cups, ounces, what? Thanks in advance!!

  19. Pat c
    Pat c says:

    Tasty & tender. Started with frozen stew beef, added rutabaga, bay leaf & fresh rosemary minced. Husband stated even the broth was good.

  20. Janet Troughton
    Janet Troughton says:

    A completely flexible recipe. Add what you like. Perfect and easy. My only quibble is about the instant pot istructions re venting etc are black on black. Very hard to read. How about white on black in the next iteration

  21. Glenn Luttman
    Glenn Luttman says:

    Been loving this recipe and making for several months now. My question is, if I were to brown fresh beef, would I then have to reduce the cooking time prior to adding the potatoes and carrots? If so, by how much? Thanks!

  22. Sean
    Sean says:

    Good recipe. I followed it and it turned out great. No need to add extra liquid like some other people are saying.

  23. Hailey Bug
    Hailey Bug says:

    I love making this its super good the only thing i do differently is cook potatoes and carrots for one minute longer and i leave out most everything and just use a seasoning packet and it still tastes amazing

  24. Yumazona
    Yumazona says:

    In your defense, you did say “first 10 ingredients UP to and INCLUDING the stew beef”. That was good enough for me. I liked it 4 stars. It was very good but different than I expected. There was an underlying sweet taste to it. Was that the brown sugar? I have used my own stew recipe for years and was used to that as it is very good also but different ingredients so my expectations were off. I’ll continue to use both since I can’t really compare apples to apples on them. I added the parsley at the end but does parsley really have any taste? I know its used for color but in the stew it just disappeared. This was my first time using the Instant Pot too. Definitely sold on it.

  25. MDenise
    MDenise says:

    Great recipe, the only changes i made were adding 2 cups of broth and also adding corn. Very good! Just don’t follow the first 10 ingredients direction!

  26. Cristina G
    Cristina G says:

    Hi. I agree it’s a little confusing to read “Toss in first ten ingredients…” because I also tossed in the potatoes and then down the line I read that I was supposed to add them in after the initial pressure cooking along with the carrots. Oops. So! I thought if the potatoes I added first (I used russet) were too soft, they would just thicken the stew. So I chopped up another (because potatoes are delicious) and added that with the carrots, too! I couldn’t tell a difference between the ones that I threw in from the beginning and those that I added with the carrots. Bottom line: THIS STEW WAS DELICIOUS! Thank you for the recipe. Leftovers were also delicious today for lunch.

  27. Linda B
    Linda B says:

    I LOVED this recipe! I’ve been making beef stew since 1983 and this recipe is by far my favorite. Sorry, mom — it’s even better than yours! I substituted coconut aminos for soy sauce, added a few dashes of both Worcestershire sauce (low sodium version) and A1 steak sauce. I used chicken stock and it worked out great! Such a rich, beautiful flavor to the stew sauce. I’ll make this many more times for sure!

  28. Michael W
    Michael W says:

    This is a terrific recipe and very easy to follow if one takes the time to read it through once before starting to cook (as with any recipe). We made a couple of adjustments by adding both chicken and beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp of thyme, a bay leaf and a heaped tbsp of whole grain mustard at the same point in the recipe as adding the peas. The vegetables cooked perfectly and the beef was succulent and tender. The parsley adds a bright earthiness that is always good with stews and soups. This recipe is a real keeper! Great job!

  29. Denise Evans
    Denise Evans says:

    I made this recipe as it is written and it turned out perfectly. 1 1/2 cups of broth is the perfect amount of liquid.

  30. jule McDowell
    jule McDowell says:

    If you know nothing about cooking, you can still be successful with this recipe. If you are a seasoned (see what I did there?) cook, then this one can be tweaked to your liking for different liquids and seasonings. Everybody wins…as long as you follow the Instant Pot instructions! I used no soy sauce, added Worcestershire. I substituted a can of French Onion Soup (Campbells) for the cut up onions and the beef stock. I left out the peas. I used 2 lbs. of stew beef. I used the cornstarch slurry for a thicker gravy, but you don’t have to. It’s delicious without it too. I rate this as a winner in the Instant Pot Sweepstakes. Congratulations! 5 stars!

  31. Brian
    Brian says:

    I agree, this is definitely a 5 star winner. And thanks to other comments as I borrowed ideas. I used 2 lbs of stew beef, and changed the 2 tbsp of soy to 1 tbsp of soy and added 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce. Because I used a little more meat I also bumped up the potatoes to 5 and carrots to 4 large ones, and when adding to the pot I also added 2 small Bay leafs and 1/2 tsp of dried thyme. Instead of peas I used 1 cup of frozen corn and 1 cup of frozen green cut beans. I also added and extra tbsp of cornstarch and water as I like a thicker stew. Turned out really great and everyone liked it, will be making this again. And this all fit fine in my 6 qt instant pot, just in case anyone is wondering.

  32. Hndoty
    Hndoty says:

    This is my favorite beef stew recipe. I change it up slightly when I make it. I use russet potatoes instead of red, and I use frozen mixed vegetables (with carrots, green beans, peas, and corn) instead of just peas. Overall delicious!

  33. Mike Stocker
    Mike Stocker says:

    Excellent easy recipe, great instructions! I cheated and used those bagged, prewashed, grilling type baby potatoes and baby carrots. Also half a jar of pearl onions (I’m a lazy old dude. lol). The result was an awesome stew!

  34. Mared
    Mared says:

    I like my potatoes and vegetables to still be very firm in my stews, so I didn’t use the pressure setting to cook them. When my meat was finished the pressure cook cycle, I switched to saute mode and added the hard vegetables. (In my case I used carrots rutabaga and celery). I set the saute to low and simmered the hard vegetables for 7 minutes, then finally added the potatoes and simmered for another 7 minutes. I had to add about another cup of beef broth at that time as I used a lot of veggies! Then I thickened it. Everything came out perfectly with no mushy potatoes or vegetables. The meat was perfectly tender and the taste was wonderful.

  35. Kay
    Kay says:

    I’m a newbie. When you sauté, do you remove the lid. I didn’t and I had very little liquid. It tasted very good, but it steamed for the entire 30min.

  36. Mary Krejci
    Mary Krejci says:

    Oh my goodness! This was so quick and easy! I forgot to take supper out of the freezer so when I found this recipe I was thrilled! My husband was too! It was a rush day and everything went together so quickly, I got it done before I had to leave for an evening appointment, and still had time to share dinner with him! It was a knockout meal! Will use this recipe often!

  37. Tina Rappuhn
    Tina Rappuhn says:

    I made this in the instant pot in our rv. It is so tasty!
    I added some corn and celery. This is a keeper!

  38. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    This and the recipe from the Google app store are not the exact same recipe, very close though. Not sure if this is intentional or something got messed up when transferred over.

  39. Marie Q
    Marie Q says:

    This was great! My additions were some steals from my pot roast recipe which were
    Red wine vinegar as the vinegar
    About half a cup or more of red wine
    A quarter packet of ranch seasoning powder
    A quarter packet of au jus mix

    Thank you!

  40. Thea Weir
    Thea Weir says:

    The stew tastes awesome. I have been making stew every winter for decades. I must say that this stew is the easiest to make and tastes the best. My daughter gave me an Instant Pot for my birthday and I absolutely love it.

  41. pcote3
    pcote3 says:

    This a great tasting stew and easy to make. I add turnip, parsnip and celery which makes it really good and hearty so i usually add an extra 1/2 cup of broth because of that. I have also substituted 1/4 cup of broth with 1/4 cup of red wine.

  42. indi
    indi says:

    We made this almost exactly to recipe but added a few stalks of celery. This was amazing! The whole family was raving, thank you!

  43. Erin
    Erin says:

    This was the first recipe I made with my instant pot & my family loved it! I didn’t have any soy sauce so I added 1 extra tbsp of Worcestershire & used rice vinegar. This recipe I think is good for 2-3 servings, next time I’m going to try doubling the recipe.

  44. Sylvie
    Sylvie says:

    Best beef stew I ever made. It’s simple to make. I make this several times a month. I add whatever root vegetables that I have available. If I don’t have frozen peas I had macedoine
    Love this lazy day beef stew.

  45. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    Made this with frozen stew meet, 10 minutes extra per pound in the instant pot. It was perfect, according to my fussy family! Definitely a keeper recipe!

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