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If you’re craving something warm and hearty, this Instant Pot / Slow Cooker Beef Stew is sure to do the trick. Featuring tender beef and veggies stewed in a flavourful, silky broth, this beef stew recipe can be made using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker or a slow cooker. Additionally, this particular beef stew recipe is low FODMAP and Whole30 compliant, with an easy Paleo option.
Instant Pot OR Slow Cooker Recipes
My favorite kitchen gadget is, without question: the Instant Pot. However, from this point forward, the majority (but not all) of the Instant Pot recipes I’ll be posting will also include slow cooker instructions. Most Instant Pot recipes are easily adaptable for the slow cooker anyway, so it’s really not a big deal. I would like my recipes to be accessible to more people, and slow cookers are a very common, affordable kitchen appliance. If the Instant Pot isn’t your thing, now you have options.
Homemade Beef Stew vs. Canned
Before developing this Instant Pot / Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe, I’m honestly not sure I’ve ever had homemade beef stew. I used to eat a lot of canned soups and stews and had canned beef stew plenty of times, never thinking it was anything special. I make this homemade beef stew, and BAM! F*#&ing amazing! My husband, Jeff, and I were both floored at how good it actually is. It’s also so comforting and warm, perfect for feeling cozy on a cold or rainy day.
So, if you’ve never made your own beef stew and are skeptical about how it might turn out – take my word for it and make this. You won’t be sorry, I promise. The beef and veggies practically melt in your mouth, and the umami flavour created from the broth ingredients makes each and every spoonful a delight to eat.
Low FODMAP & Whole30 with Paleo Option
FODMAP Content of Note
This recipe is low FODMAP at a single, one and one-eighth cup serving. The recipe makes about 9 cups in total, allowing for 8 servings at this size.
Green peas are the most concerning ingredient in this recipe as they are at the maximum amount per serving recommended by Monash University. The recommended serving size is 1 tablespoon, and this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of peas total. At 8, 1 1/8 cup servings, you’re getting approximately 1 tablespoon of peas per serving. Luckily, Monash creates these serving sizes with a bit of wiggle room with the assumption that people will eat more than the recommended serving size.
If you think you might want more than one serving of this stew or know you react poorly to the GOS FODMAP, you could choose to leave them out. They’re nice to have as they bring more texture, nutrients and colour to the stew, but peas are not a vital ingredient in making this recipe awesome.
According to Monash University, the dark green parts of leeks are considered tolerable for individuals with IBS in quantities of 2/3 cup per serving. As this recipe calls for 1 cup total, at one, 1 1/8 serving, you’re only consuming 1/8 cup. For more information on FODMAPs, please refer to Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App.
Whole30 & Paleo Option
Just this year, the Whole30 folks changed the rules on legumes, allowing for certain legumes including green peas, among others. So, if you’re on a Whole30, you can consume the peas this recipe calls for and remain Whole30 compliant.
There is a lot of debate in the Paleo community as to whether peas are okay to consume on the Paleo Diet. I’m not a doctor or nutritionist, but I find peas to be tolerable at low amounts and an enjoyable green vegetable. If you’re strict Paleo, omit the peas. If not (like me), please enjoy.
Instant Pot Beef Stew:
6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or a comparable electric pressure cooker
I’m not going to go into tons of detail here as there is plenty of detail in the recipe card below. However, here are a few bullet points to note when making this beef stew:
You can buy a boneless beef chuck roast and cut it up, or you can buy precut stew meat. I typically just get the precut stew meat as it is typically the right quantity and easier to prepare.
The first step is to season and sauté the meat to seal in the spices. I typically grab 3-4 pieces of beef at a time with tongs to make this process faster.
Garlic-Infused Olive Oil
To give the stew some garlicy flavour without actual garlic, which is high in FODMAPs, I add 2 tbsp of garlic-infused olive oil to sear the meat. Then, I add an additional 1 tbsp of oil to soften the leek as the meat soaks up the oil.
If the meat starts to burn while searing, add some additional oil.
Leek, Dark Green Leaves Only
To give the recipe oniony flavour without the onion, I use 1 cup of leek, using the dark green parts of the leek only for low FODMAP.
When finely chopped, the dark green part of the leek does need a bit of softening, but not nearly as much as say, a white onion. Keep an eye on it while sautéing to prevent burning.
Low Sodium, Low FODMAP Beef Broth
Once the saluting is over, I pour in 1 cup of beef broth to scrape the bottom of the pot (or skillet if cooking in the slow cooker). Once done scraping, I add an additional 2 cups of broth to the Instant Pot. When using the slow cooker, I add the contents of the pan and the extra two cups of broth directly to the slow cooker.
I use Imagine Low Sodium Beef Broth. It’s not only low sodium and low FODMAP but also Paleo and Whole30 compliant.
Umami, Seasonings & Produce
To enhance umami flavour and add acidity to the stew, I add 3 tbsp of tomato paste to the broth. I also add 1 tbsp of coconut aminos, a gluten-free, Paleo/Whole30 compliant soy sauce substitute, to further bring out the umami flavour.
To season the stew, I use my homemade Italian seasoning mix recipe. Many store-bought Italian seasoning mixes are low FODMAP, so feel free to use a store-bought mix instead.
To further season the stew, I add dried oregano leaves, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper. This is an additional amount of salt and pepper to what’s already been sprinkled on the meat in the beginning.
Once the seasonings have been added, I add the meat to the pot/slow cooker being sure to scrape any remaining juices from the plate with a spatula into the broth. I also add the carrots and potatoes and stir everything with a spoon to coat.
Slurry & Peas
After the stew is done cooking, to thicken the broth, I whisk together 2 tsp of tapioca flour with 2 tsp of cold water in a small bowl or measuring cup to make a slurry. While stirring the stew slowly while it’s still bubbling (either via the Sauté function on the Instant Pot or while the stew is still cooking in the slow cooker), I pour in the slurry and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the broth thickens. If you prefer a thicker broth, add additional teaspoons of tapioca flour and water in equal amounts until you achieve your desired thickness.
After removing the inner pot from the heat or turning off the slow cooker, I stir in the frozen peas. The peas will cook using the residual heat from the broth. As I mentioned above, if you eat strictly Paleo or are concerned that you may eat more than one serving of this stew (for low FODMAP), feel free to omit the peas.
Hit “Saute” on your 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker. As the Instant Pot heats up, generously sprinkle the meat on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Once the display reads “Hot,” add 2 tbsp of garlic-infused olive oil and swirl the pot to coat. Using tongs, add half of the seasoned meat and sauté for 1 minute per side (add a few pieces at a time to speed up this process). The meat will soak up the oil rapidly, so add more oil if it starts to burn. Remove meat to a plate and repeat for the other half of the meat. Set plate aside.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp of garlic infused oil to the Instant Pot and swirl the pot to coat. Add the chopped leek and Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Hit “Cancel” on the Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of beef broth to the Instant Pot, wait about 15 seconds, and scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon.
Add remaining 2 cups of beef broth, tomato paste, coconut aminos, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, black pepper, and oregano leaves to the pot. Stir until well combined and the tomato paste has fully dissolved into the broth.
Add meat back to the pot, scraping any remaining juices and seasoning from the plate into the pot with a spatula (leave no flavour behind!). Add chopped carrots and potatoes and stir to coat everything in the broth. Place bay leaves on the top of everything without stirring.
Close the lid and set the pressure release valve to “Sealing.” Press the “Pressure Cook” button and set the timer for 40 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure. Open lid. Using tongs, remove and discard bay leaf. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together 2 tsp tapioca flour with 2 tsp of cold water to make a slurry. Hit Saute on the Instant Pot and wait about 20-30 seconds for the stew to start boiling. While gently and slowly stirring with a fresh plastic spoon, slowly pour the slurry into the bubbling broth. Continue to stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute for broth to thicken. If you prefer a thicker broth, add additional teaspoons of tapioca flour and cold water (1 tsp flour / 1 tsp water) to the broth in the same manner until it is to your desired thickness.
Hit Cancel on the Instant Pot, remove the inner pot and place on a hot pad. Add frozen peas (if using) to the stew and gently stir. The peas will quickly cook in the broth’s residual heat. Ladle stew into bowls and serve.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
Place a large skillet on the stove top on medium high heat and add 2 tbsp of the garlic infused olive oil. While the skillet is heating up, generously sprinkle the meat with kosher salt and black pepper. Once the skillet is hot, using tongs, add and sear meat for 1 minute per side. Remove meat to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp of garlic-infused olive oil to the skillet. Add leek and saute for 2 minutes. Pour 1 cup of broth into the skillet and scrape up anything on the bottom of the pan. Remove skillet from heat. Pour skillet contents into a slow cooker (I use this 6-quart Crock-Pot), using a heat resistant spatula to scrape every piece of leek into the slow cooker.
Add remaining 2 cups of broth into the slow cooker as well as the tomato paste, coconut aminos, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, pepper, and oregano leaves. Stir until well combined and the tomato paste has fully dissolved into the broth. Add meat to the broth, scraping any remaining juices and seasoning from the plate into the slow cooker with a spatula (leave no flavour behind!). Add carrots and potatoes and stir to coat everything in broth. Put bay leaves on the top without stirring and close the lid.
Set timer for 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
Once the cooking time is finished, using tongs, remove and discard bay leaf. Combine tapioca flour and water in a small bowl or measuring cup to make a slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the bubbling stew while gently stirring for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you prefer a thicker broth, add additional teaspoons of tapioca flour and cold water (1 tsp flour / 1 tsp water) to the broth in the same manner until it is to your desired thickness. Turn off slow cooker.
Gently stir in frozen peas (if using them). Ladle stew into bowls and serve.
Low FODMAP at one, 1 and 1/8 cup serving.
*FODMAPs: Per Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App, green peas are considered tolerable for individuals with IBS in quantities of 1 tbsp per serving. See post above for more information on FODMAPs.