Pressure Cooker Curry Beef Stew (An Instant Pot Recipe)

he easiest and quickest pressure cooker curry beef stew recipe that yields the best results. Simply dump everything into the pot and you’ll have melt-in-your-mouth beef smothered in a rich, thick sauce. So irresistible! {Gluten-Free adaptable}

Two bowls of pressure cooker curry beef stew with rice

I have to admit that in the past I’ve had my doubts about pressure cooker recipes. Especially for braised dishes and stews, I’ve sometimes found that the flavor falls flat compared to the stovetop method.

Pressure cooker mysteries debunked

The first time I used a pressure cooker was back in 2008, when I was living in Japan. I was so excited to cook my favorite Japanese beef curry in it because it took a third the time of the traditional method. But I was disappointed when the curry ended up quite watery and the beef was bland. I had to keep simmering it for another hour on the stove to thicken the sauce.

My latest experiments totally changed my mind about pressure cooking. I discovered that the biggest mistake that I used to make was – using the same amount of liquid when converting a recipe to the pressure cooker version. This is a big no-no. Since the pressure cooker seals so well and very little liquid evaporates during cooking, using too much liquid results in watery food that is not well seasoned.

On the other hand, if used properly, a pressure cooker can tremendously reduce your prep and cooking time and generate awesome results.Pressure cooker curry beef stew close up

Why pressure cooker curry?

(1) You don’t need to pre-boil or brown the beef

When I make braised meat or stew on stovetop, I usually brown the meat to seal the juices and make the meat taste richer. This is not the case when using the pressure cooker.

The pressure cooker raises the boiling point of the water in the pot. The extra-high heat not only speeds up the cooking process, but also promotes caramelization and browning in a different way. Yes! Your beef will be caramelized in the liquid. Your beef curry will have a deep and complex flavor without browning the meat.

(2) Creating tenderer and juicier meat

The increased pressure forces the cooking liquid and moisture to enter into the food. It turns tough cuts of meat very tender and juicy, very quickly.

(3) Shortened prep time and cooking time.

You only need 5 minutes of prep time. Remember how we don’t need to brown the meat? Yep! Simply dump everything into your pressure cooker and that’s it.

You might argue that a pressure cooker requires time to release the pressure, so the cooking time does not indicate the real time needed to get your meal ready. This is correct. However, even if we add 15 minutes for natural release of pressure, the total cooking time for a perfect beef stew is still as low as 45 minutes. And the 45 minutes is 100% inactive cooking time. A stovetop stew requires 2 hours to simmer the meat. And you probably need another 15 minutes to brown the beef, which is active cooking time. The pressure cooker still wins by cutting cooking time to one-third and cutting active cooking time to zero.

Pressure cooker curry beef stew in black bowl

More cooking notes

(1) You don’t add any liquid to the pressure cooker curry?

Since we are using a combination of canned tomatoes, liquid seasonings, and onions as a bed, the meat won’t scorch on the bottom. Plus, the beef will release juice during the cooking process. At the end there will be enough liquid to cover the beef.

(2) Do not use fast release

Make sure you use the natural release method when cooking curry or any starchy dishes, such as congee. Fast release might cause splatter, and the starch in the hot liquid could clog the pressure cooker valve.The natural release process will also cook the meat a bit more, resulting in a tenderer texture.

(3) Beef curry, Chinese style

The seasonings in this dish might look different from those commonly found in an Indian or Japanese curry dish. It is adapted from a family recipe that I ate growing up. Yes, Chinese cooking uses curry powder too, but in a different way.

Try out this dish and be surprised at how good the results are. The buttery beef is so juicy and tender, smothered in a rich, complex tomato curry sauce. Simply top it with steamed rice, and your dinner will be delicious, nutritious, and healthy.

Pressure cooker curry beef stew topped on rice

More soup and stew recipes

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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The easiest and quickest pressure cooker curry beef stew recipe that yields the best results. Simply dump everything into the pot and you’ll have melt-in-your-mouth beef smothered in a rich, thick tomato curry sauce. So irresistible! #GlutenFree #beef #instantpot #recipes

Pressure Cooker Curry Beef Stew (An Instant Pot Recipe)


  • Author: Maggie Zhu
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

The easiest and quickest pressure cooker curry beef stew recipe that yields the best results.


Ingredients

Bottom layer

  • 1 (14.5 oz / 411g) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 dried chili peppers

Middle layer

  • 1/2 medium-sized yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 lbs (450 g) beef chuck roast, cut into 1” (2 cm) cubes (*Footnote 1)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

Top layer

  • 3 tablespoons curry powder (I used Madras curry powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Serving

  • Chopped cilantro or green onion for garnish
  • (Optional) 1 cup frozen green peas or chopped green beans

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients listed under “Bottom layer” above into the Instant Pot. Stir to mix well.
  2. Spread the onion into a single layer on top of the Bottom layer. Add the beef chunks on top of the onion without overlapping. Smear tomato paste onto the beef as evenly as possible.
  3. Sprinkle all the “top layer” ingredients onto the beef as evenly as possible.
  4. Seal the Instant Pot. Set on Manual at high pressure for 30 minutes. Use natural release when done. (*Footnote 1)
  5. Taste the beef and adjust seasoning by adding more salt if needed. Remove the bay leaves and the chili peppers and discard them. Stir everything to mix well. You can store the beef curry in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, or serve directly. (*Footnote 3)
  6. (Optional) To add veggies to your curry, simply microwave some frozen green peas or green beans in microwave and add them into the curry. You can also turn on the saute function of your Instant Pot, add the veggies, and cook until they are done.
  7. Serve hot over steamed rice.

Notes

To make the dish gluten free, replace the soy sauce with tamari and use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine.

  1. Do not cut off and discard the fatty bits from the beef. Fat keeps the meat juicy while cooking and will melt into the sauce to create that velvety texture.
  2. Do not use quick release because it might cause splatter. The natural release process will also continue to cook the meat.
  3. The dish tastes wonderful when it’s fresh, but it tastes even better the day after, once the spices incorporate further into the sauce. It’d be a great idea to cook it on the weekend and use it as meal prep for the following week.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 481
  • Sugar: 7.6g
  • Sodium: 774mg
  • Fat: 32.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.9g
  • Fiber: 3.7g
  • Protein: 32.4g
  • Cholesterol: 117mg
The easiest and quickest pressure cooker curry beef stew recipe that yields the best results. Simply dump everything into the pot and you’ll have melt-in-your-mouth beef smothered in a rich, thick tomato curry sauce. So irresistible! #GlutenFree #beef #instantpot #recipes

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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4 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker Curry Beef Stew (An Instant Pot Recipe)

  1. Sophia

    I made this last night for my husband who loves anything curry. He said it was perfect in taste and texture! I loved that I did not have to brown the beef, and it came out browned! Thank you for the recipe! (Followed the recipe except used a marbled rump, 20 mins high pressure and NR, then added potatoes and carrots and high pressure for another 4 mins, NR)

    Reply
    1. Maggie

      Hi Sophia, I’m so glad to hear you tried the recipe and enjoyed the dish! Good idea about adding potatoes and carrots! It makes the dish so healthy and colorful. I’d love to try that out the next time myself.
      Thanks so much for sharing!

      Reply