Beef Stew or any kind of meat stew is a Caribbean staple. Chunky cuts of meat cooked in spices and herbs until tender, yes please. This recipe forms the base for many other types of beef stew. Add potatoes, carrots, spinach or other vegetables. Turn up the heat by adding some fresh chili (wiri wiri or sctoch bonnet preferably). Remix it however you see fit, almost anything goes.
I served this with vegetable stir fry and cauliflower rice for dinner and my family was licking their dinner plates. And my kids haven't figured out yet that we've been eating cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. They just comments like this is a different rice, but still yummy.
Cooking the beef stew on the stove top
Depending on how much time you have available you can either cook this on the stove top, low and slow or pressure cook it in your Instant Pot. Don't have an instant pot, get one by clicking on the link in Shop My Favs. I've cooked this stew on the stove top and in my instant pot and the flavors are identical. One version just takes 30 minutes and another takes 2 hours!
If I am cooking it in the instant pot, I still brown the meat on the stove first. Of course you can cook brown it in the instant pot, but in my very honest opinion it takes about 15 minutes for it to get just right and on the stove top it takes 5 minutes, so if time saving is what you are after, brown it in a skillet on the stove top first, then transfer to the instant pot.
After I've browned the meat to my liking, I add my fresh herbs and seasoning, cook for a few minutes on high heat and then I do either of these two things. First option is to add 3 cups of water, cover the pot and reduce to heat to medium and let the dish simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours. Second option is to cook it in the instant pot.
Cooking the beef stew in the Instant Pot
To cook the beef stew in the instant pot, I add the sautéed beef and seasoning into the instant pot and then add 1 to 2 cups of water. I then cover the instant pot and pressure cook on high for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the cut of beef you are using) or until the beef is really tender.
If your beef stew has too much liquid after it pressure cooks, you can turn on the sauté function and cook down the liquids until it forms a thick sauce. If your beef is still not tender after the first 20 minutes. Seal up and cook for another 30 minutes. When making the dish for this post, I was trying to catch the light (for the photos), so my beef is not as tender as I usually like it to be. I like that no chewing required type of beef stew, but it was tender enough to eat and very tasty.
The Finished Product
When you are done cooking your beef to the right tenderness and the liquids cook down to a thick sauce, what you are left with is a pot of delicious, hearty and filling beef stew. Yum.
What makes this dish Whole30 friendly?
Typically when I made beef stew in the past, I would season my beef with cassareep and/or some burnt sugar. Since sugar is not allowed on whole30 I substituted those for coconut aminos. Although cassareep is made from cassava and should be whole30 compliant I am not sure what's in my cassareep because it came directly from Guyana and has no listed ingredients on the label. So when in doubt, leave it out.
This beef stew is just beef stew! Although it is Whole30 friendly, it tastes exactly like how I always make beef stew. And since doing my first Whole30 many years ago and understanding how sugar affects MY overall health I make a conscious decision to leave it out of most of my stews and other dishes. My family doesn't know the difference and the taste is exactly the same without the added tummy ache.
The Printable Beef Stew Recipe:
Printable Recipe Card
Beef Stew (with Instant Pot option)
- 2 lbs of precut stew beef or chuck roast cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 yellow onion
- 6 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley
- Small piece of fresh ginger about a ½ inch size
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup of coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 whole tomatoes chopped
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2-3 cups of water
- Add the onion, garlic, parsley and ginger to a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. Alternatively you can also add to a blender with ¼ cup of water and blend into a smooth paste
- Season beef with blended seasoning, salt, paprika, tomato paste and coconut aminos and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Bring olive oil up to temperature in a large skillet, stock pot or dutch oven on medium-high heat
- When oil comes up to temperature add seasoned beef and sauté until all sides are brown, about 5 minutes
- Then add chopped tomatoes, fresh thyme, cilantro
- Next add about two cups of water, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the beef is fully cooked and tender. This may take up to 2 hours. If needed add more water.
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Follow steps 1- 5 above
- Then transfer the beef and pan juices or seasoning into your instant pot
- Add 1 cup of water
- Cover the instant pot, seal and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes
- After 20 minutes vent the instant pot and check the tenderness of the beef, then pressure cook for an additional 10 minutes if needed
- If the stew has too much liquid, turn on the sauté function and cook down the liquids until a thick sauce forms
- Then turn off the instant pot and serve hot
- Pairs really well with sautéed veggies and cauliflower rice!