I do love sweater weather here in Canada, it means fireplace goes on, and instant pot soups and beef stews for days!
While I am no stranger to making Instant Pot soups, Instant Pot beef and lentil stews are a bit new.
Umm…. why did I wait so long. This beef stew is warm and spicy – perfect cold weather combination.
This recipe is designed to be prepped ahead and frozen. Not fully cooked and frozen.
This method of food prep is great because your prep day involves NO COOKING and this assembles in about 10 minutes.
On cook day, it is as simple as dumping the ingredients in and pressing a button. BUT… because I like my beef stew meat tender, and my veggies not mush, I do this recipe in two steps on cook day.
First, I cook the meat and aromatics.
Then I add the veggie bag contents for only 5 minutes – this makes the beef fall apart tender, but the veggies not mush!
And in the end…. you get this irresistible winter warm up beauty beef and lentil stew.
- 2 lbs beef stew meat cut into bit size pieces
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 10 oz cans of Rotel tomatoes if you want no spice, use regular diced tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Beef Bouillon Powder
- 1 onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves diced
- 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1 cup dried green lentils
- 2 cups chopped chunky carrots
- 2 cups halved mushrooms
- 4 cups water
- Flour slurry - 1/4 cup flour + 1/4 cup water
To a one gallon freezer bag, add the beef, pepper, diced tomatoes, bouillon powder, thyme, oregano, garlic and onion.
To a sandwich size freezer bag, add the lentils, carrots, and mushrooms.
Place the two bags into a gallon size bag and label the bag.
I don't portion the flour out for my prep, but you can. Just ensure it is separate and on it's own.
Dump the contents of the thawed meat bag into the instant pot.
Add 4 cups of water.
Seal the pot and set on manual for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, quick release the pressure.
Add the contents of the veggie bag.
Set the pot on manual for 5 minutes.
Let the pot NPR for 10 minutes, then release remaining pressure.
Remove lid and mix in the flour slurry - stir ensuring no flour clumps.
To make this non spicy - replace the Rotel tomatoes with regular diced tomatoes.
If you live in Canada where you cannot get Rotel, use regular diced tomatoes and add a small can of diced chilis.
This recipe takes just over one hour when you include the pressure up and depressurization times.
Be warned, this recipe as written is spicy spicy spicy (thank you rotel!). You could dampen the heat by using one can of regular diced tomatoes and one can of rotel, or just use straight regular diced tomatoes!
So, there you have it. A Prep Ahead Spicy Beef and Lentil Instant Pot Stew that is perfect for this sweater weather!
If you like cooking in your instant pot as much as I do, check out some other prep ahead friendly IP recipes I have: