This easy beef stew, made in a Ninja multi-cooker, is just what you need to warm you up from the inside out on these cold winter days. Packed brimful with vegetables and tender chunks of beef, swimming in a delicious gravy, this stew is the perfect comfort food!
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The perfect winter warmer
I have to say that I do look forward to a good beef stew. The only drawback, in my opinion, is the amount of time that it takes to get the beef cooked to tender perfection.
That's why I invested in a Ninja multi-cooker this Christmas. It is a pressure cooker / air-fryer / slow-cooker / vegetable steamer all in one, which is brilliant because my kitchen is quite small (ie tiny) and now I only need storage space for one appliance.
The Ninja multi-cooker can also be used for baking cakes and dehydrating fruit and vegetables so watch this space for more Ninja recipes as I experiment with it!
But back to the beef stew. This was the first recipe I made in my Ninja, and apart from prepping the vegetables, and browning the meat, it only took 30 minutes of cooking time to get this stew on the table.
And even if I say it myself, it was delicious. This is a hearty beef stew, brimming with perfectly cooked beef and tender vegetables, with a thick luscious gravy. You will only need some slices of crusty bread to mop up every last delicious morsel. Even hubby was impressed at how tender the beef turned out.
For the beef stew itself, you can use your own choice of vegetables. I always like to add a cup of shredded cabbage along with the meat. The cabbage disintegrates during the cooking process, and helps to flavour the delicious gravy.
For the rest, I used onions and lots of root vegetables - potatoes, carrots, parsnips and swedes. If you want to add other vegetables such as frozen peas and corn, you can stir them in once the stew has cooked.
The meat and cabbage took only 20 minutes, and then I added the vegetables for the final 10 minutes. Job done!
Let me show you how easy it is to make.
What you will need
Well, obviously, a Ninja multi-cooker, but if you don't have one you can make this recipe in a standard pressure cooker. Just follow the manufacturer's instructions for your own model - the timings may differ.
**You can get the full list of ingredients and full instructions for making this easy beef stew on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
This beef stew will feed 4 people, but you can easily scale it up or down by adjusting the amount of meat and vegetables.
Beef - I used good quality stewing beef. You can use either brisket, chuck, flank or topside - which should be cut into bite-sized pieces.
Vegetables - for the vegetables I used shredded cabbage, an onion, and some chopped up parsnips, swede, carrots and potatoes. The quantities aren't critical, but you should allow at least one cup of mixed vegetables per person.
Tomato puree - you may know it as tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, which both add extra flavour to the gravy.
Paprika - the smoky flavour goes really well with beef.
Thyme - I used a teaspoon of dried thyme. If you prefer you can add a sprig of fresh thyme instead. Just remove it before serving the stew.
Stock pots - to make the gravy. You can use fresh beef stock if you have it, or even boullion cubes dissolved in boiling water. I used one beef and one vegetable stock pot mixed into 2 cups of hot water.
Flour (not pictured) - for coating the meat before browning it.
Oil (not pictured) - used to brown the meat.
Cornflour - for thickening the gravy - is only used if the gravy hasn't thickened sufficiently.
Parsley (not pictured) - for garnish (optional).
Salt and black pepper (not pictured) - for seasoning.
What to do
Combine the flour, salt and paprika and use it to coat the pieces of beef.
If you are using a Ninja, you can use the saute function to sear the beef.
Set the temperature to high and let the inner pot get nice and hot.
Do not put the lid on the Ninja.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the inner pot of the Ninja, then add the pieces of beef, a few at a time, and stir them until they are nicely browned.
Once the meat has browned, add the chopped onions and continue to saute, stirring all the time, until the onions are starting to soften.
Stir in any flour that may have been leftover from coating the meat - this will help to thicken the gravy.
If you prefer you can brown the meat in a frying pan instead and then transfer the browned meat and onions to the pressure cooker.
Combine the contents of the stock pots with 2 cups of hot water and stir in the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce. Add the stock to the pressure cooker, then stir in the cabbage and the dried thyme.
Put the lid on the pressure cooker and turn the valve to the 'Seal' position.
Set the function to 'Pressure', set the temperature to 'High' and set the timer to '20' and press the start button.
You can use a normal pressure cooker - just follow the manufacturer's instructions for your own particular model.
After 20 minutes the Ninja will ping to inform you the time is up.
Do a quick pressure release by carefully turning the valve to the vent position.
Open the lid and add the chopped vegetables.
Put the lid back on the pressure cooker and turn the valve to the 'Seal' position.
Set the function to 'Pressure', set the temperature to 'High' and set the timer to '10' and press the start button.
After 10 minutes release the pressure as per the previous step.
If you need to thicken the gravy, mix 2 teaspoons of cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water and drizzle it slowly into the stew, stirring continually, until the stew thickens. You may not need all the cornflour mixture.
Taste the stew for seasoning and add extra salt and black pepper if needed.
Transfer the stew to a serving dish, garnish with chopped parsley (optional) and serve with slices of crusty bread.
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Easy beef stew FAQ
No, this dish is equally delicious when made with cubed lamb. The timing will remain the same.
Leftovers can be transferred to a suitable freezer container and frozen for up to 3 months. To use, defrost in the refrigerator and then transfer the stew to a saucepan and heat gently on the stove. You could also reheat in the microwave.
Any root vegetables can be used for this stew. You can also add a few mushrooms, and one or two chopped tomatoes at the same time as the root vegetables.
If you want to add frozen corn or peas to the stew, I would recommend stirring them into the stew as soon as you have opened the pressure cooker after the root vegetables have cooked.
The warming function on the pressure cooker will ensure the frozen vegetables defrost and will keep the stew warm.
I would not add soft vegetables such as zucchini or squash as these would disintegrate with the pressure.
Yes, you can make this recipe in a saucepan. Follow the recipe until the stock and cabbage have been added, then cover the saucepan with a tightly fitting lid and leave the stew to simmer for 1 and a half hours, or until the meat is almost tender. Add the remaining vegetables and simmer for another half hour, or until the vegetables are cooked.
Yes, to make this recipe in the oven using a casserole dish. Follow the instructions until the stock and cabbage have been added (put them in a casserole dish rather than into a Ninja). Cover the casserole with a tightly fitting lid and place it in the oven at 180C/375F for about 2 hours. Add the remaining vegetables and continue to cook in the oven for a further 30 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
Save for later
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If this recipe isn't quite what you are looking for, perhaps one of these would be more suitable:
- Hearty beef and barley stew - tender chunks of beef with tasty vegetables and nutritious barley, swimming in a delicious tomato-flavoured gravy
- Slow-cooker oxtail stew - let your slow-cooker work its magic and transform a few oxtail bones and a handful of vegetables into a thick and delicious meaty stew
- Slow-cooker beef and kidney stew - a hearty beef and kidney stew, slow-cooked until you can cut the meat with a fork
- South African lamb bredie - a traditional South African stew made with lamb ribs and lots of vegetables
Easy beef stew - made in a Ninja multi-cooker
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1⅓ pounds / 600 grams good quality stewing beef (cubed) flank / chuck / brisket / topside
- 1 pound / 450 grams potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 cup white cabbage shredded
- 1 large onion peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 large carrot peeled and sliced
- 1 cup parsnips peeled and cubed
- 1 cup swede (rutabaga) peeled and cubed
- 2 beef stockpots I used 1 beef and 1 vegetable
- 3 tablespoons tomato puree / tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons flour for coating the meat
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil for browning the meat
- 2 teaspoons cornflour / cornstarch for thickening if necessary
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt or to your own taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the flour, salt and paprika and use it to coat the pieces of beef.1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons flour
- Set the Ninja to saute and let the inner pot get hot. Do not put on the lid.
- Add the sunflower oil to the inner pot of the Ninja and then add the pieces of coated beef and stir them until they are browned on all sides.1⅓ pounds / 600 grams good quality stewing beef (cubed), 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- Once the meat has browned, add the chopped onions and continue to saute, stirring all the time, until the onions are starting to soften.Stir in any flour that may have been leftover from coating the meat - this will help to thicken the gravy.1 large onion
- Combine the contents of the stock pots with 2 cups of hot water and stir in the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce. Add the stock to the presssure cooker, then stir in the cabbage and the dried thyme.1 cup white cabbage, 2 beef stockpots, 3 tablespoons tomato puree / tomato paste, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Put the lid on the pressure cooker and turn the valve to the 'Seal' position.Set the function to 'Pressure', set the temperature to 'High' and set the timer to '20' and press the start button.
- After 20 minutes the Ninja will ping to inform you the time is up.Do a quick pressure release by carefully turning the valve to the vent position.Open the lid and add the chopped vegetables.1 pound / 450 grams potatoes, 1 large carrot, 1 cup parsnips, 1 cup swede (rutabaga)
- Put the lid back on the pressure cooker and turn the valve to the 'Seal' position.Set the function to 'Pressure', set the temperature to 'High' and set the timer to '10' and press the start button.After 10 minutes release the pressure as per the previous step.
- If you need to thicken the gravy, mix 2 teaspoons of cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water and drizzle it slowly into the stew, stirring continually, until the stew thickens. You may not need all the cornflour mixture.2 teaspoons cornflour / cornstarch
- Taste the stew for seasoning and add extra salt and black pepper if needed.½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Transfer the stew to a serving dish, garnish with chopped parsley (optional) and serve with slices of crusty bread.2 tablespoons chopped parsley
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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