This Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew is a delicious, hearty stew made with split peas and savory spices. Your electric pressure cooker makes the beef extra tender in just a short amount of time.
As you probably know by now, I legitimately have an obsession with my Instant Pot. It seems that I’m pumping out at least one new recipe a week using it. But, I’ve yet to make some of the beef dishes that the Instant Pot is best known for – dishes like pot roasts, and beef stew, those that use tough cuts of meat that would traditionally need to cook away all day in order to transform into a more delicious and tender version of themselves. So, last weekend, I set out to change all that, with this Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew.
Persian Beef Stew
It’s like beef stew’s exotic, spicy cousin – spiked with lots of yummy spices like cumin, cinnamon. saffron and turmeric, but it’s also a much more hearty (and healthy) version of the original version too because this Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew gets plenty of fiber and vitamins from the split peas that are in this stew too.
I loaded this recipe up with a good cup and a half of split peas. As they cook away in the Instant Pot, they take on the most silky texture and absorb all those savory, warming spices. Split peas are part of the superfoods category called “pulses” – the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family, which also includes chickpeas, lentils and beans. They’re naturally high in protein and fiber, but low in fat. And, if you’re looking for ways to eat healthier, sneaking pulses into your daily routine is definitely a great way to do it.
This recipe starts by sauteing cubes of beef right in the Instant Pot – That’s one of my favorite features – I love that you can saute and cook all in the same pot. But, be sure to cook your beef in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pot.
Overcrowding means that your beef won’t get browned, instead it will steam itself. Once the beef cubes are all browned, set them aside and add the onion and garlic to the pot, letting it soften for a few minutes. Then add in the tomato paste and let it get nice a browned too. Once it takes on that color, add in your stock and scrape up all those browned bits from the bottom of the pot. If you skip this step, the Instant Pot might not come to full pressure.
I used my homemade slow cooker bone broth as the stock (I had it on hand in the freezer), but you can swap it out for some boxed chicken or beef broth too. Add in the split peas, tomatoes and all those amazingly fragrant spices, then give everything a good stir. Place your lid on the Instant Pot, make sure it’s set to seal, and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for the pressure to build and then the countdown timer will start. After the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, do a quick release to release any remaining pressure and remove the lid.
I added in the juice and zest of one lemon to brighten up this stew. You’ll also want to taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper as needed.
Serve this yummy Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew in bowls topped with fresh basil and mint, accompanied by some basmati rice, and maybe a glass of red wine too (see my recommendations below).
Wine Pairings for Persian Beef Stew:
- Try a Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah with this hearty and well-spiced beef stew. Or, look for a red wine blend that combines those varietals, especially those coming from the Washington wine region.
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If you loved this Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Persian Beef Stew Recipe
Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew
- 1 1/2 pound beef stew meat (trimmed and cut into 1 – 2 inch chunks)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 4 cups bone broth (or beef or chicken stock)
- 1 1/2 cups dried split peas (rinsed)
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice (plus zest of 1 lemon)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Accompaniments: cooked basmati rice; radishes; fresh mint and basil leaves
- Pat the stew meat dry and season well with salt and pepper.
- Set Instant Pot to SAUTE, add vegetable oil and brown the meat on all sides. Meat will not be cooked through. (Be sure not to crowd the pot – you may have to work in batches). Transfer browned meat onto a plate.
- Add onions and garlic and sauté for a minute or two then add the tomato paste and saute for 1 minute longer.
- Pour in the broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Return the beef to the pot and add in the split peas, crushed tomatoes, and spices.
- Cover and seal the lid – turn the vent to sealing. Hit CANCEL then press the MANUAL (high pressure) button and set the timer to 25 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for Instant Pot to come to full pressure, then the display will show a countdown timer.
- Once the 25 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
- Open the lid, stir in the lemon juice and zest and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
This post was sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.