instant pot hawaiian beef stew. my hawaiian grandpa’s famous island beef stew, made in the instant pot for extra convenience! this instant pot hawaiian beef stew is total comfort food: a tangy & rich tomato gravy filled with perfectly tender pieces of beef, onions, carrots, & potatoes. served over a bed of sticky rice, this instant pot hawaiian beef stew is the perfect comforting dinner!
welcome back to soup month, the coziest month to ever hit pwwb!!!
in case you missed it, february is all about soup here on plays well with butter.
…& i couldn’t be more excited!!! soup is cozy, comforting, & filling, which is all perfect for the insane weather we’ve been having here in minnesota this month (…we’ve gotten at least 2 feet of snow in the last week!). & i’ve been so freakin’ excited by how excited you guys are about soup month too!
last week we kicked off soup month with one of my FAVE recipes ever, my hearty minestrone soup, & today is all about one of my other fave recipes of all time: my grandpa clarence’s hawaiian beef stew.
hawaiian beef stew made easy: instant pot hawaiian beef stew
if you’ve been around pwwb for awhile, you know that my hawaiian grandpa clarence is one of the most influential & incredible people in my life. because he lived in hawaii & we lived in wisconsin, we only got to spend time with him for a few weeks every couple of years when we were growing up; we’d go to hawaii every other summer, & he’d come to wisconsin every other october in between.
& though our visits were far & few between, time with grandpa clarence was always special.
among the many reasons he’s so dear to me is the fact that he’s an absolutely amazing baker & cook with the most generous heart. most of my childhood food memories center around him: warming up his famous banana bread muffins for a quick breakfast (then packing up any extras to share with the neighbors/mail man/bank tellers/anyone), dunking his cornbread into a warm bowl of chili, & begging him to make his famous hawaiian beef stew for dinner.
& to this day, there’s nothing more comforting to me than a cozy bowl of grandpa’s hawaiian beef stew served hawaiian style, over a bed of sticky rice. to me, it’s what comfort food is all about!
backing up for a quick sec, i think it might catch a lot of people by surprise to learn that hawaiian beef stew is a thing. i mean…it’s beef stew. nothing about it feels islandy or tropical at all, right?!
but! the truth is, even though hawaii is home to so many amazing fresh flavors, comfort food is a huge part of the food culture there. yes, the hawaii food scene has tons of fresh seafood & fruit, but it’s also a melting pot of tons of pacific & east asian cultures, all with their own versions of comfort food: noodles, dumplings, fried chicken(!), gravy-smothered plates of rice & eggs, & yes…hawaiian beef stew.
(side note: one of my biggest food pet peeves is when people slap the word “hawaiian” on a recipe because it has pineapple in it. there is SO much more to hawaiian food than pineapple!!! 😤GAH. end rant.)
hawaiian beef stew is rich & comforting, but unlike beef stew recipes here on the mainland (or at least in minnesota!), it has tons of rich umami & great tang from a couple of staple island ingredients: shoyu (japanese soy sauce) & worcestershire. also, like many local hawaiian dishes, hawaiian beef stew is most often served over rice.
for the last year or so, my mom & i have been playing around with grandpa’s famous hawaiian beef stew recipe in hopes that we could make it a little easier & weeknight-friendly by letting the instant pot do its magic. & i’m happy to report that we nailed it! this instant pot hawaiian beef stew recipe has all the rich & comforting flavor of a slowly simmered beef stew, but it only takes an hour to make (& it’s mostly inactive!)
hawaiian beef stew ingredients
like any other classic beef stew recipe, one of the best parts of this instant pot hawaiian beef stew recipe is that it’s made with pretty straight-forward ingredients:
- beef (more on this in a sec!)
- tomato sauce
- shoyu (soy sauce)
- beef stock
- & a little all-purpose flour
that’s it! pretty straightforward, right?
the addition of worcestershire sauce & shoyu make this hawaiian beef stew extra special, giving it great richness & depth of flavor. if you’re not familiar with shoyu, it’s japanese soy sauce & it’s a staple in hawaiian kitchens. any well-stocked asian food store should sell shoyu (this is my favorite one here in minnesota), but if you can’t find it you can definitely swap it out in this recipe with your favorite soy sauce or tamari.
what is the best beef to use for hawaiian beef stew?
a good beef chuck works like a charm for hawaiian beef stew – no need to roll out the red carpet or break the bank here!
i usually grab a nice chuck roast whenever they’re on sale. i bring it home, trim it, cube it, & keep it on hand in my freezer for whenever a hawaiian beef stew craving strikes. if it’s more convenient for you to buy packaged pre-cut stew meat, you can go ahead & do that too. you’ll save a little bit more money if you buy the whole roast (especially if it’s on sale) & trim/cut it yourself, but do whatever is easiest for you!
how to make hawaiian beef stew in the instant pot or pressure cooker
while hawaiian beef stew isn’t difficult to throw together on the stove top, it does take 2 or 3 hours of simmering to get the beef just how we want it: perfectly tender, juicy & rich.
the great news, though, is that with a little help from your instant pot or pressure cooker, you can make this hawaiian beef stew recipe in 1 hour (or less!). cozy & comforting weeknight dinner win, right?!
here’s how you do it:
- brown the beef. hands down, browning the beef is the most important step to making this hawaiian beef stew! it creates a base layer of rich flavor in the beef stew, & also creates a crust on the beef that prevents its juices from seeping out as it cooks. add some oil to your instant pot & switch on its saute setting. toss generously seasoned stew meat in a light dusting of flour, then add it to the pot. let the beef do its thing, turning it every so often to create that gorgeous browned crust on each side.
- add the rest of the hawaiian beef stew ingredients. once the beef is all browned, throw everything else into the instant pot: onions, carrots, potatoes, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, shoyu & some beef stock. stir to combine, & then…
- pressure cook! lock on your pot’s lid & set it to pressure cook for 35 minutes. it’ll take about 10-15 minutes for the pressure to build up in the pot, so when all is said & done this beef stew takes about 1 hour to cook, start to finish.
- thicken with a slurry. once the timer on the pot goes off, manually release the pressure in the pot. while the pot is steaming, whip up a quick slurry of beef stock & flour. stir the slurry into the stew & it’ll almost instantly thicken into the most beautiful gravy.
& just like that…your house will smell amazing, & you’ll be ready to dive into the most cozy bowl of classic hawaiian comfort food.
grandpa clarence would be so proud of you! 😉
if you love this instant pot hawaiian beef stew recipe, here are a few other amazing soup, stew & chili recipes you have to try!
- the BEST: my favorite hearty minestrone soup recipe
- easy white chili with pulled chicken & beer
- chipotle turkey (or chicken!) chili with chickpeas & kale
- bacon beer cheese broccoli cheddar soup
- more comfort food perfection: skillet chicken pot pie
- & another easy instant pot recipe: instant pot chicken cacciatore
- all pwwb weeknight recipes
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my hawaiian grandpa’s famous island beef stew, made in the instant pot for extra convenience! this instant pot hawaiian beef stew is total comfort food: a tangy & rich tomato gravy filled with perfectly tender pieces of beef, onions, carrots, & potatoes. served over a bed of sticky rice, this instant pot hawaiian beef stew is the perfect comforting dinner!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 pounds beef chuck, trimmed & cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 yellow onions, quartered
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 8-ounce can tomato puree
- ⅓ cup shoyu (or low-sodium soy sauce)
- ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups low-sodium beef stock, divided
- sticky rice, for serving
- Brown the beef: Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot. Preheat the IP on its saute feature, set to high heat. Place ¼ cup of the flour in a medium bowl. Using paper towels, pat the stew meat as dry as possible, then season generously with the salt and ground black pepper. Dredge the seasoned stew meat in the flour, coating the meat well but shaking off any excess flour. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot, brown the stew meat in the Instant Pot.
- Cook the Hawaiian beef stew: Once all the beef is browned, add it all back into the Instant Pot. Top with the onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Pour the tomato puree, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and 2 cups of the beef stock over top. Stir to combine. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot, ensuring the vent is in its “sealing” position. Cook the beef stew on manual high pressure for 35 minutes.
- Finish the Hawaiian beef stew: Carefully quick release the pressure in the Instant Pot. Once the pin drops, unlock the lid and turn the pot back on its saute setting. Add the remaining 1 cup beef stock and ¼ cup all-purpose flour to a medium bowl, whisking vigorously to combine until a slurry forms. While stirring, gradually pour the slurry into the beef stew. The stew should thicken almost immediately. Let the stew simmer for 1-2 minutes more to cook off the flour.
- Serve the Hawaiian beef stew island-style: over a bed of sticky rice. Enjoy!
- Instant Pot: I own & love this 6-quart Instant Pot, but they also recently came out with a 3-quart version that’s the perfect size for anyone who regularly cooks for two (plus, it’s a little cheaper!).
- Stovetop instructions: To cook Hawaiian beef stew on the stovetop (this is how my Grandpa always did it!), brown the beef & assemble the beef stew according to Steps 1-2 of Recipe Directions, using a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Bring the beef stew to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 2 hours, until the beef is tender. Thicken as described in Step 3 and serve.
- Category: soups & stews
- Method: instant pot, pressure cooker
Keywords: hawaiian beef stew, instant pot hawaiian beef stew, beef stew recipe