How to Make Beef Carbonnade in the Instant Pot
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
Refrain from using a stout (like Guinness), which will make this stew too bitter. I suggest an amber beer—which brings a caramely depth without going overboard.
  • 2 thick strips bacon, coarsely diced
  • 1 very large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Olive oil, if needed
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless beef country style ribs, also know as boneless chuck ribs
  • 2 cups dark beer (not stout). Dark amber or dark pilsner is good.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Parsleyed noodles, boiled potatoes, or baked rice, for serving
  1. Set the inner pan into the six-quart Instant Pot Plus. Press the "sauté," feature and press it again to set it on "more." When the word "hot" displays, brown the bacon. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside. Reduce the saute heat to "normal."
  2. Add the onions to the inner pot; cook and stir until they soften somewhat, about 3 minutes. Add a little olive oil if the pot seems dry. Continue to cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until very soft and starting to brown in places, about 20 minutes. Add the sugar; cook and stir until the onions range in color from golden brown to brown. Add the thyme and salt and pepper to taste; cook and stir briefly. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl.
  3. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper. Add additional olive oil to the pan if it seems dry. Increase the saute heat to "more." Add the meat and cook, turning as needed, until well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes (you may need to do this in batches). Transfer the beef to the bowl with the onion mixture.
  4. Add the beer to the inner pot (careful--it may spatter). Bring to boiling, stirring up browned bits. Return the beef, bacon, and onions to the inner pot. Bring to boiling. Press "cancel" to turn off saute function.
  5. Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to "Sealing." Press "Meat-Stew" (on the Duo Plus Instant Pot). Use the - or + button to set the time to 45 minutes
  6. When the cooking cycle ends, press "Cancel." Allow the appliance to cool and release pressure naturally. This will take about 20 minutes. (The little metal float valve on the lid should sink back into the lid, and the lid will unlock).
  7. Once the pressure has released, uncover the pot and transfer the beef and onions to a clean bowl.
  8. For the sauce, skim the fat from the cooking liquid (I use a fat skimmer—see link in Amazon affiliate ad below this recipe). Return the cooking liquid to the inner pot. Press the "saute" function and set it on "more." Whisk in the 2 tablespoons tomato paste. As the liquids come to a simmer, work the 2 tablespoons butter and the flour together to form a paste. Drop into cooking stock, half a time, cooking and stirring with a wire whisk after each addition until well integrated. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; continue cooking until a sauce-like consistency.
  9. Return all the beef and onions to the cooker. Cook and stir gently until heated through. Serve in wide, shallow bowls with parsley buttered noodles, steamed potatoes, or baked rice.
Recipe by Wini Moranville at