Instant pot beef roast for two, made in the Instant Pot mini! This is a small batch recipe for beef roast made in the Instant Pot mini that serves 2-3 people.
While it feels a little sacrilegious to convert the beef roast recipe of my youth into something for the Instant Pot mini, I couldn’t resist the thrill of shaving down the cooking time.
In just 30 minutes, friends, I have the taste of my childhood: instant pot beef roast!
My mom cooked her beef roast in the slow cooker, like every other 80s moms, of course. After loading up the crock with a marbled chuck roast, potatoes and carrots, she sprinkled on a packet of French onion soup mix and liberally doused some red wine before locking on the lid. I definitely didn’t realize I was consuming red wine at such a young age. Meh, I turned out mostly okay (heh).
Anyway, my mom’s beef roast slow cooked all day long while we were at school and work.
But thanks to the magical efforts of pressure cooking and my instant pot mini, I have the same flavors in just 30 minutes. I can hardly believe how lucky I am!
I made a few changes to her recipe, because I never keep soup mix in the house. I’m not fundamentally against it—I just never remember to venture down that aisle at the grocery store.
Luckily, with a well-stocked pantry and an entire fresh onion, we can assimilate the taste of my childhood instant pot beef roast. However, even though we’re using spices from the pantry, I want you to know that it’s easy spices you already have: onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. If you have celery seed or celery seed powder, add a teaspoon—if not, don’t even worry about it.
If you’re new here, I cook for two people. I’m using the Instant Pot Mini 3-quart machine. At first, I thought this smaller instant pot mini was too small to make such things like an instant pot beef roast, but this recipe makes me realize we can do it. We just have to be creative!
Read on for my tips on cooking for two in the instant pot mini.
Best meat for an instant pot beef roast:
My mom always bought marbled beef chuck roasts. I’ve seen them labeled ‘for crockpot’ at the store now, because apparently that’s all most people use them for is slow cooking! If you’re up for it, I think a chuck roast is a great cut to grind to make burger patties or for chili! Speaking of, have you seen my small batch chili or my blue cheese burgers?
I want you to seek out the smallest chuck roast you can find. A 2-pounder is a perfect one, and I routinely find them this small. This recipe uses just 1 pound of chuck roast, but we’re going to cut the 2-pound piece of meat in half and store the rest in the freezer for another instant pot beef roast someday.
When you’re cutting a chuck roast in half, cut it down the middle and try to preserve equal amounts of fat on each piece. For example, don’t cut down one of the layers of fat and leave one lean piece and one fattier piece. The fat in a chuck roast melts into the meat and keeps it moist while cooking. If you don’t want to eat the fat, refrigerate the meat before serving, and scrape the white fat off the cooking liquid before re-warming.
The best veggies for an instant pot beef roast:
Because we’re trying to approximate the flavor of that dried onion soup mix, we’re going to use an entire onion in this recipe. I know, most dinner for two recipes use half an onion or less, but this time, we’re using the whole thing!
Then, we add two whole carrots and half a pound of baby potatoes—that’s it! In my expert beef roast opinion, celery is for beef stew, not beef roast. You can use one large Russet potato, chopped, instead of baby potatoes, if that’s what you have on hand. Honestly, my mom always used Russet potatoes! The way a potato cooks in beef juices and red wine will make your eyes roll back in your head. That’s why, as a vegetarian most of my life, my Mom’s beef roast was something I couldn’t resist.
Finally, our extraneous seasonings: tomato paste, dried spices, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine. When these flavors mingle with beef, a magical elixir is created that you will want to drink from a mug.
Again, just a reminder, friends, that this recipe is for the smaller Instant Pot Mini 3-quart machine. I don’t know if you can double it, because I haven’t tried it. If I took a large recipe, scaled it down, and then doubled it, that would be the definition of insanity, ok? However, if you’re looking for a larger instant pot beef roast recipe, try the internet. But, if you’re cooking for two and looking for your favorite comfort foods scaled down, then I’m your girl.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
- 1 pound beef chuck roast*
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2/3 cup dry red wine
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 8 ounces baby potatoes, scrubbed clean
1. Press the 'SAUTE' button on your Instant Pot mini. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Add the olive oil, and allow it to heat.
2. While the oil preheats, combine all of the spices in a small bowl: onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, salt, thyme and celery seed (if using). Press this spice mixture on both sides of the chuck roast, pressing it into all surfaces of the beef. Use all of the spice mixture.
3. Once the olive oil is hot, add the beef and sear it on the first side for about 5-7 minutes. When it's golden brown on the first side and releases easily from the pot, flip and sear the second side.
4. When the beef is seared on both sides, remove it from the pot. Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine and stir very well. Nestle the beef back into the pot--the liquid won't cover the beef completely.
5. Press 'OFF' to kill the 'Saute' function. Next, hit 'PRESSURE COOK,' and make sure it's set to 'HIGH.' Then, turn the timer to 35 minutes. Ensure the 'Keep Warm' function is off.
6. Sprinkle the onions, carrots, and potatoes around the beef. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and turn the valve to 'SEALING.'
7. The Instant Pot will beep, and then come up to pressure fully before the 35-minute timer begins to count down.
8. Once the timer is up, allow the pot to complete a natural pressure release. The pressure valve will drop down to let you know all pressure has left the pot.
9. Remove the beef from the pot, slice and plate with the vegetables. Drizzle the wine juices over everything before serving.
*You will most likely only find a 2-3 pound beef chuck roast. Buy it, cut it in half, and freeze the other half for another batch of instant pot beef roast on another day.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 94mg Sodium: 682mg Carbohydrates: 20g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 4g Protein: 30g