Take the pressure off with meals in minutes.

As the weather gets cooler, there is something super comforting about tender meals, you know the ones we mean – lamb shanks that fall off the bone, brisket, pot roasts – but often they come at the cost of time.

Not when you’ve got a pressure cooker.

Pressure cookers make fast work of meals that might otherwise take hours to make. But not only that, they turn the toughest cuts of meat into sumptuous dishes. Anything that is hard, for example pumpkin or potatoes, is transformed to tender in lightning speed.

If you don’t believe us, check out these incredible pressure cooker recipe for Italian Pot Roast Ragu. This one is made in the Instant Pot, but can be converted for any type of pressure cooker.



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg boneless beef chuck, trimmed of any large chunks of fat and cut in half
  • 28g or 1 can of whole tomatoes 
  • ½ cup frozen pearl onions (do not thaw)
  • ¾ cup light dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir
  • 1 tbsp drained and rinsed capers, chopped
  • 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and minced (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper


  1. Press the Sauté function to heat up the Instant Pot inner pot, 
  2. Warm oil in the pot for a minute or two. When the display reads “Hot,” add beef in two batches and brown, turning a couple of times. Ensure the first piece is well browned before transferring it to a large mixing bowl and adding the second one. At the end, both pieces of beef should be in the bowl. Note: Do not use the pressure cooker lid when sautéing.
  3. Wash and dry your hands. One by one, squeeze the whole tomatoes over the pot, then add any remaining juice from the can. Add the pearl onions and use a wooden spoon to stir well and scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook for two minutes, stirring often, just until the onions begin to brown lightly. Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté function. Note: If you have not pressed Cancel, the cooker will automatically enter standby mode after 30 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the wine, capers, garlic, rosemary, oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Return the beef pieces and any juice in the bowl to the pot. Lock and secure the lid into place.
  5. Option 1: Pressure Cook on Max. Select the Press Pressure function and cook on Max pressure for 44 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  6. Option 2: Pressure Cook (Manual). Select the Pressure Cook function and set on High pressure for 55 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  7. Option 3: Slow Cook (non-pressure cooking program). Select the Slow Cook function and set on High for 5 hours with Keep Warm setting off (or on for no more than 2 hours).
  8. If you’ve used a pressure setting, turn off the cooker once it has finished cooking. Let its pressure return to normal naturally, about 30 minutes.
  9. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Use a spoon to skim off any excess surface fat. Find and discard the bay leaf, then use two forks to shred the meat.
  10. Press the Sauté function and bring the sauce to a full simmer, about 10 minutes. Cook, stirring occasionally until reduced to a fairly wet ragu, about 5 minutes. 
  11. Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté function and set the lid askew over the pot for 5 minutes to blend the flavours.

Discover easy cooking with Instant Pot and find more recipes here.

Recipe and image were adapted from Instant Pot.

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Instant Pot Italian Beef Ragu Recipe
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Kristen Watts

Kristen is a newspaper journalist and magazine editor with more than two decades experience writing about food and cooking. She's also an amateur artist and loves making things look pretty.

One Reply to “Instant Pot Italian Beef Ragu Recipe”

  1. One question:

    When the pressure cooker has finished, do you have to wait 30 minutes until you release the lid.? That is a long time.

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