I gotta say, and if you follow me, you already know that I love love love my Instant Pot. It takes a meal like this Instant Pot Scratch Beef Noodle Soup with its rich luscious broth, tender flavorful beef and noodles (your choice, homemade or not) from an all-afternoon project to absolutely do-able! And it’s so easy, anyone can do it. Even if you’ve never thought about making a soup from scratch, bones and all before, I’ll talk ya through it.
Easy or not, homemade is still gonna take some time, even with the Instant Pot to get this kind of love. This isn’t gonna be the best get dinner on the table after work kind of recipe. It is mostly hands-off, though while the IP does its work. And what comes out is truly a beautiful thing!
Around the House:
Speaking of beautiful things, I gotta slip in a pic of my newest Grandbaby, Mackenzie Catherine! It’s just below. I want a matching outfit. I think I would look fab in that headband!
If you follow me, you might have noticed I haven’t been sharing many recipes lately. Oddly enough, it was my site that showed me why! Looking back, it’s been all about the beef and I’ve been feeling funky, sleeping a lot and just not able to function.
I put two and two together and ran into the doc for a blood test. Well, it turns out my iron was low. And of course, living in Minnesota, you betcha, my Vitamin D was seriously low, too. Now there’s a lesson to listen to your body. Sometimes it tells you just what you need and it thought I needed beef! Now if only it would tell me I need wine and chocolate…
About Instant Pot Scratch Beef Noodle Soup:
I know I needed this deep, rich soup with that body and flavor that you really can only get from using bones. Since it’s so hard to get good marrow bones where I live, I’ve just used some super discounted scrappy short ribs and they worked well in this quick, Instant Pot Soup, making the broth silky and luxurious and giving me just the right amount of soft, tender beef to satisfy.
You can see how rich and dark this gorgeous broth is, with flavor for days, even using this quick, shortcut recipe. (Some recipes for beef stock are cooked for hours or days.) And of course, a few veggies fill it out, and you might even notice a few peas, kind of a departure for me! Not my fave but they’re so healthy and have iron, too. See the World’s Healthiest Foods for more info. Usually, there is celery in my Beef Noodle Soup, but it was minus 14 degrees when I made this, and no way I was running to the store!
For the noodles, go premium or frozen or make your own if you like. I like to use my Homemade Egg Noodle recipe. It’s like a 20-minute thing once you get the recipe down. Today I just used basic old packaged noodles. It’s still very good but I gotta say if you’re going to the trouble to make the scratch broth, maybe the plain old packaged noodles aren’t going to quite do this soup justice and a frozen or premium noodle does make it seem like a more substantial meal. That didn’t stop me from scarfing this soup down! Just use the extra-wide so they hold up and are sturdy enough.
The First Step, Making The Broth & Beef:
The base for the flavor is the bones, sauteed until they’re deeply brown. I know what veggies are in the soup so I prepare them ahead and toss all the skins from the onion, peelings from the carrot and the celery tops (except I don’t have those this time) right in with the bones.
The IP is just a mess on the bottom when everything is browned up and that’s what you want. You can toss in water and/or stock at that point, but do yourself a favor: Dump out everything onto a plate and then add a little of your liquid and really scrape the bottom of that pot clean. Only then add the rest of the liquid and put all those bones and scraps back in. You’ll be sure to avoid the dreaded burn notice that way.
You can use 10 to 12 cups of water, stock or a combination. I hold back a little and go with 10 cups and when everything is all done, add a little more liquid if I want it brothier. (You might need a little extra anyway to thin any leftovers, too, as the noodles absorb more of the liquid as they sit.) Set on High Pressure, 35 minutes at a minimum, 45 at a max. And expect this to take a long time (I forgot to watch the clock but around 20 minutes) to come to pressure. A quick-release is fine, and that’s going to take a while, too.
When finished, pull out the bones and set aside until cool enough to handle and strain the stock into a bowl or other container. Discard all those veggie scraps. Let the stock sit so the fat rises to the top and then skim the fat off. A ladle works well for this; slowly press it into the stock and it will fill up with the fat. If you want, you can take a paper towel or a clean towel and lay it gently across the surface and it will suck up that remaining bit of fat left from the skimming. The easiest way to remove the fat is to refrigerate the stock overnight and spoon it off the next day.
You can save that fat in a jar in the fridge and make things like savory pie crust (maybe for a pot pie) or tamales.
As far as that meat, slice away any shiny silverskin from the edges of the meat, cut or pull the meat off the bone and cut into small pieces, making sure to remove any and all of the fat you can. A lot of the fat will be tough and chewy like rubber bands and it isn’t edible. Even that fat in the meat that seems ok now, while it’s all nice and warm, can harden up in the cold of the fridge if there are leftovers. Feel each piece of beef with your fingers as you cut it and pick out any fat you see or feel. It’s a messy but necessary job!
Finishing the Soup:
Now here’s the second part of the soup.
While you’re working on the beef and the stock is a great time to be multitasking and sauteing the vegetables that go in the soup. See why it’s great to prepare them ahead? Just saute them up, add in a little tomato paste and let it darken (or ketchup, which is fantastic in this because it has a touch of sweet and a hint of vinegar) add the defatted stock to the pot and then add the beef back in. At this point, it’s really easier (and quicker) to simmer using the saute function than it is to bring up to pressure again.
Just simmer until the veggies are tender, then once those veggies are tender, taste, add salt as needed (if salt is needed, add it now before the noodles go in so they’ll have good flavor) and toss in the noodles. Simmer until cooked just right for your taste. The peas get tossed in when the noodles are almost done.
Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve. Soups like this love lots of pepper. I always add just a teensy dribble of vinegar; I think it wakes up the flavor. Now if you taste and don’t think this is beefy enough (especially if you use water) there’s really no shame in your game if you want to add a teaspoon or so of beef bullion. Just sayin’.
Saving Money on Instant Pot Scratch Beef Noodle Soup:
The biggest impact on the pricing is what price you can find beef bones for. They are getting harder and harder to find at a decent price. If you don’t happen to luck out at the supermarket (look for the discounted scrappy ones for a budget option) and if you have an Asian (or another ethnic market) nearby, check there. Too often meat comes devoid of bones; even my pot roast rarely has bones! Those are sold off for pet food and or pet/bones or to restaurants or other manufacturing industries.
The rest of the ingredients for the soup are really some of the cheapest you’ll find unless you choose to use stock rather than water. I stock up on stock during any holidays, especially the winter holidays like Thanksgiving/Christmas and the Easter/Lent season. If you’d like to see what I look for to be on sale around any holiday, check out my post, Win at the Grocery. Your buyer’s club and Aldi will both usually have decent prices on stock, too.
All the other ingredients are your produce basics. If larger bags are available they will usually be at a better price per pound. I skip the buyers club for these kinds of things and love picking them up at a discount at Aldi.
Instant Pot Scratch Beef Noodle Soup
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
- Category: Soups
- Cuisine: American
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided (may need a little more)
- 3 to 4 (about 1 1/4 pounds) short ribs (more if desired)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 10 to 12 cups water, beef broth or a combination. divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled & diced
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, very finely minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste or 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
- 8 ounces wide egg noodles
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup peas
Heat a tablespoon oil in the Instant Pot using the Saute Medium setting. Salt and pepper the ribs and add to the pot. brown thoroughly on all sides, moving as necessary. As the ribs brown, add in any vegetable scraps and if needed a little bit more oil. Once the ribs are well browned, remove them and the vegetable scraps and reserve.
Use about 1 1/2 cups of the liquid of choice to deglaze the pot, thoroughly scraping the bottom, removing all residue. Add the ribs and vegetables back in along with remaining liquid, 10 to 12 cups of liquid as desired. Note: hedge your bets on the brothiness of the soup; start with 10 cups and when finished adjust to your taste with a little more. Seal and set to Pressure High 35 minutes (may add up to 10 minutes if time is available). Quick-release when finished.
Strain the broth into a large container and set aside. Skim after the fat rises to the top. Remove the beef and cut into small cubes, removing any fat. Discard vegetable scraps.
In the meantime, add another tablespoon oil to the instant pot, set to Saute Medium. When hot, add the onion, celery, and carrots, cooking several minutes, stirring now and then until starting to soften and onion is translucent. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add tomato paste or ketchup and continue to stir until slightly darkened.
Adjust the temperature of the Saute to High, add in the skimmed broth and cubed beef and allow to simmer until vegetables are tender. Add in salt and pepper to taste, then the noodles. Continue to simmer until noodles are cooked to the desired state, adding in the peas to heat through when noodles are nearly done. If you’ve reserved any broth, determine if you wish to add it at this point. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef, Beef Ribs, Carrots, celery, Instant Pot, noodles, Peas, short ribs, Vinegar