Mechado Instant Pot Recipe

Beef stew in soy sauce, lemon, vinegar, and tomato sauce

Watch How To Make It:

Mechado is a beef stew in soy sauce, lemon juice and/or vinegar, and tomato sauce.

The soy sauce and lemon juice/vinegar is what sets mechado apart from afritada (just tomato sauce) and kaldereta (uses liver spread).

This recipe uses an Instant Pot, but cooking in a normal pot will work just fine. I hope you enjoy this recipe, because I DEFINITELY did!


1 ½ lbs beef stew meat, cut into chunks
1 ½ tbsp salt
1 small onion or ½ large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, sliced (optional; not typically in mechado, but it’s nice to have for more nutrition)
2-3 red or yellow medium potatoes
10-12 baby carrots, or 1 large carrot, chopped
2 tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional; makes the mechado tangier)
1 can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves


1. Rub salt throughout the beef and let sit for about 30 minutes.

2. Click the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot, and pour in the oil. Once the Instant Pot beeps and displays “Hot”, toss in the beef chunks and brown all sides of the beef.

3. Throw in the onions and garlic, and sauté until they become translucent.

4. Pour in the soy sauce, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce, and bay leaves. Mix well, and season with black pepper to your liking.

5. Put the Instant Pot lid on, and turn the vent to "Sealing" position. Press “Cancel” to turn off Sauté, and then press the “Pressure Cook” button. Adjust the timer using the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons to 30 minutes. Click "Pressure Level" and set it to “High.”

6. The Instant Pot will preheat, then beep to let you know it will start pressure cooking for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes is up, place a towel over the vent to contain the steam. Using a spatula (or wear an oven mitt), open the vent towards "Venting" until all the pressure has released.

7. Open the lid and then add the potatoes and carrots, and mix them into the stew. Place the lid back on the Instant Pot.

8. Follow step 5 to pressure cook again, but set the pressure cook timer to 4 minutes this time around.

9. Follow step 6 to release the pressure, and open the lid. If you're using bell peppers, press "Cancel" then press “Sauté” and add the bell peppers. Sauté for about 5 minutes.

10. Once the bell peppers have softened, you’re done! Turn off your Instant Pot.

Serve the mechado hot, with a side of freshly cooked white rice.

Special Notes:

For best results, let the stew sit for a few hours or overnight for the flavors to absorb.


Post on social media and tag @jeanelleats! I get so happy when I see people making these recipes at home!

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