Bulalo made in the Instant Pot? Yes! Bulalo or beef bone marrow stew is a Filipino dish traditionally made with beef shank and beef bones with marrow. It is like bone broth I would say, with all the delicious goodness like collagen you'd get from simmering bones for a few hours.
I didn't try making bulalo at home until I got an Instant Pot, knowing that it would've taken hours to make the beef tender. With the Instant Pot, it just takes 30 minutes at pressure, plus a few more minutes to cook the vegetables. So easy!
What do I need?
Beef and Bones
Try to get grass-fed beef if you can. Cows are not meant to eat grains, they naturally graze on grass. Feeding cows something other than grass just to make them grow faster has made them sick thus requiring the use of antibiotics.
Remember, we are what our food eats. Grass-fed beef also has higher levels of omega-3. Read more about the benefits of grass-fed beef here.
We get our grass-fed beef from a local farmer. I get stewing beef and beef soup bones that have the bone marrow. You'll want bone marrow as this is what makes this beef stew bulalo.
Without the soup bones, this would be beef nilaga. Just as yummy though!
Vegetables and Spices
Slice some onions. Peel and quarter some potatoes. Cut up some green cabbage.
You'll need some whole peppercorns and salt too.
How do I make Instant Pot Bulalo?
Add the beef and bones into the Instant Pot. I usually just dump the frozen beef and bones directly into the pot without thawing.
Add the sliced onions, whole peppercorns, and salt. Then add water until everything is covered.
Cover and set the Instant Pot to Meat/Stew (or Manual at high pressure) for 30 minutes.
When it's done, let the pressure release naturally, then open the Instant Pot.
You may want to scoop out the bones and meat at this point to make some room for the vegetables.
You have two options for the vegetables:
- Sauté mode
Set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Just leave at the default setting and keep the lid off. This is just to keep the stew hot.
Add the potatoes and cabbage. When the potatoes are tender, turn off the Instant Pot. Add more salt to taste.
Total Cook Time = time to build pressure + cook time at pressure + time to release pressure + sauté time
- Manual mode for 3 minutes with Quick Release
I usually do the Sauté mode because the potatoes end up being too mushy, but I've had readers comment about using Manual mode so I tried it and it works too.
Add the potatoes and cabbage. Cover and set the Instant Pot to Soup (or Manual at high pressure) for 3 minutes.
When it's done, do a quick release with caution. Quick release means you release the pressure by carefully moving the venting knob from the Sealing to the Venting position using the end of a spatula or wooden spoon. Caution: The steam will be very hot! More information about quick release in this article.
There you have it - Instant Pot Bulalo! Look at all that bone marrow goodness. Yum!
Serve over some rice and enjoy while warm!
Tip: I usually save the bones and use them to make Instant Pot Bone Broth.
Please leave a comment or rate this recipe below!
Check out my other Instant Pot recipes too:
- Instant Pot Bone Broth
- Instant Pot Chili
- Instant Pot Mung Bean Stew or Monggo Guisado
- Instant Pot Pork Adobo
Instant Pot Bulalo or Beef Bone Marrow Stew
- 1 lb stewing beef
- 2 lb beef soup bones with bone marrow
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- 6 cups water
- 3 potatoes
- 1 green cabbage
- In an Instant Pot, add the beef, bones, onion, peppercorns, salt, and water. Cover and set to Meat/Stew (or Manual at high pressure) for 30 minutes.
- While the stew is cooking, peel and quarter the potatoes. Core the cabbage, and cut into 1 to 2-inch chunks.
- When the Instant Pot beeps, allow pressure to release naturally. Carefully open the lid. You may want to scoop out the bones and meat to make room for the vegetables.
- Add the vegetables after the meat/stew is done. Here are two options:Sauté mode option: Set to Sauté mode at the default setting, then add the potatoes and cabbage. Leave the lid off. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, this should not take 30 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot. Add more salt to taste.Manual mode with Quick Release option: Add the potatoes and cabbage. Cover and set to Soup (or Manual at high pressure) for 3 minutes. When the Instant Pot beeps, very carefully do a Quick Release using the back of a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
I followed your recipe, I wasn’t sure how much my meat weigh . I had 2 beef shank with bone . When it was done I tasted it and it was so bland . I had to add fish sauce and more salt . I wonder what I did wrong .
You can always just adjust the salt to your preference.
Hi. Is the cooking time reduced say from a traditional manual pressure cooker vs this one? (Not including the cooking time of veggies, just the time to tenderize the meat)
I don't know how long the cooking time would be in a traditional manual pressure cooker as I don't have one. I've only made this recipe in an Instant Pot.
I had more than 1 lb of meat or beef and so, I doubled the time to cook and everything was perfect! Thank you!
Glad to hear that! 🙂
I made this and it was amazing!! A recommendation from my son's Filipino girlfriend. Thank you!!
I’m so glad you liked it!!
I've never cooked with beef bones. Do you eat the marrow out of the bones or is it just there for flavoring? In your recipe for beef bone stock it looks like there is still marrow left in the bones. (Yes, I'm a haole. What gave me away?)
I eat the bone marrow. Love it in this soup or bone broth.
This looks so good...very similar to what my mom made for me growing up (one of my comfort meals). Why not use the IP to pressure cook the potatoes instead of using the saute mode? Have you tried that (and did it not work)?
I found your page through the Aloha Instant Pot Community page on Facebook - someone just posted this tonight. I recently (like 2-3 weeks ago) started a Filipino Recipe IP Facebook group - not much activity yet but still growing.
Looking forward to trying your other recipes, too! Thanks!
Yes, I have tried cooking the meat and potatoes together and the potatoes came out too soft and disintegrated. Please do let me know if you find a way to cook the potatoes at pressure too, so I can update the recipe. 🙂
Cool, I will check out your FB group!
When did you add the potatoes? When you initially started cooking the meat? My wife made chicken afritada last week in the IP - she cooked the chicken under pressure for 12(?) minutes, then quick release, opened the pot up, added the potatoes and bell pepper, and repressurized and cooked for a few more (maybe 5-7) minutes. Turned out well (maybe could've been a minute or two shorter for the veggies, but certainly not mushy). I've seen a lot of recipes where it calls for adding ingredients (usually veggies) after the meat initially cooks. My only concern is that I've read that a quick release can sometimes lead to dryness in meat (since the moisture is forced out so quickly in such a short period of time). I guess it's just trial and error trying to find the right combination of initial cook time, supplemental cook time, and pressure release type/time.
Thanks for the response! 🙂
I initially added the potatoes with the meat. Thanks for the suggestion, I will try that method out soon and see how it works. We cook bulalo so frequently now that we make it in the Instant Pot. 🙂
I don’t put the cabbage, carrots & potatoes in until i have finished the broth/ stew. Once you open the IP, add large chunks of cabbage, carrots & 2med-lg potatoes quartered/5ths. Pressure Cook for 3 min and QR (quick release). Mmm...
How many servings is this recipe??
4-6 servings, depending on if eaten with rice or not
I followed this recipe and added the potatoes and cabbage at the end. I set the Instant Pot to sauté and the potatoes aren’t getting tender. What should I do?
How long did you cook the potatoes in sauté mode? It might just need a little bit more time to make the potatoes tender.
I did two sets of sauté mode at 30 minutes each with the lid on. I don’t want to stew it all again as the meat is already falling off the bone and going into smaller pieces.
If I'm not mistaken, I don't think Sauté mode works with the lid on. I usually leave the lid off when in Sauté mode, and it doesn't take 30 minutes to cook the potatoes as it gets really hot. I have updated the recipe to leave the lid off in Sauté mode.
I ended up fishing out all the potatoes and boiling them separately. I did one round of sauté without the lid and one with the lid. I haven’t sautéed with a full pot like that before... usually, just meats. This seemed a little bit different to me. I was thinking maybe the cabbage and potatoes needed to stew with the meat longer as they didn’t sauté well and weren’t fork tender.
Using Sauté mode without the lid keeps the stew hot (even boiling) to cook the cabbage and potatoes. I don't cook them at pressure as I've had them disintegrate previously, so I add them after pressure cooking the meat. I'm not sure what happened, maybe the pot was too full to cook the potatoes? Anyway, thanks for trying out the recipe and for your comments!