Switch on your instant pot to sauté (medium) and add the oil to the inner steel insert. When hot, add the beef and fry until browned. Move around the beef with a fork while frying and be careful not to char it.
Add the rest of the ingredients through to the thyme sprigs and cancel sauté. Deglaze the pot, secure the lid and make sure the steam release vent is sealed. Press the pressure cooking button (high) and set the timer to 12 minutes. When the timer beeps, wait for 5 minutes before releasing the steam.
Open the pot and and discard the thyme and bay leaves. Turn on sauté again. Add the flour slurry and cook on medium heat until the sauce thickens (2-3 minutes). Serve hot in bowls.
This beef stew tastes wonderful all by itself, but you can pair it with some crusty bread if you want to.
If you don't have fresh thyme on hand, substitute with parsley. It won't be the same as thyme but parsley goes very well with chunky stews and soups too.
Don't over brown the beef while frying it. Add the rest of the ingredients as it starts turning brown.
Reduce the amount of red chilli flakes according to your preference and especially if you don't want the stew to be spicy.
Don't forget to deglaze the pot before pressure cooking the stew.