Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

As far as I can tell, one of this year’s most popular gadgets was the Instant Pot, an electronic pressure cooker that doubles (triples, etc) as a slow cooker, rice pot, steamer, yogurt maker, and more. I’m most frequently asked to develop recipes for it by my readers, followed closely by folks looking for slow cooker (crockpot) recipes. So this week’s Pot Roast recipe is the best of both worlds – a pressure cooker recipe that also includes instructions for slow cookers. Heck, I even threw in Dutch Oven instructions while I was at it.

Don’t let the lengths of these instructions scare you away. Each recipe is essentially four parts: brown the roast, cook the roast (and vegetables), broil the roast (and vegetables), and reduce the sauce. It’s a bit more involved than dumping everything in a pot, but well worth the extra effort: tender meat, roasted vegetables, and tasty sauce all at once.

Pictured: the meat after it’s been browned and added to the braising liquid.

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast (Paleo, Primal, Whole30 adaptable, Gluten-Free, Perfect Health Diet)

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: Easy

2-3 lbs boneless chuck roast (3-4 lbs bone-in)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp ghee
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup red wine (1 tbsp red wine vinegar for Whole30)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (fish sauce okay)

1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cut into bit-sized chunks
1 lb carrots, cut into bite-sized chunks
8oz white mushrooms, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste

Instant Pot Instructions:

1. Season the roast liberally with salt and pepper. Add the ghee to the Instant Pot and press the “Sauté” button; wait for the ghee to heat up, about 2 minutes, then add the roast. Brown on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip and brown the other side, about 6 more minutes (you’ll know when each side is browned when it pulls easily from the stainless-steel pot). Remove the roast and set aside. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and stir together until aromatic, about 30 seconds; add the broths, wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, then add the roast and any accumulated juices.

2. Cover the Instant Pot and Press the “Stew/Meat” button, and set it on high pressure for 45 minutes. Once finished, the Instant Pot will automatically shift to “Keep Warm”; allow it to stay at that setting for 10 minutes, then use the quick-release valve on the lid to force-depressurize the rest.

3. Remove the lid and transfer the roast to a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Add the potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms to the Instant Pot, re-cover with the lid, and set to “Stew/Meat” on high pressure for 6 minutes. As the vegetables cook, place the roast in the oven and broil until the top of the roast is crispy and some of its fat renders, about 4 minutes. Remove the roast and transfer it to a cutting board; loosely tent with tin foil to keep warm. Once the vegetables are finished, use the quick-release valve on the lid to force-depressurize the Instant Pot. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the baking sheet. Press the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot to simmer, uncovered, and reduce the liquid; as that happens, place the vegetables in the oven and broil until browned, about 5 minutes, flipping and jostling the vegetables every couple of minutes.

4. Slice the roast and place it on a platter; add the vegetables to the platter. Once the liquid has reduced by about half, taste it and add salt and pepper as needed, then pour some of it over the roast and vegetables. Serve immediately with the sauce as a gravy.

Dutch Oven Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 325F. Season the roast liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the ghee in a Dutch Oven over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the roast and brown on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip and brown the other side, about 6 more minutes (you’ll know when each side is browned when it pulls easily from the Dutch Oven). Remove the roast and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and stir together until aromatic, about 30 seconds; add the broths, wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, then add the roast and any accumulated juices; cover the Dutch Oven and place in the oven and roast until it’s nearly tender, about 3 hours.

2. Once the roast is nearly tender, add the potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms to the Dutch Oven; roast until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the roast and vegetables from the Dutch Oven and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Place the Dutch Oven on the stovetop and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

3. As the sauce reduces, add the baking sheet to the oven and broil until the top of the roast is crispy and the vegetables are browned, about 5 minutes, flipping and jostling the vegetables every couple of minutes. Remove the roast and transfer it to a cutting board; allow to rest for 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and loosely tent with tin foil to keep warm.

4. Slice the roast and place it on a platter; add the vegetables to the platter. Once the liquid has reduced by about half, taste it and add salt and pepper as needed, then pour some of it over the roast and vegetables. Serve immediately with the sauce as a gravy.

Slow Cooker (Crockpot) Instructions:

1. Season the roast liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the ghee in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the roast and brown on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip and brown the other side, about 6 more minutes. Remove the roast and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and stir together until aromatic, about 30 seconds; add the broths, wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine, then transfer to a slow cooker; add the roast and any accumulated juices. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the roast is nearly tender, about 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

2. Once the roast is nearly tender, add the potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms to the slow cooker; increase the heat to high and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the roast and vegetables from the slow cooker and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

3. As the sauce reduces, add the baking sheet to the oven and broil until the top of the roast is crispy and the vegetables are browned, about 5 minutes, flipping and jostling the vegetables every couple of minutes. Remove the roast and transfer it to a cutting board; allow to rest for 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and loosely tent with tin foil to keep warm.

4. Slice the roast and place it on a platter; add the vegetables to the platter. Once the liquid has reduced by about half, taste it and add salt and pepper as needed, then pour some of it over the roast and vegetables. Serve immediately with the sauce as a gravy.

** This method can be used with the Instant Pot’s “Slow Cooker” function, and you’ll be able to save on dishes by not having to use a skillet or saucepan; simply use the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot for those two steps.

70 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

    1. I hope you have better luck with your instant pot experience than I did. Mine is a lemon , customer service wants ME to run tests on it. I just want them to send me a replacement, I bought it after multiple suggestions from bloggers😡😡

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  1. Love this Russ! What a nice present from you, and I love that you’ve provided all 3 methods in your instructions.
    I’ve had my IP for a couple of months now, and like many before me have said: why did I wait so long?! The stocks from it are superior to stovetop in every way. So far I’ve even made (both slow cooked and pressure cooked) pumpkin pie steel cut oatmeal (for my hubby), crustless pumpkin pies in ramekins, and last night a cheesecake. That trivet is awesome for steam “baking”. I can’t wait to try this recipe in it! A good pot roast is hard to beat and your versions look fantastic!

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  2. The great thing about Russ Crandall is that you can email him and he’ll respond, if you have any questions, regarding the timing.

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  3. I am planning to make this in my instant pot on a very snowy day in PA! Quick question – should I put this on the trivet to cook or directly on the bottom of the pot? Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

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  4. So, this recipe was fantastic, but next time I won’t broil the meat at the end. It dried out my perfectly beautiful and moist roast. I look forward to doing this recipe again without that step :-)

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    1. Hi Callie, sorry for taking so long to reply – sorry to hear that the broiler step didn’t work out! I think it’s a matter of judgement at that point – if the roast still has a lot of fat and connective tissue, broiling will melt it and crisp the outside of the roast a bit. But if the roast already looks great at that point, you can likely skip that last step. Thanks for the feedback!

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  5. This looks really great! I am looking forward to using the pressure cooker to do this recipe. Thanks for your dedication to sharing great food recipes.

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  6. Made it tonight for the family. I’m the only one doing Whole 30 but cook W30 for everyone. They loved it. Beautiful flavors and textures.

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    1. You’re simply searing the meat, you could use anything you normally use to sear meats. Ghee is good since the milk solids were removed so it has a higher smoke point, but you could use your preferred meat-frying oil as well. No idea how any of that falls into things like paleo though.

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  7. Oh shoot. This is my first time using my pressure cooker. I think I already messed up. I didn’t realize you could use it with the kid off. Looks like I was not to put the lid on until after broth, adding roast back in. Also, I have different settings than mentioned. I don’t have an option for high pressure so I selected meat/chicken and added time adjustment to 45 minutes. I should have read my “power cooker plus” instruction manual first but dang it, we have to eat by 530 since we have plans tonight. Who has time for owners manuals? Lol. Thanks for the recipe. I’m anxious to see how it turns out.

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      1. This recipe sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try it! But, I am new to pressure cooking, so please bear with me. I am a little confused about the timing in the recipe. At the very start of your recipe in the Time section it say 1hour, 45 minutes ( instant pot) , but in the actual steps it tells you to pressure cook the roast for 45 minutes in the Instant pot and to use natural release. I am not sure why there is a discrepancy. Thank you so much for your help.

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        1. Hi Dee, my timing suggestions include the entire cooking process – prepping the ingredients, de-pressurizing the pressure cooker, finishing the roast – so that’s how I account for 1 hour 45 minutes. Some people are able to cook faster than my suggestions, others are slower (especially the first time trying a new recipe). Hope that helps!

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  8. Made this tonight and while the veggies and sauce were delicious, the roast was very dried out. Might have been my fault for using a rump roast, but if not, it could’ve been the broiler step as well as letting it sit out while the veggies cooked and roasted. It also had a lot of fat inside of it that didn’t render.

    Thoughts?

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    1. Rump roast is much leaner and lacks the connective tissue that is found in chuck; therefore it has a smaller window of tenderness (chuck is pretty forgiving). My rule of thumb is that the less marbled the beef, the more access I want to have to it – so I would suggest using the Dutch Oven or Crockpot method above instead of pressure cooking, that way you can check it with a fork for tenderness as it cooks. Because it’s leaner, I would also skip the broiler step and be sure to cover it as it rests. Hope that helps!

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    2. I made this recipe today,in my instant pot, it really was delicious, the meat was still tough though, next time I will cook it longer, perhaps 1 hour.

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    1. My rules with pot roast: If the meat is not tender but not dried out, it was likely undercooked. If it’s not tender and also dried out (with a mealy texture), it was likely overcooked. From the sounds of it, it was undercooked. A good way to check is to poke it with a fork once the pressure cooker is depressurized and you can take the lid off – if there is still a lot of resistance (it feels more like stabbing a steak than a roast), pop the cover back on and cook it for another 10 minutes, then check it again. If the veggies are tender but the meat isn’t, I would fish them out, cover them, and pop them in an insulated space (I use the microwave) to keep warm/moist while you finish the roast off. Pressure cooking times can vary based on the size of the roast, the amount of liquid/veggies in the pot, or the presence/size of a bone in the roast!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks, Russ, for all this information, and comparisons!
    I have all three appliances, although I’ve yet to try the instant potmethod. I have such good luck with the Dutch oven that I’m hesitant to change.

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  10. I’m like Debra: I have all 3, but love to make classic dishes like this “old school” style, in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven. It just feels so earthy, nostalgic and traditional to me — it just makes me happy to use the beautiful thing.

    If I ever need to bring it to an event or function and either warm it up or keep it warm there, then the IP would be my go-to.

    But I really appreciate that there are tons of folks who are much busier with me and need to have things cooking faster because of child-rearing, other work, or scheduling constraints.

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  11. This recipe was easy to follow and worth every step. I used the instant pot method and timing was spot on. The aroma filled the house and the flavor was fantastic. Thank you so much for a fabulous recipe.

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  12. Great recipe Russ. Thank you. As a newbie to the pressure cooker, your take on pot roast was just my fourth time using the cooker. It came out just it was pictured and described here, delicious. I added a bit of savory to mine, some dried rosemary and thyme herbs. I think the next time I make it I might reduce the cooking time from 45 minutes to 30 to 35 minutes, as I like my roast beef more medium cooked, with some pink in the middle.

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  13. Great flavor. My meat was not tender in my Instapot?? Worcestershire Sauce has sugar in it, so not whole 30 compliant if you use it. I will try this again. Any suggestions to make the meat fall apart. Should I have put it back in?

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  14. Bought an Instant Pot because of all the hype. Really, if you add all the times for each recipe and the work involved the Dutch oven is the winner. I love my le’crueset. I brown the roast, sauté the initial veggies and other items. After an hour at 325 I add the other veggies. Boom, another hour and it’s all good. The Instant pot saves a half hour. Not really worth it.

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    1. Hi Randy, I understand where you’re coming from. I think the Instant Pot really shines when making broth, because it shaves the cooking time nearly tenfold, and risotto, because it makes tender rice without having to constantly stir over an uncovered skillet. I agree that in most cases, I prefer to make my pot roasts and stews in a Dutch oven, but I also like to provide recipes for those who are trying to get some use out of their Instant Pots, too!

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      1. Randy and Russ, I agree with both of you on the specific points that you’ve made, and I too love using my Le Creuset for braising, etc!

        In addition to stocks, which for me is a hands-down winner in the IS as Russ states, I eat whole fat dairy, and on holidays I make a primal cheesecake. Cheesecakes are astounding in the IP. They come out perfectly steam baked with no cracks — I’m talking ice skating rink flat.
        Also for any kinds of custards. Super fast and foolproof.

        Bon appétit!

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        1. Thanks for the feedback. I may have sounded a little harsh in my original comment. Not my intention! I just purchased the IP so I’m going to be exploring more uses for it. Definitely going to try the cheesecake idea. Recipe advice?

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          1. Hi Randy, yes, it takes some experimenting to find the personal sweet spot for using the IP.
            I also love it for making crustless pumpkin pie (or mini pie/custards in ramekins) — just use a pumpkin pie filling recipe.
            Not sure what you do and don’t eat, but I have developed several of my own recipes — lemon blueberry, triple chocolate, key lime, orange cranberry — I use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar, duck eggs, 1/3 chèvre and 2/3 cream cheese, almost always some sour cream and my crust is homemade non-grain (i.e., homemade biscotti crushed in the FP and mixed with a little butter).
            The key with the IP is to put 1 cup of water in the pan, then insert the trivet, and baking it in a 6 or 7″ Fat Daddio removable bottom pan (mine are 3″ depth because I like a tall cheesecake). (I LOVE those pans for regular baking too – 2 tall 6″ pans make gorgeous tall cakes instead of big flat ones! They’re at SLT and Amazon.)
            First I parbake the crust in the oven and let it cool completely — you only want to run the crust up the sides about 1-1.5″ because you want it completely covered in batter (this way the crust won’t get soggy). I use about 8 oz goat + 16 oz cream cheese and 3 eggs. You’ll have extra left over if using a 7″ pan, but it’ll be enough to make two mini-cakes.
            I bake on HIGH pressure for 20-25 mins (15 if you like a creamier cake), then natural release for 10, then full release. You lift out the trivet and pan, very gently dab up any moisture collected on top of the cake, et it rest for 5, then run a very sharp knife all around the perimeter. Let it cool some more and then refrigerate.
            For some recipe ideas you’ll see hundreds if you google pressure cook (or Instant Pot) cheesecake. If you want to see some pics, I can send to you (or Russ if he wants them).
            Good luck!!!

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        2. Thanks Russ! Recipe was very tasty. Plan to use the IP more and more. Will try other recipes from your site. Thanks for the resource and all your work.

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          1. Try his Instant Beef Stew recipe! I made it last night in the IP because I didn’t start dinner until after 5 pm (!) and needed it cooked fast. My only mods were cassava flour (vs rice flour), adding a bay leaf and a little less wine volume (2 lb meat and 1/3 cup pinot noir, because that’s what we already had open). I used both celery and celery root as he suggested.
            It was delicious! I used Belcampo all-grass fed organic American Wagyu, and this meat was particularly lean, so I cooked only 20 min as he suggested, and it was perfectly cooked, veggies perfectly tender but not at all mushy). I’ve also made this with all-grass fed bison — super great!

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  15. Tried this tonight in insta pot. Second time I used it. Turned out great…nervous using steam pot.. glad you put in that you use the manual and that is high. Could not figure out (meat and stew) and if that was high or not…don’t think it was.

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  16. I just made this tonight….literally the BEST pot roast I’ve ever made in my pressure cooker! Thank you so much!

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  17. This was fabulous. Really appreciate your detailed instructions for the Instant Pot. We left out all of the oven steps to simplify and it was still scrumptious. My slow cooker found a new home at Goodwill. Again, appreciate you taking the time to share your recipe and experience.

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  18. What would be a good substitute for the 1/4 cup red wine, is it only 1 Tbs red wine vinegar? I can’t have red wine (migraines) and want to stay away from it. Thank you.

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        1. And I can vouch for Russ’s substitute — it works great! I get headaches too. Also, I recently used his formal when someone else’s recipe called for white wine — I used a splash of Champagne vinegar which worked great.

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  19. I know this is an older post, but maybe someone can help me with this. I’m trying to cook meals during the day so that I don’t have to be frantically trying to juggle three kids and dinner prep at the same time. When I make roasts or stews, can they be left on the stove on low for a few hours or left sealed in the instant pot until dinner, or will the roast dry out? Sometimes I can get a roast in the oven by noon and it’ll be ready by 4:00, but we don’t have dinner until 6. I’ve tried just getting the timing perfect to whip it out of the oven at 6, but then I’ve had problems with things like roasts not being fully cooked and dinner getting delayed 20-25 minutes or something. Getting it done-done early is the goal. I remember my great-grammy’s house always smelled like stew/soup and she always had food for us at a set time. I’m much younger than her, but I still aspire to her kitchen efficiency. She always seemed to have time to sit and play cards with us and her food was heavenly. Seriously, I don’t know my problem is. I cook dinner and spend the rest of my day doing dishes! That’s a whole separate problem. :-) Yesterday I made bean-free chili in the morning, but couldn’t decide whether to cool it and stick it in the fridge, or just leave it covered in the pot on low, or….? How do you keep it good until dinner?

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    1. Hi Jennifer, the pressure to be perfect in the kitchen can be overwhelming sometimes. Your great-grammy sounds like an amazing woman, and how great that you have that role model to aspire to! But give yourself a BREAK! You’re a busy mom in a busy world, and while our ancestors had pressures too (mainly of a different survivalist type) the scope of demands on women are much greater today (both inside and outside the home).

      A few ideas (obvious as they are):
      1) Prep everything including pre-seasoning (in general)) in advance (sometimes even the day before) and set in fridge (if meat, dairy, or the like) until half hour before bake time, (so for a 4 hour roast you might pull it from the fridge at 1:30 and bake it at 2pm). If not possible, then you could still get all of the mise en place pulled together in advance.

      2) I do leave braised dishes like stews in the IP on the low setting after cooking, if needed due to timing. (I do this with overnight steel cut oats too.) I believe that most of the cooking programs on the IP automatically switch to Low for 10 hours, following the end of the cook cycle. Leaving on low for only 2 hours for a stew or braised meat should be fine and safe IMO, assuming that it’s fully cooked and not still raw.

      I’m reading a new book by Samin Nostrat (chef of Chez Panisse and Michael Pollan fame) and she has a whole guide on pre-seasoning and salting meats on a sliding scale of hours out to days in advance, depending upon the meat type and cut (she excludes some delicate fish and a few other items from this rule). So if you opt for 1) above and do all of the pre seasoning early, then it will save you a lot of time when you begin cooking, and the result will be a lot better too.

      Another option is to favor dishes that can be made and refrigerated or frozen up to days in advance and then just popped into the oven to warm up later, like casseroles, shepherd’s pie, etc. In fact, in your shoes, I’d be doing that most of the time! Most stews, chills, soups and the like, will taste even better the next day — for dishes like Beef Bourgignon, Ratatouille and most chills it’s actually recommended to refrigerate one day prior to serving so that the flavors meld.

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      1. Thanks for the speedy reply Susan! As I was eating my left-over chili today, I noted how things like that taste better on the second and third days and was contemplating how I might factor that in to my cooking repertoire. Seasoning/marinating in advance is a good idea too and just make a note to toss in oven at set time so that it comes out when we need it.

        My great grammy was great, but somehow she never made home cooking look all that time consuming or difficult. Maybe I was in school or outside playing during that part of it!

        My roast is in the oven now and I’m about to add the veggies before running off to get said children from school. Then end of the recipe is going to be very creative indeed since I’m not sure I’ll be able to roast them for the time intended with the after school circus that happens.

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