Nothing compares to the cozy comfort of classic Beef Stew. Tender morsels of beef practically melt in your mouth, and the combination of vegetables and beef infuse the dish with incredible flavor as they simmer together in a rich broth.
Beef is naturally juicy and adds so much flavor to dishes like our Chili Recipe, and of course Meatloaf. If you let it cook low and slow, it becomes wonderfully tender and so satisfying. All you need with this are soft Dinner Rolls and it’s a one-pot meal.
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The Best Beef Stew Recipe
Table of Contents
Beef stew is a very hearty soup with a blend of beef and humble vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onion in a richly flavored wine and tomato broth. This hearty beef stew is every bit as good as its cousin, the famous beef bourguignon, and Lamb Stew. We love beef stew so much that we even have a Slow Cooker Beef Stew.
What is the secret to good stew? When the stew is slow-cooked, the beef becomes meltingly tender and full of flavor. We also love to add mushrooms and bacon which add a rich depth of flavor to make this the best beef stew we’ve ever tried.
Beef Stew Video
You can do this! Homemade stew takes some time to make because it needs to slow roast in the oven but it is simple to prepare. One bite and you’ll realize why this beef stew is one of our most popular recipes.
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These are the ingredients often used in beef stew. They aren’t overly complicated, but the flavors work together so well. P.S. You can make your stew thicker by adding more flour (see tips below).
- Beef – you can use beef stew meat or cut up your own beef chuck roast or other well-marbled steaks.
- Bacon – center cut is always my favorite cut of bacon. It adds a wonderful richness and a salty bite to the stew.
- All-purpose flour – used to dredge the beef and to thicken if desired
- Red wine – use a drinkable red wine and avoid anything labeled “cooking wine” (see below for our list of recommended wines for cooking)
- Mushrooms – use brown or white mushrooms, thickly sliced
- Carrots, Onions, and Garlic – the aromatics which release a fragrant aroma and add flavor when cooked
- Tomato Paste – adds acidity to balance the broth
- Beef Broth – you can use beef bone broth, beef stock, or even substitute with chicken stock
- Bay leaves and thyme – these simple seasonings round out the flavors of the soup
- Potatoes – new potatoes or fingerling potatoes make the soup look extra fancy but you can dice up and add waxy potatoes such as yukon gold or red potatoes.
What is Stew Meat?
Beef stew meat is a great choice for your next meal – it’s made up of tender pieces of beef, ranging from filet mignon and prime rib to trimmings from steaks that may have been too large for their packages. I’ve even spotted pieces of filet mignon and prime rib in my packs! Not only is it reasonably priced, but it’s also incredibly versatile.
We love beef stew meat recipes such as Instant Pot Rice and Beef and Rice Soup. If you aren’t able to find stew meat, another good option is boneless beef chuck which you can buy and cut into bite-size pieces yourself.
The Best Red Wine for Cooking
The wine adds so much flavor to this classic beef stew. For most cooking, dry red wine is best. Avoid anything labeled “cooking wine.” A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t drink it, you should not cook with it. Some good red wine options include:
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Savignon
- Soft Red by Ste Chapelle (our favorite local brand)
How to Make Beef Stew
Here is a quick visual reference of how to make beef stew but be sure to watch the full video tutorial above and you’ll see just how easy this is to make Beef Stew.
- Brown the bacon in a large, oven-proof pot, then remove to a plate.
- Season beef in a separate bowl with salt and pepper then toss with flour. Sautee beef in 2 batches, adding more oil as needed.
- Add red wine and scrape to deglaze the pot. Add mushrooms and cook over medium heat 10 minutes.
- Sautee Vegetables – In a large skillet over medium/high heat, add oil, carrots, onions and garlic then sautee until softened. Stir in tomato paste and transfer the veggies to the pot.
- Combine and bake – Return Beef and bacon to the pot, add beef broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, and potatoes. Stir to combine and make sure the potatoes are submerged. COVER and bake at 325˚F for 1 hour and 45 min.
For a Healthier Stew: you can tilt the pot after it comes out of the oven to allow the liquid to pool to one side, then skim off any excess fat with a spoon.
Pro Tip: Make sure to use a tight-fitting lid so you don’t lose too much steam while the pot is in the oven. We love cooking beef stew in a dutch oven since it has an ideal heavy lid.
How to Thicken Beef Stew?
Beef stew is not supposed to be gravy. Tossing the beef in flour and the natural starch from the potatoes will make the sauce slightly thicker than a typical soup base.
For a thicker stew with a more gravy-like consistency, melt 2 Tbsp butter and stir in 2 Tbsp flour to make a paste. Once the stew is out of the oven, place it on the stove, add the paste a little at a time (to reach desired consistency) then bring it back to a boil for a few minutes to thicken and cook the flour.
Can Beef Stew be Cooked on the Stovetop?
You can finish your stew on the stovetop instead of the oven. Be sure to use a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven and keep it at a low simmer and stir occasionally to make sure you don’t scorch the bottom. It should take about 1 1/2 hours on the stovetop or until your beef reaches the desired tenderness.
Since stew is a meal in itself, loaded with beef and vegetables in a rich broth so we love to serve it with simple sides:
Now go forth and conquer this classic homemade beef stew! There’s nothing quite like curling up with a bowl of steamy, hearty stew in the colder months.
More Beef Recipes for Dinner:
Beef Stew Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Every bit of this beef soup is infused with wonderful flavor from slow roasting in the oven. Pair with beef stew recipe with fresh bread or serve it over mashed potatoes.
Cost to Make:
Beef Stew, Beef Stew Recipe
Servings: 8 people
bacon, chopped into 1/4″ strips
olive oil, to sautee
beef stew meat, (or beef chuck cut into 1″ pieces)
sea salt, or to taste, divided
black pepper, freshly ground, divided
good dry red wine
mushrooms, thickly sliced
carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ thick pieces
yellow onion, diced
garlic cloves, minced
low sodium beef broth , or beef stock
small potatoes, new potatoes, or fingerling, halved or quartered
In a large, oven-proof pot, sauté bacon over medium heat until golden brown and fat is released. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a separate bowl.
While bacon is cooking, place beef in a large mixing bowl and season with 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Sprinkle beef with 1/4 cup flour and toss to combine and evenly coat beef. Transfer beef in 2 batches into the hot bacon fat and cook over med/high heat, until beef is browned (3 min per side). Add olive oil if needed. Transfer browned beef to the bowl with bacon.
Add 2 cups wine to the pot and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom to deglaze the pot. Add sliced mushrooms and simmer over medium heat about 10 min.
Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium/high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add sliced carrots, diced onion, and 4 chopped garlic cloves, and saute 4 min. Add 1 Tbsp tomato paste and saute another minute. Transfer veggies to the soup pot.
Add 4 cups beef broth, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Return beef and bacon to the pot then add potatoes. Stir to combine and make sure potatoes are submerged in liquid. Cover with lid and bake at 325˚F oven for 1 hour and 45 min.
For a healthier stew, you can tilt the pot after it comes out of the oven to allow the liquid to pool to one side, then skim off any excess fat.
Beef Stew Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Vitamin A 5125IU103%
Vitamin C 16.1mg20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.