Hearty Beef Stew
This easy beef stew recipe is cooked in the oven for maximum flavor concentration and ultra tender beef. The addition of carrots, potatoes and peas make this a hearty one-pot meal. All you need is some crusty bread and softened butter for a complete dinner.
Beef stew always reminds me of having fall and winter dinners at my Grandma’s. She would make a dish similar to this and I would make sure to fill my bowl with gravy so that I could soak it up with lots of bread!
Stew is definitely a comfort food for me, and with the cold weather here to stay for awhile, now is a great time to whip up a pot. This recipe produced the classic flavors that I always associate with stew, and the meat was beyond tender – absolutely perfect!
How to Make Traditional Beef Stew
Stew, at its core, is just meat and vegetables that have been slow-cooked in liquid. You can use any combination you’d like, but this old-fashioned beef stew contains mostly classic ingredients:
- Beef chuck roast, preferably a cut that is well-marbled (more fat = more tender!).
- Onion and garlic for a big punch of flavor.
- Tomato paste adds a richness to the sauce and the acidity helps to break down and tenderize the meat.
- Flour to thicken the sauce.
- Red wine for additional flavor and body to the sauce.
- Chicken broth. Yes, chicken! Why? If you have homemade beef stock, use it! However, most commercially produced beef broths taste rather fake; chicken broths are much richer and complex.
- Bay leaves and thyme – Aromatics for more flavor!
- Carrots, potatoes and peas are the staple of a traditional stew.
Now, let’s talk about HOW to go about making this stew. When I made the first iteration of this recipe, it was simmered on the stovetop. I mean, it was fine, but it wasn’t oh-my-gosh-fantastic. I wanted fan-freaking-tastic beef stew, so I started experimenting. One of my very favorite stews, Guinness Beef Stew, simmers uncovered in the oven, so I went that route. It was an absolute win again.
You’ll notice that unlike many other beef stew recipes, I don’t sear the meat first. I did this at first, but found that by cooking in the oven uncovered, the exposed meat got a psuedo sear, and, even more importantly, this lets the sauce evaporates a bit, thereby thickening it and concentrating the flavor.
Beef Stew Recipe Notes
A few quick notes to ensure you make the absolute best stew possible!
- Look for a beef chuck roast that has nice marbling, as it will be more tender. Cut the meat in uniform pieces so it cooks evenly, and don’t cut them too large.
- I like to use a dry red wine for this stew, I usually grab a cabernet sauvignon. Other good options are merlot, pinot noir, or shiraz.
- You can omit the red wine if you don’t drink alcohol; replace with additional broth.
- Feel free to substitute other favorite vegetables if you’d like.
- To make this in a slow cooker, you will ideally sear the meat since you won’t get that exposed heat from the oven. Do that first using a couple tablespoons of oil, then transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Next, saute the onion, garlic and tomato paste as directed below, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Transfer all of that to the slow cooker. Add the broth, bay leaves, thyme, carrots and potatoes and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Whisk 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup broth and stir into the stew mixture, turn the slow cooker to high and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened. Then proceed with stirring in the peas, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
So there you have it! After many, many attempts at trying to create the most flavorful stew possible with a sauce thick enough to to stand up to multiple dips of bread, I finally nailed it.
Once we hit fall and winter, there is nothing quite better than a big bowl of something warm and hearty, loaded with meat and vegetables, and this beef stew absolutely fits the bill. Enjoy!
If You Like This Hearty Beef Stew, Try These Recipes:
One year ago: Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
Two years ago: Fudge Ripple Monster Cookie Bars
Six years ago: Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
Seven years ago: Peanut Butter Blondies
Eight years ago: Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hearty Beef Stew
- 3 pounds (3 lbs.) beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- Salt and ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup (36 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (240 ml) red wine
- 3 cups (720 ml) chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 small red boiling potatoes, quartered
- 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 cup (170 g) frozen peas, thawed
- ¼ cup (15 g) minced fresh parsley
- Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored and no raw flour remains, about 1 minute.
- Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beef and return to a simmer.
- Transfer the pot to the oven and cook, uncovered for 90 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
- Remove the pot from the oven, stir in the carrots and potatoes and continue cooking until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour, stirring halfway through cooking.
- Remove the pot from the oven, discard the bay leaves, add the peas, and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Look for a beef chuck roast that has nice marbling, as it will be more tender. Cut the meat in uniform pieces so it cooks evenly, and don't cut them too large.
- I like to use a dry red wine for this stew, I usually grab a cabernet sauvignon. Other good options are merlot, pinot noir, or shiraz.
- You can omit the red wine if you don't drink alcohol; replace with additional broth.
- Feel free to substitute other favorite vegetables if you'd like.
- To make this in a slow cooker, you will ideally sear the meat since you won't get that exposed heat from the oven. Do that first using a couple tablespoons of oil, then transfer the meat to the slow cooker. Next, saute the onion, garlic and tomato paste as directed below, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Transfer all of that to the slow cooker. Add the broth, bay leaves, thyme, carrots and potatoes and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Whisk 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup broth and stir into the stew mixture, turn the slow cooker to high and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened. Then proceed with stirring in the peas, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in October 2007. It was totally overhauled and updated in January 2018 with new photos, a video and additional recipe information.
[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]
O-M-G this is delicious!!! Loved that it saves time by not browning meat first. I used a packet of onion soup mix to season meat and also added a can of tomato juice. Also added celery to veggies. So good—-highly recommend!
The beef stew recipe is a healthy one and is best cooked in a slow cooker as per my experience. I add ghee here instead of vegetable oil for better flavor, nutrition, and food safety. I prefer using pure cow ghee only. If you try the recipe, you may also try it with ghee only.
To know more : https://milkio.co.nz/pure-cow-ghee/
I made this in the slow cooker. It was AMAZING!! A new favorite. I didn’t have bay leaves so I skipped those and I added a can of corn at the end with the peas. Absolutely delicious. Thanks!
Hi Michelle….a few days ago I made this stew. I have cooked many versions of beef stew in 45 years of marriage and my husband has enjoyed them all. But he did say that your recipe was the best stew ever. (I don’t eat meat, but it did have a wonderful aroma. So my thanks to you for sharing and a tip of the hat to you. Your children are growing up so quickly. And they are beautiful!!!! Tanke care
I have made this stew twice before and I’m making it for dinner tonight. It is an exceptional beef stew! I am using my Pampered Chef Quick Cooker tonight, which is like an instant pot, so I don’t know what it will taste like tonight. I hope it will be just as yummy as the other 2 times I made it. Would you please make an update to this recipe to include an instant pot version? In my Quick Cooker, it only takes 35 minutes to cook everything. Thanks so much!
Loved this beef stew. I made it without the wine. I used Penney’s Beef Base instead of chicken stock. I only had 1 1/2 pounds of beef stew meat. Yummy – this recipe is a keeper. Might try wine next time! Thanks, Michelle!
OMG! I made the beef stew last night, and it was incredibly delicious! I hardly ever use wine when I cook anything, but I decided to give it a try with this recipe. I’m SO glad that I did! The only change that I will make the next time I make it will be to cut the potatoes smaller instead of quartering them. This recipe gets 5 stars for sure! We just loved it!!
hi michelle…can i use beef stew meat ? since i dont have a beef roast on hand..will there be any changes in the cooking time or in anything else n how much extra beef broth do i add since i dont cook with any alcohol i do have red cooking wine, can i use it n how much? sorry for all the questions jst dont want to mess up…looks really good
Hi Rosa, Yes stew meat would be fine. Nothing extra to do. Use the same amount of beef broth as wine. Enjoy!
I love to make beef stew and I can’t wait to try this one!!! What flour would you recommend trying if you wanted to make this gluten free?
Any gluten-free flour should work!
Thanks for a delicious recipe! I followed it to a T and it was so good, I’m already thinking about the leftovers! It really got nice and thick as it baked and the meat was tender and browned nicely. It will now be my go to stew recipe.
Made this for dinner on this chilly day. It was so hearty, rich, and delicious. It takes some hands-off time slow cooking in the oven, so prepare for that. The house smelled reeeally good as this cooked on the oven. This is my new go to beef stew recipe. Had homemade buttermilk biscuits on the side. Delicious!
I made this yesterday. Sadly, I made the mistake of adding the peas when I added the potatoes and carrots, so mine looked like Campbell’s Chunky soup, but it still tasted really good.
I find that of the many recipe blogs that I follow, this one has the most fool-proof and easy recipes that turn out great.
Ok…..this was THE MOST DELICIOUS BEEF STEW I THINK I’VE EVER HAD! I had been making my mother’s recipe for years, and – just like you said, I wasn’t
“Wow’d” by it. When I saw this recipe pop up in my email, I had to try it. Yes, its a little extra work and time, but in the end…..it was Heaven on a spoon! My only regret is that I didn’t double the recipe for a second meal to freeze. Totally and completely DE-LISH!!
I made stew yesterday your way. In the oven. Turned out nice dark brown and would have been great fir dinner but I forgot to put it in the frig. Sooo it was out 12 hours without refrigeration. Doggone it!
Wow, this was yummy and so easy. I love not having to brown the meat first. Everything came out tender and the gravy was so full of flavor. Thanks!
WOW! This was great stew! I used beef broth, but that was the only change. It’s rich, brothy, and delicious! I’ll definitely make it again.
Made this today (along with your cornbread recipe) and it was absolutely delicious! My husband said it was the best beef stew he has ever had. Thanks for another great recipe that will become a staplein my kitchen! The only change I made to the recipt was addng an additional cup or so of chicken broth to thin it a little at the end. I will be making this agian very soon!
I love hearty stews in the winter time. Nothing warms you up quite the same way! This looks absolutely delicious <3
For various reasons I rarely drink wine at home. I’ve started keeping those small 4-packs of wine on hand for cooking. I usually have pinot grigio, chardonnay, and pinot noir on hand. They work great
To Suzanne, you don’t need a enameled cast iron Dutch oven to cook this in the oven. The pot you use to cook the stew on the stove top can probably go in the oven, especially at such a moderate temperature. If you google the brand it will tell you if it’s oven-safe and to what maximum temperature.
Great idea, Sally! Thanks for sharing :)
This looks great! I may have to give it a try. My mom made stew when I was a kid and I absolutely hated it – every single time lol.
You know you have beef broth listed in the ingredient list even though you say chicken broth in the recipe.
Hi Allison, That was a typo, so sorry! I made the correction :)
Had my daughter make this for us on Monday. Yum Yum Yum! Big hit, we all loved it (which is unusual for us lol)!
I finally decided i don’t like thyme – so that’s out next time, my daughter doesnt like peas so she omitted them (who doesn’t like peas???) and she couldnt find the tomato paste. Wait til she hears I want her to add mushrooms next time (i kept looking for them with each bite) – she doesnt like mushrooms too lol lol lol
Hi, recipe looks amazing. How long do I need to cook this on the stove top. I don’t have a Dutch oven :(
Hi Suzanne, As long as your pot is oven-safe, you can use it in the oven! You don’t need a Dutch oven, specifically. If you do proceed with the stovetop, I would do the same amount of time on a low simmer.
made this beef stew tonight. it was so delicious!!!, even though I forgot the peas….
My husband and I made this the other night, and it was AWESOME! After Hurricane Sandy and cold nights on the Jersey Shore, we could really use some comfort food. I was desperately searching for a simple, but guaranteed to be tasty recipe. This was my first attempt at beef stew, and it went off without a hitch. My husband, a very picky eater, ate three servings the first night! I’m picky about beef, I hate when it’s fatty, but the beef here would literally break apart with a fork. DELICIOUS! Next time we make it, I’ll probably add 1/2 the amount of wine and substitute broth for the rest, but that was a personally taste. Thanks for helping us fulfill the craving!
Hi Kacie, I’m so glad you enjoyed the stew. I hope you weren’t affected too badly by the hurricane!
I’ve been looking for a good stew recipe for my Irish boyfriend, and this one is perfect!
I didn’t follow the exact quantities, but it still came out great, just had all the makings of a good stew without too much effort.
This comment might be a little long but I thought I’d share:
We just moved into a new place and I decided to surprised my boyfriend by making this stew (he loves beef stew). Prep was super easy, and it was simmering in no time. After the first hour of simmering on low I added the veggies and turned the heat up to medium and then went back to unpacking.
About 30 minutes later I smelled something burning. The entire bottom of the stew was a horrible burnt brick because I hadn’t realized that my new stove’s elements were hotter than the surface of the sun. Luckily, the meat and veggies on top were fine (tasty actually.. bf had two servings) but the rest had to be tossed.
The recipe is great! And I’m very very sorry to have ruined it. I will be making it again for sure.. but this time on a much lower temperature. sigh.
I made this today. I love how you really spell everything out. It was easy to put together and it tastes VERY good! I was a little nervous about the thyme. I haven’t cooked with this before. It smelled really strong bot I trusted you and it made sense, my kids didn’t say one thing about the different taste. Also, for those of you who might think that it’s a ton of onions, you can’t spot one once it’s cooked. I used the vinegar/ beef broth trick which I loved and it owrks too. Thank you again, your recipes work and taste good. I told my husband I just want to quit my job (I stay home w/ kids) get a bunch of supplies and cook ALL of your recipes. He just smiled at me. OH, and I used my gluten free ingredients again and it tasted amazing.
Thanks Michelle, I’m going to give this recipe a try tonight!
just wondering what “drying the roast” means? this is a new concept for me!
Hi Julie, It just means patting it dry with paper towels to remove any moisture. This helps the roast to get a nice, crusted sear on the outside as opposed to steaming, which is what can happen if there is too much moisture.
I just made the recipe yesterday. I doubled the recipe since we love left overs. LOVED IT!!! Can’t wait to eat it again tonight. Hoping like most soups and stews it tastes even better the next day. Most definately must be served with some warm crusty bread.
I also put this recipe together in my slow cooker for dinner tonight and it was Wonderful!!! My husband had to have a 2nd helping. I forgot to add the peas, but I did add some fresh mushrooms chunks when I mixed it all together. I know I will be making this again when its cold & snowy here in Iowa. Thanks for the yumminess!
Ooh mushrooms! Good idea :)
You can also add some slightly cooked bacon as well.
Just put this stew recipe together as a slow cooker recipe. Simple and easy to follow. Thanks!
Looking forward to trying this–any chance you can do this in a crock pot?
Hi Nicole, I think you definitely could. I would follow the recipe up until you put in the potatoes and vegetables, and at that point transfer the meat to the crockpot, then layer on the vegetables, and pour the sauce overtop. I would still add the peas right at the end, before you’re ready to eat.
About how many people will this feed? I’ll have 6, maybe 8 total for Christmas Eve… would this feed them all? :)
Well how perfect is that, because this recipe serves “6 to 8” :) I need to add the yield to the recipe above. This is my favorite stew, enjoy!
Is there any part of this recipe you can do in advance? I’m new to grown-up cooking and I’m not sure whether I can do most of the prep work beforehand and leave just the cooking until the day of. Is there any harm in preparing the beef and storing in the fridge the morning of in order to cook later in the day? So many questions!
Hi Alex, You can chop the veggies and put them in baggies in the fridge, you could cut the meat and keep in the refrigerator (just don’t pre-cook!).
I made this for dinner tonight and think I have found a new beef stew recipe. Very good.
i am planning on trying this recipe tomorrow. we have about 30 inches of snow right now and i’ve been searching for a recipe since the stew recipe i have is only so so and is for the crock pot and i don’t want to do it in the crock pot. i can’t believe i didn’t think to check your site first. silly me :)
I just tried your stew, and it was so easy to make and so tasty! I was amazed at how good it turned out, and that my (slightly picky) boyfriend also enjoyed it. :)
Made plenty for lunches as well.
Glad it turned out well for you! I am totally addicted to this recipe. I make it multiple times a year. It never gets old! I will have to try it with some of those rolls, though! :)
Mmm this all looks so good. I can’t wait to try those rolls.