Beef Stew Recipe

A Culinary Journey Through the World of Beef Stew

Classic Beef Stew Recipe

Beef stew, a culinary staple with a rich history, has warmed the hearts and homes of many cultures around the world. Originating as a humble meal for those who couldn’t afford prime cuts of meat, it has evolved into a beloved comfort food across continents. From the bouef bourguignon of France to the nikujaga of Japan, each region adds its unique twist to this classic dish. In Europe, it’s often enjoyed with a hearty loaf of bread, while in Africa, it’s commonly served with starchy sides like rice or yams. The global variations of beef stew not only showcase culinary diversity but also reflect the adaptability and creativity of cooks over centuries. This dish, transcending cultural boundaries, has become a symbol of comfort and sustenance, making it a cherished recipe in households worldwide.

Choosing the Right Ingredients for the Perfect Stew

When it comes to making a memorable beef stew, the choice of ingredients is paramount. The star of the dish is undoubtedly the beef. A well-marbled chuck roast is often the preferred choice, as the fat marbling contributes to a tender and flavorful stew.

  • Beef: Look for cuts with visible marbling for tenderness.
  • Vegetables: Common choices include carrots, potatoes, and onions.
  • Herbs: Thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves are popular.

For a deeper dive into the best cuts of beef for your stew, check out this comprehensive guide.

Mastering the Art of Beef Stew Preparation

The preparation of beef stew is as important as the ingredients themselves. Marinating the beef can enhance its flavor and tenderness. Browning the meat, a crucial step, adds depth and richness to the stew. Layering flavors through careful seasoning and the use of fresh herbs elevates the dish.

  • Marinating: Optional but beneficial for flavor.
  • Browning: Essential for a rich, deep flavor.
  • Layering Flavors: Use herbs and seasonings strategically.

Discover various marinating techniques and their benefits on Cooking Techniques Blog.

Cooking Methods: Bringing Out the Best in Beef Stew

The method of cooking plays a critical role in the texture and flavor of beef stew. Whether you opt for slow cooking, pressure cooking, or oven braising, each method has its unique advantages.

  • Slow Cooking: Renders the beef incredibly tender.
  • Pressure Cooking: Saves time while still delivering flavor.
  • Oven Braising: Offers a traditional approach with consistent results.

Exploring Regional Variations of Beef Stew

Beef stew, a versatile dish, takes on unique flavors and ingredients in different regions:

  • French Beef Stew: Known as Boeuf Bourguignon, this stew is a celebration of beef slow-cooked in red wine, often with mushrooms and pearl onions. It’s a testament to the French flair for elevating simple ingredients into gourmet fare.
  • Cuban Beef Stew: Ropa Vieja, a Cuban version, features shredded beef in a tomato-based sauce, infused with bell peppers, onions, and a mix of vibrant spices, reflecting the island’s rich culinary heritage.
  • Northern Italian Beef Stew: In Italy, beef stew, or Spezzatino, is typically cooked with tomatoes, wine, and a medley of Mediterranean herbs, offering a rustic yet refined flavor profile.
  • Spanish Beef Stew: Spain’s Estofado is distinguished by its use of paprika, olives, and sometimes chorizo, adding a distinctively Iberian character to the dish.
  • American Classic Beef Stew: A hearty, no-fuss version, often includes large chunks of beef, potatoes, carrots, and a rich, thick broth, embodying the simplicity and comfort of American home cooking.

Serving and Pairing: Completing the Beef Stew Experience

The right accompaniments and pairings can elevate a beef stew from good to unforgettable.

  • Accompaniments: Crusty bread, mashed potatoes, or rice.
  • Wine Pairings: A robust red wine complements the rich flavors of the stew.

For ideal wine pairings with beef stew, visit Wine Pairing Guide.


What is the best cut of beef for stew?

  • Chuck or round cuts are ideal for their flavor and tenderness.

Can beef stew be frozen?

  • Yes, beef stew freezes well and can be stored for up to 3 months.

How can I thicken my beef stew?

  • Use a mixture of flour or cornstarch with water, or simply simmer the stew to reduce the liquid.

Is beef stew gluten-free?

  • It can be, if you use gluten-free thickening agents and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free.

Conclusion: The Endless Delight of Beef Stew

Classic Beef Stew

Classic Beef Stew Recipe

This Classic Beef Stew is a hearty and comforting dish, perfect for chilly evenings. Featuring tender chunks of beef, flavorful vegetables, and a rich, savory broth, it's a traditional recipe that's both satisfying and delicious. Ideal for family dinners or meal prep, this stew is sure to become a favorite.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, European
Servings 6 people
Calories 400 kcal


  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • 2 lbs beef chuck cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 large carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish


  • Prep the Beef: Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef in batches and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Sauté Vegetables: In the same pot, add the remaining olive oil and the onions. Cook until they are soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Make the Base: Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic, stirring to coat. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the red wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Simmer the Stew: Add the beef back into the pot along with the beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 1.5 hours.
  • Add Vegetables: Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot. Continue to simmer, covered, for another 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Final Touches: Stir in the frozen peas and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Serve: Garnish with fresh parsley before serving. Enjoy your hearty beef stew with crusty bread or over a bed of rice.


  • Browning the Beef: Don't overcrowd the pot while browning the beef; it ensures a good sear which adds flavor.
  • Wine Selection: Use a good quality wine that you would enjoy drinking.
  • Thickness: If the stew is too thin, simmer it uncovered for the last 15 minutes to reduce the liquid.


  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and taste even better as the flavors meld.
  • For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free flour blend or cornstarch as a thickener.
  • Feel free to add other vegetables like mushrooms or celery for added flavor and nutrition.
  • If you prefer a thicker stew, remove the lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking to reduce the liquid.
Keyword Beef Stew Recipe

What do you think?

925 Points
Upvote Downvote
Karen Elliot

Written by Karen Elliot

Hi, I'm Karen Elliot is a food blogger who founded to make cooking easier. Growing up on a farm in Spain, Karen was inspired by exquisite dishes prepared using simple ingredients. Karen Elliot is particularly known for making anyone can cook.


Leave a Reply
  1. 5 stars
    Hi. Made the beef stew tonight and it was delicious. My husband really liked it. I tell you what, it beats the package seasoning for beef stew I used to make. Never again. lol 😆. I plan to make it again for my family and will make sure I have hot French bread ready to go with it. Dipping that bread into that stew sauce, omg 🤤. Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    This was fantastic!! Made for my family and they loved it. Will make again. I did thicken the broth because we like it more like a gravy.

  3. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight for the first time and we absolutely LOVED it! Definitely going to be added to our dinner rotation! When it was finished, I added about half a cup of instant potato flakes and cooked it on low heat on the stove for about 5 minutes to thicken the broth. (I don’t like to use flour and butter to thicken) Great recipe!!

  4. 5 stars
    This is ONE of my favorite recipes that you shared! Love it! Comes out perfect every time! Making it today. Thank you for ALL of the recipes! ❤

  5. 5 stars
    The flavors are so delicious. I’m just wondering how I might have a way to make the meat more tender after it was done cooking?

  6. 5 stars
    Very tasty and easy to make. I just made some for my neighbor. His Mom died yesterday. I’m waiting for him to come home so I can bring it over with a loaf of homemade French bread. Comfort food at its finest.

  7. 5 stars
    The best beef stew I’ve ever had! I don’t like mushrooms so omitted them. Amazing flavor and tang. Has a kick even though I didn’t add cayenne. Perfect every time, thank you!

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating



Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Sloppy Joe Recipe