Perfect Beef Stew Recipe


This is one of the most delicious beef stew recipes I’ve ever made! It’s rich and satisfying, and the beef is outrageously tender. There are also potatoes, carrots, and root veggies, but I have a smart tip to make sure they don’t overcook in the stew.

Homemade Beef Stew Recipe Video

This classic beef stew recipe is all about melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. The secret is slow-braising short ribs and marbled chuck roast in a rich sauce of red wine and beef broth. This gentle simmer transforms the meat into incredibly tender pieces that practically fall apart with a fork.

We’ve kept the flavors super classic in this stew, but if you want a twist, try our Guinness beef stew or this Instant Pot pot roast.

Best Beef Stew with tender beef and vegetable

Key Ingredients

  • Beef: I use two different cuts of meat for this stew to achieve the perfect balance of flavor and texture. First, I include bone-in short ribs, which melt in your mouth and infuse the stew with an incredibly rich, beefy flavor. Second, I use beef chuck, a classic stew meat known for its marbling (those beautiful white lines of fat that melt during cooking and create an incredibly tender result).
  • Vegetables: To complement the beef, I add a variety of vegetables, including onions, carrots, parsnips, garlic, shiitake mushrooms (for an extra boost of umami), and potatoes.
  • Red Wine: This French beef stew recipe calls for a whole bottle of dry red wine, contributing to the sauce’s richness and complexity. I recommend using a dry French wine like Bordeaux or Côtes du Rhône, but you can also substitute Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you prefer not to use wine, you can replace it with more beef stock, though the sauce will not be as rich.
  • Butter and Flour: These two ingredients work together to thicken the stew and create a velvety texture. The butter also adds another layer of flavor to the stew.
  • Broth: I use either beef stock or a rich vegetable broth. You can use store-bought or make it yourself. Here are our recipes for beef stock and vegetable broth.
  • Thyme and Bay Leaves: To achieve that classic beef stew flavor, I add a generous bunch of fresh thyme and bay leaves to the pot as it simmers in the oven.

How to Make Beef Stew

Our homemade beef stew may require some time, but it’s incredibly simple. I prefer to cook my stew in a Dutch oven, but you can also use a slow cooker for part of the process (check the recipe for tips).

We’ll begin on the stovetop, browning the beef in batches in your Dutch oven with some oil. Browning the meat in batches ensures it gets a nice, caramelized sear. Once the beef is browned on the outside, transfer it to a bowl and set aside. (It’s not fully cooked yet, but this initial sear adds a crucial layer of flavor that will make your stew super flavorful in the end.)

Browning beef for a delicious beef stew recipe - adds depth of flavor.

Next, I quickly sauté the vegetables in the leftover fat in the pot (more flavor!). We’re not looking to cook them completely. Once they start to sweat, I transfer them to a bowl for later.

Building flavor in beef stew - vegetables simmering in rich beef drippings.

Add the tomato paste, flour, red wine, and stock to the pot. Stir everything until smooth, then return the browned beef to the pot. Cover the pot and let it bake in the oven for two hours, leaving the vegetables out for now.

How to make beef stew - tender beef, vegetables, and rich gravy with fresh thyme (thyme removed before serving)

For the final 30 minutes of cooking, add the vegetables, potatoes, and a generous handful of fresh thyme to the pot. Continue cooking until everything is tender and the flavors have come together.

Homemade Beef Stew with tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms

And there you have it: the most delicious and satisfying beef stew I’ve made in a long time! I usually enjoy this all by itself since the veggies are built into the dish, but you can always serve it with a bed of mashed potatoes, roasted cabbage, crusty bread, or some homemade flatbread to help sop up all that delicious sauce.

Incredibly tender beef stew - falls apart with a fork

Perfect Beef Stew

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Our homemade beef stew with potatoes and root vegetables is so good that you’ll make it again and again! The beef is incredibly tender, the vegetables are perfectly cooked, and the sauce is rich and flavorful.

Serves 6 to 8

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

3 pounds (1360g) beef short ribs

1 ½ pounds (680g) well-marbled beef chuck

2 tablespoons (30ml) avocado oil or vegetable oil

4 medium carrots, chopped

1 large parsnip, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 ounces (110g) shiitake mushrooms, sliced, stems removed and discarded

3 tablespoons (42g) butter

3 tablespoons (42g) tomato paste

1 (750ml) bottle dry red wine, see notes

5 tablespoons (45g) all-purpose flour

6 cups (1420ml) beef stock or rich vegetable stock

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, left whole

2 bay leaves

1 bunch fresh thyme

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  • Prepare Stew
  • 1Preheat your oven to 350°F (177 °C). Place the oven rack in the middle of your oven to fit your Dutch oven.

    2Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the beef.

    3Add oil to a large Dutch oven and place it over medium heat. Sear the short ribs and beef chuck on all sides until nicely browned. If needed, do this in two batches, so you don’t crowd the pot. Transfer the browned meat to a large bowl.

    4Remove some rendered fat from the pot, leaving 2 to 3 tablespoons. (Watch our video to see me do this!)

    5Add the onions, carrots, parsnips, two-thirds of the garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Transfer them to a bowl and set aside. They will continue to cook in the stew.

    6Melt the butter in the Dutch oven. Then, add shiitake mushrooms and the rest of the garlic. Cook for about one minute.

    7Stir in the tomato paste and flour, breaking up any clumps that form. Then, slowly pour one-third of the red wine, scraping up the tasty browned bits from the bottom of the pan. A few small lumps are okay.

    8Pour in the remaining wine and bring it to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is reduced by half.

  • Slowly Bake Stew
  • 1Add beef stock, browned beef, and bay leaves to the pot. Bring everything to a simmer.

    2Cover the Dutch oven and place it in the preheated oven. Cook for 2 hours, stirring after the first hour.

    3About 10 minutes before the 2 hours are up, peel and cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks.

    4After 2 hours, add the potatoes and reserved vegetables to the stew. Top with thyme, cover, and return to the oven. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the beef is incredibly tender and the vegetables are cooked through.

    5Throw away the thyme stems. Skim off excess fat from the stew’s surface (recommended). Leave a small amount for flavor.

    6Serve the beef in large chunks or pull it into bite-sized pieces, removing any extra fat or gristle as you go.

Adam and Joanne’s Tips

  • Short ribs: Look for meaty, English-cut short ribs with bones, not thin, or Korean-style short ribs. The meat becomes incredibly soft and tender, and the bones fall into the stew, making them easy to remove after cooking.
  • Wine for stew: Look for dry French wine like Bordeaux and Côtes du Rhône, or use Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon. We recommend using the wine, but you can substitute it with more beef stock for a slightly less rich but still delicious option.
  • Slow cooker directions: This beef stew recipe works great in a slow cooker! Here’s how to adapt it. Follow our recipe below until the wine is reduced by half. Transfer everything but the veggies and potatoes to your slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours until the beef is incredibly tender. Add the potatoes and veggies during the last hour of cooking to prevent them from getting too mushy.
  • Thicken the Stew: I usually don’t need any thickener, but you can thicken the stew if needed. When finished cooking, combine 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water until smooth. Then, slowly whisk this mixture into your simmering stew. As it simmers, it will thicken.
  • Storing: Leftovers can be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.

Nutrition Per Serving
Serving Size
1 of 8 servings
/
Calories
681
/
Total Fat
33.1g
/
Saturated Fat
12.1g
/
Cholesterol
159.8mg
/
Sodium
595.8mg
/
Carbohydrate
36.5g
/
Dietary Fiber
4.8g
/
Total Sugars
6.2g
/
Protein
46.6g


AUTHOR: 

Adam and Joanne Gallagher


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