Beef Stew – Culinary Hill

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This cozy Beef Stew recipe starts off on the stove but finishes up in the oven; it’s filled with tender chunks of beef, root vegetables, red wine, and fresh herbs. Every bowl is hearty, delicious, and perfect for chilly nights.

Bowls of beef stew on a table.

Beef Stew can easily be underwhelming. The beef can be tough and dry, the vegetables can taste waterlogged or overcooked, and the gravy can be bland.

What I look for in a Beef Stew, and I’m sure you do too, is the exact opposite: Tender chunks of beef that are so tender, they easily shred under your fork. Vegetables that are bright and colorful with some bite to them. Most importantly, a deep, savory gravy that surrounds everything and infuses flavor in every forkful.

To accomplish this, do a little bit of prep up front (browning the beef and cooking some aromatics in the rendered fat), add vegetables at different times (slow-cookers early, quick-cookers later), layer in serious flavor (broth, red wine, and fresh herbs), and then give it time. Cook this Beef Stew low and slow so there is hour for all the flavors to blend, merry, and infuse.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Beef Stew Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for beef stew.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Beef roast: Preferably chuck-eye roast (also called boneless chuck roll or boneless chuck fillet). Look for beef that is well-marbled with white veins of fat.
  • Red wine: My favorite wines for stews, Pot Roast, and Beef Bourguignon are Côtes du Rhône or Pinot Noir. Or, you can substitute more chicken broth.
  • Thyme: Fresh rosemary (instead of or in addition to) would be great in this stew, too. The bay leaf is essential.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Pat beef pieces dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot or Dutch over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half the meat in a single layer and cook, without moving, until browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip each piece of beef and continue cooking until browned on the other side. Transfer to a bowl. Heat another tablespoon of oil and repeat with remaining beef until browned. Transfer to bowl.
Pieces of beef cooking in a dutch oven.
  1. Heat last tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Celery and onions cooking in a pot.
  1. Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, wine, and chicken broth, thyme, bay leaves, and browned beef, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring two a sim. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook for 1 hour. Remove pot from above. Stir in potatoes and carrots. Return to a simmer, cover, and return to the oven for 1 hour longer, until the beef is tender.
Beef stew simmering in a pot.
  1. Remove pot from above. Remove bay leaves and any thyme stems. Stir in peas and cover for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bowls of beef stew on a table.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Beef Stew recipe makes about 12 cups of stew, enough for 8 hearty servings, 1 ½ cups each.
  • Storage: Large leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • make ahead: Beef stew tastes even better after it sits overnight, so consider making it a day or 2 in advance.
  • Freezer: Freezing potatoes makes them soft and grainy, so if you want to freeze the stew, consider omitting the potatoes. Add them when reheating the stew, or consider serving the stew over mashed potatoes instead. To freeze the stew, cool it completely, then pack in freezer-safe containers. Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe FAQs

What is the secret to a good stew?

The secret to a good stew is: time. You need to give plenty of time for the beef to cook until it becomes meltingly tender and starts to fall apart. Ideally this is done at a lower temperature.

What gives beef stew its flavor?

The flavor in this beef stew comes from browning the beef (that caramelization adds a lot of flavor), then layering more flavors from vegetables (onions, celery, carrots), broth, red wine, and fresh herbs.

Slow cooker beef barley soup in a brown bowl.

More delicious soups to try

Beef Stew

This cozy Beef Stew recipe starts off on the stove but finishes up in the oven; it’s filled with tender chunks of beef, root vegetables, red wine, and fresh herbs. Every bowl is hearty, delicious, and perfect for chilly nights.

Prep Time 30 my s

Cook Time 2 hrs 30 my s

Total Time 3 hrs

Servings 8 servings (1 ½ cups each)

Course Soup

Cuisine American

Calories 193

  • Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Pat beef pieces dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot or Dutch over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half the meat in a single layer and cook, without moving, until browned on one side, about 5 minutes.

  • Flip each piece of beef and continue cooking until browned on the other side. Transfer to a bowl. Heat another tablespoon of oil and repeat with remaining beef until browned. Transfer to bowl.

  • Heat last tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  • Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, wine, and chicken broth, thyme, bay leaves, and browned beef, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring two a sim. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook for 1 hour.

  • Remove pot from above. Stir in potatoes and carrots. Return to a simmer, cover, and return to the oven for 1 hour longer, until the beef is tender.

  • Remove pot from above. Remove bay leaves and any thyme stems. Stir in peas and cover for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  1. Beef roast: Preferably chuck-eye roast (also called boneless chuck roll or boneless chuck fillet). Look for beef that is well-marbled with white veins of fat.
  2. Red wine: My favorite wines for stews, Pot Roast, and Beef Bourguignon are Côtes du Rhône or Pinot Noir. Or, you can substitute more chicken broth.
  3. Thyme: Fresh rosemary (instead of or in addition to) would be great in this stew, too. The bay leaf is essential.
  4. Yield: This Beef Stew recipe makes about 12 cups of stew, enough for 8 hearty servings, 1 ½ cups each.
  5. Storage: Large leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. make ahead: Beef stew tastes even better after it sits overnight, so consider making it a day or 2 in advance.
  7. Freezer: Freezing potatoes makes them soft and grainy, so if you want to freeze the stew, consider omitting the potatoes. Add them when reheating the stew, or consider serving the stew over mashed potatoes instead. To freeze the stew, cool it completely, then pack in freezer-safe containers. Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gDish: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 267mgPotassium: 633mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5339IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 2mg


Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.


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