Classic Beef Stew

This easy beef stew recipe is my favorite. The rich beef gravy helps the hearty flavor of the potatoes and carrots to come through. It’s the perfect homemade dish for a blustery winter day.

  • In an oven-safe Dutch oven, brown beef in batches in oil; drain. Return all meat to the pan. Add onions, tomatoes, broth, tapioca, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover stew and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Stir in carrots, potatoes and celery. Bake, covered, 1 hour longer or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.
Easy Beef Stew Tips
What kind of meat do you use for beef stew?

We recommend using chuck meat for beef stew. Chuck meat is cut from the front shoulder. Round meat, or otherwise known as rear meat, works well, too. If you find pre-packaged meat labeled “stew meat” at the store, it’s good to ask the meat counter worker what type of cut was used. You can also check out our complete guide to the best cuts for beef stew.

How do you make beef stew meat tender?

Beef stew meat breaks down and becomes more tender the longer you cook. Two hours is typically the sweet spot for beef stew unless you’re cooking a slow-cooker stew. For slow-cooker beef stews, we recommend cooking on low for 7-8 hours. You can also follow our best tips for tenderizing meat.

How can I thicken my beef stew without flour?

Besides using flour, you can thicken beef stew by adding a few tablespoons of cornstarch or cooked potatoes until you reach your desired consistency.

How do you add flavor to beef stew?

You can add flavor to beef stew by adding more garlic, swapping canola oil for olive oil and by browning the meat more thoroughly. Adding more garlic is not only tasty, but can lower cholesterol, too. Swapping in olive oil also provides health benefits. Olive oil has the same healthy fat properties and a similar smoke point as canola, but it adds a more natural flavor to your stew. Speaking of adding flavor, browning stew meat adds a rich, meaty flavor to your dish. Although it’s not necessary, we highly recommend it.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 245 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 751mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 24g protein.

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed beef broth, undiluted
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced celery (1-inch lengths)

Marco Harmon

I was born and raised in Roanoke, VA. I studied Communications Studies at Roanoke College, and I’ve been part of the news industry ever since. Visiting my favorite downtown Roanoke bars and restaurants with my friends is how I spend most of my free time when I'm not at the desk.

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