This classic beef stew is the ideal dinner for a chilly weekend. Beef, carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, peas, and mushrooms come together in harmony, creating a cozy, comforting meal.
Best Beef Stew
As the weather cools I crave comfort food meals like a bowl of this traditional beef stew. It boasts tender chunks of prime chuck roast simmered with hearty Yukon gold potatoes, vibrant carrots, celery, and mushrooms in a richly flavored gravy. Adding peas at the end provides a burst of color and a hint of sweetness to this classic, comforting dish. More beef stew recipes you may also love are this Beef Stew with Pumpkin, Mexican Beef Stew, and my Colombian beef stew, Carne Guisada.
Beef Stew Ingredients
- Broth: You’ll need three cups of low-sodium beef broth.
- Flour: Use all-purpose or gluten-free flour to thicken the stew. A cornstarch slurry would also work, but I prefer flour.
- Tomato Paste adds a rich flavor.
- Salt and Pepper to season the stew
- Beef Stew Meat: I prefer prime beef, which is higher quality than choice or select beef. Start with a three-pound boneless beef chuck roast. Once you trim the fat and cut it into one-inch cubes, you should have about two and a half pounds.
- Potatoes: Peel and dice Yukon gold potatoes into one-inch pieces. Russet potatoes or red potatoes would also work.
- Carrots: Slice three to four medium carrots into half-inch thick diagonal pieces.
- Celery: Chop three celery ribs.
- Onion: Cut one medium onion into half-inch pieces.
- Mushrooms: Clean and quarter four ounces of white button mushrooms.
- Herbs: Use three sprigs of fresh thyme and two bay leaves.
- Peas: Add a half cup of frozen peas at the end.
How to Make Beef Stew
- Broth: Blend the broth, flour, tomato paste, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth.
- Brown the Beef: Heat a large Dutch oven on the stove-top over high heat, spray with oil, and brown the meat on all sides in two batches. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
- Vegetables: Add the carrots, celery, and onions and cook for five minutes. Return the meat to the pot with any juices. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, thyme, bay leaves, and broth.
- Cook Stew: Cover the pot and bake for two and a half hours at 375°F. (After two hours, check that there’s enough liquid.) Once the meat and veggies are fork-tender, remove the Dutch oven from the oven, discard the herbs, and stir in the peas. Taste the stew and add more salt if needed.
What is the secret to good stew?
- Quality of Beef: Choosing the right cut of beef is paramount. For beef stew, using a cut like a prime chuck roast, which has a good balance of meat and connective tissue, can result in tender chunks of beef when cooked slowly.
- Browning: Searing or browning the meat before stewing develops a rich depth of flavor due to the Maillard reaction. It also gives the stew a good color.
- Layering Flavors: Building flavors by browning the onions, garlic, and vegetables before adding liquids is essential. Herbs, both dried and fresh, also add complexity to the stew’s flavor.
What to Serve with Beef Stew
Beef stew with potatoes is a filling meal on its own. If you want to serve it with something, here are a few ideas:
- Crusty bread to soak up the thick broth
- A simple salad, like this one with romaine
- A green veggie, like Brussels sprouts or roasted broccoli
How to make the most tender stew?
Making the most tender stew involves several techniques and considerations, both in the choice of ingredients and in the cooking process:
- Choose the Right Cut of Meat: Opt for cuts of meat with a mix of muscle and connective tissue, like chuck roast or beef shank. These cuts break down over extended cooking, making the meat tender and adding richness to the broth.
- Browning Is Essential: Before stewing, brown the meat chunks on all sides in a hot pan. Browning builds flavor and helps seal in the meat’s juices.
- Low and Slow Cooking: Slowly simmering the stew at a low temperature allows the collagen in the meat to break down slowly without drying it out. Extended cooking at a gentle simmer makes the beef soft and tender.
- Use Enough Liquid: You want the broth or cooking liquid to mostly cover the meat to ensure even cooking and prevent the meat from drying out.
Storage and Freezer
This easy beef stew is perfect for meal prep since it makes so much. Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days. It’s also freezes wonderfully. Store it in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and warm on the stove or microwave.
More Stew Recipes You’ll Love
- Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew
- Paprika Chicken Stew
- Slow Cooker Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew
- Slow Cooker Pork and Gandules (Pigeon Peas) Stew
- Chicken and Andouille Sausage Stew
Beef Stew Recipe
- 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 3 tablespoons flour or gluten-free flour
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes (I prefer Prime, I start with a 3 lb piece before trimming off fat)
- 1 1/2 cups yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick diagonal, from 3 to 4 medium carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery, from 3 ribs
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Combine broth, flour, tomato paste, 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat, spray with oil and brown the beef on all sides in two batches. Set beef aside, then spray the pot again. Add the carrots, celery and onions and brown, stirring about 5 minutes. Return the beef to the pot with any juices.
- Add the potatoes, mushrooms, thyme and bay leaves and pour the broth on top. Cover and bake 2 1/2 hours, (check to be sure it has enough liquid after 2 hours) until the meat and vegetables are tender.
- Remove from oven, discard the thyme and bay leaves, stir in the peas and let them sit 1 minute until heated through. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.