This classic Beef Stew is recipe is rich, flavorful and comes together in one pot! With tender chunks of beef and plenty of vegetables, it’s healthy and comforting.
See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.
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While the weather is warming slightly and we’re all looking forward to summer, there is nothing as nourishing after a long day as a bowl of classic beef stew with some crusty bread for dunking.
Even though we love this Instant Pot Beef Stew and this Slow Cooker Beef Stew with honey balsamic flavors (one of my favorite flavor combos!), I wanted to come up with a classic Beef Stew that is still rich and flavorful, but in a more traditional way.
This Beef Stew is filled with all of the flavors you’d expect: sauteed onions, carrots and celery; rich and tender chunks of beef; full-bodied beef stock and red wine; and our favorite, creamy Little potatoes.
I chose Little potatoes for this recipe because while this stew is made in one pot in a relatively short amount of time, you know I’ll do anything to cut down on prep time without sacrificing flavor.
Little potatoes have a thin, smooth skin that doesn’t require peeling, and they come washed and ready to use! I simply halve them and toss them in, and they soak up so much of that flavorful broth as they cook.
I used Boomer Gold in this recipe, but any of the varietals will work great!
What is the best cut of meat for beef stew?
Usually, chuck roasts or steaks (known as “blade” in Canada) are used in stews and soups and recipes that require a long, low cook time.
The connective tissue in the meat (and there is more in, say, a chuck or blade roast than in a lean cut of beef like sirloin) breaks down as it cooks and makes the meat incredibly tender.
If you can’t find chuck or blade, a round roast is your next best option.
Basically, the meat that you would never cook quickly, is your best option when cooking slowly.
Do I have to brown the meat first?
Not necessarily, but it is recommended.
I’m all about skipping steps when we won’t notice a difference (or it will be negligible), but brown the beef in this Beef Stew recipe is an easy way to add lots of flavor — and we don’t need any extra pots!
Bits of the meat may stick and caramelize somewhat on the bottom of the pot, but when we deglaze with our wine and stock all of that flavor is added back into the stew. It will add incredible depth!
Can I skip the red wine?
If you have some, and you won’t waste a bottle opening it and using just ½ cup, I recommend it.
It gives it a little something extra special — a French twist on a simple beef stew à la Boeuf Bourguignon.
If you don’t have any or don’t want to use it, simply swap in additional beef broth for the wine.
More variations and substitutions for this beef stew recipe:
- Vegetables: You can absolutely add additional vegetables to this recipe: saute some mushrooms with the onions, add in turnips or parsnips with the potatoes, or stir in some fresh or frozen green beans near the end of the cook time.
- Seasoning: I kept the seasoning for this stew recipe simple, because we have a lot of other flavors coming into play, but you can swap them out or add in your favorites.
- Slow Cooker: You definitely can make this in the slow cooker if you’re going to be out and want to come home to a delicious home-cooked meal. I would still recommend browning the meat and sauteeing the onion, then deglazing before adding everything to the crockpot and cooking on low for 8 hours.
How can I prep this Beef Stew ahead?
This classic stew can be prepared completely and reheated at a later time, which makes it a great meal to prep ahead when you have a little more time.
Simply prepare completely, then let cool slightly before covering and refrigerating up to 4 days.
To reheat, place on the stove top over low heat, and cook, stirring often, for 15-30 minutes or until heated through. The juices may thicken as they sit, so feel free to add a splash of beef broth, wine, or water to loosen things up.
I don’t recommend freezing this beef stew, as potatoes have a different texture after being frozen.
More stews and soups you’ll love!
- Chicken Stew — another classic with loads of flavor!
- Chicken Pot Pie Soup
- Beef Barley Soup — save the rest of your beef roast for this one!
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- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 lb beef blade or chuck roast cut into 1" cubes
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery sliced
- 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb Little potatoes, quartered
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add oil and let heat 2 minutes.
- Add cubes of beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned (2-3 minutes), then flip and brown on the other side. You may have to brown your beef in two batches to allow room for every piece.
- Remove the browned beef from the pot and set aside.
- Add the onion, celery and carrots, cooking and stirring until onion has softened and is starting to brown (add additional oil if pan is too dry).
- Stir in garlic, salt, pepper, thyme — cook and stir 1 minute.
- Stir in corn starch until all white is gone.
- Add red wine to the pot, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, potatoes and browned beef. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in peas, adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
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