This beef stew recipe is a classic dish of fork tender beef stewed with carrots and potatoes, so much like my mother used to make, pure comfort food.
Easy Beef Stew with Potatoes and Carrots
Growing up, my mother made a lot of crockpot beef stew. It was my favorite dish she made, such a simple recipe, with cubed stew beef tossed into a crockpot with potatoes, carrots, some liquid and a pre-made beef stew seasoning packet.
She served with mashed potatoes, and I loved the way the thick stew gravy dripped down and gave everything so much flavor.
I make my own Beef Stew today more the classic way, by coating the beef in flour and seasonings, then searing it before cooking it low and slow in a mix of red wine and beef broth.
It's perfect every time. You might be wondering - why is Mike from Chili Pepper Madness making old-fashioned beef stew? It isn't spicy, is it?
The answer is "no", this isn't a spicy recipe, but one with huge flavor for sure. Plus, I hope you'll consider all of my other beef stew recipes from around with world to see which one is your favorite. Those links are listed below.
Learn how to make beef stew.
Classic Beef Stew Ingredients
- Beef Chuck Roast.
- Seasonings. Paprika, salt and black pepper, Italian seasonings, bay leaf.
- Olive Oil.
- Vegetables. Onion, green pepper, celery, garlic. I like to use jalapenos in place of the green pepper for a bit of spice factor. Also, yellow potatoes and carrots.
- Tomato Paste.
- Red Wine. I use Cabernet Sauvignon – use beef stock as an alternative. Balsamic vinegar is a nice addition as well, just a touch.
- Beef Stock. Or beef broth. Beef bouillon is great for this recipe.
How to Make Beef Stew - the Recipe Method
Coat the Stew Beef with Flour and Seasonings. Mix together the flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Dip the chunks of beef into the mixture to lightly coat each side.
Coating with flour is an important step in making beef stew, as it will help to brown the meat and thicken your braising liquid into a velvety gravy-like sauce.
Sear the Beef in Batches. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Sear the beef in 3 separate batches to brown each side of the meat, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the browned beef to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot before each batch.
Cook the Vegetables. When all of the meat is seared and resting on the plate, add the last tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, peppers, and celery. Stir and cook for 5 minutes to soften.
Garlic and Tomato Paste. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook 1 more minute, stirring.
Add the Liquids. Add the red wine, beef stock, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Add the Browned Beef and Seasonings. Add the meat and any accumulated juices to the pot, along with the Italian seasonings and bay leaves.
The First Simmer. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 2 hours.
The Second Simmer. Remove the lid and add the potatoes and carrots. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 more hour, or utnil the vegetables are cooked through and the meat is fork tender. You may need more time for the meat to soften up to your liking.
Serve Your Beef Stew. Remove from heat. You can serve the beef stew immediately, but it is best to refrigerate the pot for 24 hours. The flavor gets even better the next day. Simply reheat and serve.
Boom! Done! Your beef stew is ready to serve. Looks wonderful, doesn't it? So rich and delicious, the sauce like a thick and comforting gravy.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- You can serve your beef stew immediately, but it is even better the next day. Cover the pot and refrigerate it for 24 hours, then reheat when ready to serve. The flavors will be so much more developed.
- If you prefer to skip the wine, consider these alternatives for your beef stew - more beef stock or beef broth, unsweetened cranberry juice, or tomato sauce.
- I recommend that you do not skip the coating of the stew beef in flour. This step is important in developing a rich, velvety gravy-like sauce for your stew, making it so much more luxurious.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
If you prefer to use your slow cooker, transfer all of the ingredients after you brown the meat and cook down the vegetables in a pan (step #6 in the recipe card below), then cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours, or until the beef is meltingly tender.
Best Meat for Beef Stew
Chuck beef roast is ideal for making tender beef stew. Any tougher cut of beef that benefits from low and slow cooking will work, though. Consider top round, bottom round, sirloin, trip-tip, or brisket.
Best Wine for Beef Stew
Dry red wine with bold flavor is best for cooking beef stew. I prefer Cabernet Sauvignon, but also consider pinot noir or merlot.
How to Thicken Beef Stew
Coating the beef stew meat in flour before searing helps to thicken your beef stew gravy, but if you'd like to thicken it more, mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 2 tablespoons milk or water to form a slurry.
Stir it into your beef stew pot and simmer until thickened. Repeat if necessary.
What to Serve with Beef Stew
My mother always served her crockpot beef stew with mashed potatoes. It's a perfect combination. You can also serve it over rice, or with a side like these jalapeno-cheddar biscuits.
Storage / Freezing Beef Stew
Beef stew will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. It isn't bad served cold, but is easily reheated in a microwave or tossed in a hot pan.
You can also freeze it for 2-3 months.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this classic beef stew recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you, and if you decided to spice it up!
Try Some of My Other Beef Stew Recipes from Around the World
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Classic Beef Stew Recipe
- 3 pound beef chuck cut into 1.5 inch chunks
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 large white onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped (use jalapenos for a spicier version)
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 5 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups red wine I use Cabernet Sauvignon – use beef stock as an alternative
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning use your favorite blend of dried herbs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound yellow potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 large carrots cut into bite-sized pieces
- Mix together the flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Dip the chunks of beef into the mixture to lightly coat each side.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Sear the beef in 3 separate batches to brown each side of the meat, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the browned beef to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot before each batch.
- When all of the meat is seared and resting on the plate, add the last tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, peppers, and celery. Stir and cook for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook 1 more minute, stirring.
- Add the red wine, beef stock, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the meat and any accumulated juices to the pot, along with the Italian seasonings and bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 2 hours.
- Remove the lid and add the potatoes and carrots. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 more hour, or utnil the vegetables are cooked through and the meat is fork tender. You may need more time for the meat to soften up to your liking.
- Remove from heat. You can serve the beef stew immediately, but it is best to refrigerate the pot for 24 hours. The flavor gets even better the next day. Simply reheat and serve.
Kirsten Hughson says
Holy. Crap. This stew is amazing. Only changes I made were that I switched around the order. The vegetables go in. The potatoes and carrots definitely need to go in way before the peppers. The peppers should go in absolutely last because they cook so quickly. Otherwise, made it exactly as written. Omitted the red wine for 2 extra cups of beef stock. It is absolutely phenomenal. I will make again and again and again!
Mike Hultquist says
Glad you enjoyed it, Kirsten! I like to put the peppers in first so they break down and become part of the overall gravy, but adding them later is great, too! More peppers! Maybe I should do both! Haha.
This sounds amazing! Sounds like the stew my grandmother used to make! I am going to make it tomorrow and I will let you know how it turns out!
Thanks for. Sharing.
Mike Hultquist says
Sure thing, Joey. Definitely a classic recipe! I hope you'll check out some of my other beef recipes from around the world as well! Enjoy!
Hi Mike- looks great... but I do not notice any green pepper in your picture—-I have never had beef stew with any green peppers in it, due to the taste of green peppers can be overwhelming to all other flavors. Did you find that the green pepper flavor was very strong?
Mike Hultquist says
Heidi, the peppers are cooked down into the sauce with the onion, celery, garlic and tomato paste. There is no strong green pepper flavor, but you can easily omit if you'd care to.
JoAnn V says
I have made many of your recipes and love them all. One thing I would like to request is that state exactly which paprika you use for any given recipe. I have several different types and never know which one to use when you say "paprika". Happy New Year
Mike Hultquist says
Thanks, JoAnn. Usually when I mention "paprika", you can use your favorite type. I will usually state "smoked" paprika when I want that particular smoky flavor. Sweet and Hot can be interchangeable, depending on your heat preference. I hope this helps.
This sounds delicious! Do you think beer will work in this stew as a replacement for wine?
Mike Hultquist says
Absolutely, Sanna. Definitely not traditional, and will have a different flavor, but I use beer in my stews quite often and love it. Let me know how goes!