About This Easy Beef Stew Recipe
A traditional meal, beef stew can be regarded as an integral part of the gastronomic culture of many countries across the world that has been around for centuries.
In Ireland, for example, beef stew is often cooked with mutton/lamb and dark beer. In Hungary and Northern Europe, it forms a pillar foundation of local cuisine. In the Middle East and the Maghreb, it is infused with ras el hanout (spice mix) and is served with couscous. In India, it tastes like spicy curry and is served with rice.
Whatever your favorite version is, the basic rule to prepare the stew remains the same. Let’s start with the choice of meat.
The classic stew is made with beef, veal, or pork, but you can also opt for more niche meats such as sheep or deer; venison and wild boar stews are quite popular, too. The use of chicken and turkey breast chunks is also increasingly trendy.
First, the meat is browned in a pan over high heat to seal the juices. Then, the onion, garlic, and celery are sautéed separately and flavored with some red wine. To bring out all the flavors, the beef stew must cook for about 2 hours on low heat until the pieces of meat are very soft.
The potatoes and carrots are added half an hour before turning off the heat, and the peas, being more delicate, just a few minutes before.
The combination of the meat and all the veggies with aromatic herbs and spices gives your stew character.
It’s a great one-pot meal to make for family dinners or even special occasions. It’s warm, comforting, and packed with delectable flavors!
What You Need for This Homemade Beef Stew Recipe
- Meat: I have used beef chuck, cut into approx. 2.5 cm/1 inch cubes. You can usually find chuck pre-cut in the supermarket.
- Broth: I have used the beef broth to add a prominent, potent beef flavor and a rich, not watery, texture.
- Tomato Paste & Sauce: I like adding tomato paste and sauce because it gives the stew a little bit of sweetness and acidity.
- Wine: De-glazing the pot with red wine will add a lot of flavors.
- Vegetables: I like to use the most classic and budget-friendly veggies for this stew — onion, garlic, celery, potatoes, carrots, and peas. They are the base of many stews and soups in general because they simply work together very well.
- Herbs & Seasonings: I’ve used a mix of dry herbs that include marjoram, basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme. Besides the dry mix, I’ve also added a sprig of fresh rosemary and bay leaf, along with salt, black pepper, and a little bit of paprika. All the herbs and seasonings give a wonderful aromatic flavor to the stew.
- Flour: Adding a little bit of flour ensures a wonderfully thick stew that coats all those ingredients in each bite.
- Veggies: You can add or subtract depending on what you like and what you have on hand. Any number of root vegetables make a great addition to this stew.
- Herbs: I have used a mix of dry and fresh herbs, but you may substitute them with whatever seasonings you like. Herbs de Provence or an Italian blend would also be great.
- Wine: I have used red wine, but white wine works well, too.
What is the best cut of meat for this stew?
The best cuts of meat are the ones that are inexpensive but capable of giving the dish that softness and juiciness that’s characteristic of any good stew.
Rely on your trusted butcher or choose pieces rich in fat or connective tissue (or both). For beef or veal, go for the shoulder meat (shoulder round or priest’s hat), the neck, the muscle, the belly, or even the front and rear shank. For pork and lamb, the neck and shoulder are good; for chicken and turkey, the thigh and upper thigh are more suitable.
Whichever meat you choose, remember that the meat should be cut into similarly sized pieces, about 2-3 cm / 1 inch per side, to ensure that they cook evenly.
What should I do with the leftovers?
If you have any leftovers, you may finely chop the meat and veggies and use them as a filling for cannelloni or ravioli, or as a sauce for pasta.
Can I freeze this stew?
Yes. You may store the stew in a freezer-friendly container and freeze it for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, defrost it in the refrigerator the night before and reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
Easy Homemade Beef Stew with Potatoes, Carrots, and Peas
Made with beef, potatoes, carrots, and peas, this beef stew is a super delicious and nutritious main course, a hearty and comforting meal to make for family dinners.
Yield: 2 servings
How To Make Beef Stew Step By Step
In a big, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, add the meat, season with salt and pepper, and brown it on all sides. Transfer the beef to a plate and set it aside.
Chop the onion, garlic, and celery, and add them to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
De-glaze with the red wine.
Add the tomato paste and the beef with its juices back to the pan, sprinkle with flour, and stir until the flour disappears, about 1 minute.
Add the tomato sauce, beef broth, dried herbs, paprika, bay leaf, the sprig of rosemary, and stir well. Bring to a boil, then cover with the lid, and let it braise over low heat for about an hour and a half.
Clean, peel, and cut the potatoes and carrots and add them to the stew. Cover and let it cook for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked, the meat is tender, and the broth is thickened.
Add the peas 10 minutes before turning off the heat.
Discard the bay leaf and rosemary sprig and sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley, if desired. Serve the stew warm and enjoy!
- To sear the beef cubes properly, avoid overcrowding the pan. Turn the meat only after it develops a nice brown crust.
- The classic beef stew, to be good, must cook for about 2 hours on low heat; during cooking, if necessary, add more liquid (broth or water) until the pieces of meat are very soft.
- The choice of the cooking liquid can vary. Depending on whether you choose to cook the stew in white or red sauce, you can add hot water or broth, milk, other wine, beer, fruit juices (especially pomegranate and orange), or tomato sauce.