Homemade Beef Stew is the best comfort food meal on a cold day. This classic beef stew recipe is so easy to make with tender fall apart beef and hearty vegetables. A meal the entire family will love. Plus recipe video.
This Classic Homemade Beef Stew is an absolute favorite at our house. My mom used to make a big pot of homemade beef stew for us on the weekends as soon as the weather got cooler.
It became one of our favorite cold weather foods – thick, hearty and the best comforting bowl of goodness. We’d always go for seconds and thirds throughout the day. So perfectly soul-warming after playing outside in the snow.
Homemade beef stew still remains one of my favorite lazy Sunday meals I make for my own family now.
3 Versions of Classic Beef Stew
Depending on how much time I have, we make one of the following beef stew recipes:
- this classic stovetop version
- our new Instant Pot pressure cooker
- or the slow cooker (to let everything simmer all day long)
It’s guaranteed that the kids will happily eat it even with all those healthy and nourishing vegetables.
The combination of hearty chunks of meat, root vegetables, garlic and fresh herbs fills the house with the most wonderful aromas.
The great thing about soups and stews is that you can customize them with whatever you have on hand. Feel free to add or leave out whatever suits your tastes!
HOW DO YOU MAKE THE BEST CLASSIC HOMEMADE BEEF STEW?
- After some time simmering on the stove-top (or you can try making this in an Instant Pot or your slow cooker), this Classic Homemade Beef Stew will definitely remind you of the one you grew up with. It’s a nutrient-rich and simple to prepare clean eating dish.
- Start off by searing the beef in a large pot (preferably with a heavy bottom, like a Dutch oven). While you can skip this step, browning the meat first helps to seal in those juices and flavors.
- Add the onions, aromatics and then come the vegetables. I used carrots, celery potatoes and a sweet potato. Feel free to leave that out if you’re not a sweet potato fan and you can also add some green peas or cauliflower if you like.
- You’re also going to add some tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and a star anise for a punch of flavor. If you can’t find a star anise or are not a fan, feel free to leave it out.
This Homemade Beef Stew is jam-packed and loaded with fresh, real ingredients that are delicious and you can feel good about feeding it to your family and yourself.
Make-ahead tips for this Homemade Beef Stew Recipe
- peel and chop all the vegetables the day before and store them in a zip-top freezer bag in the freezer. This helps to prevent the potatoes from changing color
- cut the meat into chunks the day before (or you can buy pre-packaged stew meat) and store in a zip-top freezer bag in the fridge or freezer
- This is my favorite pot for making big batches of soups —> click HERE
- Making this stew in an Instant Pot is such a big time saver as well —> click HERE
- Or you can use your slow cooker for a set and forget meal —> click HERE
How to Make Classic Beef Stew (VIDEO):
Classic Homemade Beef Stew + Recipe VIDEO
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour use gluten free flour as needed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1-1/2 - 2 pounds beef chuck roast or beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch chunks
- cooking oil divided
- 1 medium onion diced into large chunks
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 medium Russet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks (can also use 10 baby potatoes and leave skin on)
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks (leave out if desired)
- 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1/2 star anise optional but adds SO much flavor - found in the International section or spice aisle
- 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups beef broth homemade or low sodium
- water only as needed to cover the vegetables
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch + 3 teaspoons water to create a slurry - to thicken the stew if needed can also use arrowroot starch if preferred
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large zip-top bag, combine flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, and seasoning. Add meat and shake until well coated.
- In a large dutch oven or pot on medium-high heat, add cooking oil and sear the meat on all sides for about 2-3 minutes. You may have to work in batches so you don't crowd the meat. Remove and set aside on a plate.
- Add another tablespoon of oil, then add onions & garlic to the pan. Cook and saute for about 1 minute, until onions start to soften. Add wine or balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the beef back to the pan then toss in the potatoes, carrots, celery (star anise if using), Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf and stir in the beef broth. If there is not enough liquid to cover the vegetables, add water - only as much as needed.
- Bring to a boil then turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 55 minutes - 2 hours (depending on your stove), stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and meat is tender to your liking.
- For a thicker stew, in a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch with water. Turn heat back to high and stir cornstarch mixture into stew. Allow stew to boil and thicken up while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, adjust seasonings and serve hot with fresh parsley.
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