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This Old Fashioned Beef Stew is pure comfort in a bowl with tender beef, hearty vegetables, and all the right herbs and spices—it’s the best!

Beef Stew in a black bowl.


We love the fall for lots of reasons, not the least of which is the reappearance of all of our favorite seasonal comfort foods in the grocery stores. This stew is the best for any time you need a good, hearty, and comforting food that revives you, body and soul. This savory stew can be the perfect complement to a hard day’s work, or the best companion to a book and a blanket on the couch. The aroma alone will fill you with anticipation!

You will start by preparing your beef and browning it in your pot. Then you will add the garlic for flavor. Next, you will add the broth and vegetables, along with your herbs and bring it all to a boil. Then, you will simmer the stew for 90 minutes and let all that flavor develop. Lastly, you will add in a slurry that will thicken the stew. This is an easy recipe and it is full of aromatic herbs and hearty texture. You will love it!

Pro Tip: Serve these up with our famous recipe for The Best Homemade Dinner Rolls Ever!

  • What kind of meat is best for stew?

    We recommend a simple stew meat. Most grocery stores offer stew meat, already cut, near the butcher department. Stew meat is usually just a cubed chuck roast. You can also opt to cut your own, or for a leaner cut like diced round. Those work too—basically, any meat that can be used as a pot roast will work including chuck roast, bottom round, top round, and brisket.

  • What kind of potatoes are best for a soup or stew?

    Red potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes hold up better than russet potatoes in a stew. Russet potatoes can get grainy because they are more starchy. Yukon Gold and Red potatoes are also nice because they don’t need to be peeled.

  • Where can I find pearl onions?

    Pearl onions are seasonal, but you can always find them in the frozen section at your local grocery store. They have a nice, mild flavor, are already peeled, and ready to add, whole, into this stew. If you can’t find these little gems, a regular chopped white onion would also work.

  • What is a slurry?

    A slurry is a mixture that is made of a liquid and cornstarch, used to thicken soups and stews. They are most commonly made by whisking water, beef broth, or another liquid together with the cornstarch, before adding it to a soup, stew or dish that requires thickening. Much like a roux that is used to thicken gravy or soup, a slurry is made and then gradually added to the dish. The reason you don’t want to add cornstarch directly to a dish or pot, is because it won’t incorporate properly and clumps will form. The water or liquid ushers the cornstarch into the fluid gradually enough for it to incorporate before it clumps.

Cornstarch Slurry in bowl

Pour cornstarch slurry into stew to thicken

 

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS

Follow steps 1 and 2 to brown the beef and give an initial cook of the garlic and tomato paste. Then combine this and all remaining ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Follow step 5 to create a cornstarch slurry. Add to stew and cook another 30 minutes, until thickened.

Bird's eye view of a ladle full of beef Stew above the pot.

Here are some other amazing soup and chili recipes for more comfort food in a bowl. 

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Beef Stew in a black bowl.
This Old Fashioned Beef Stew is pure comfort in a bowl with tender beef, hearty vegetables, and all the right herbs and spices—it’s the best!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat (cubed chuck roast)
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 10 ounces pearl onions
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 4 celery ribs sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Instructions
  • Dust beef stew meat with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and season with salt and black pepper. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add beef stew meat, and sear until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes
  • Add in minced garlic and tomato paste and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Pour in the beef broth and worcestershire sauce to deglaze the pan. Add red potatoes, pearl onions, carrots, and celery. Season with salt, sugar, parsley, paprika, oregano, basil, black pepper, and allspice.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl, mix together remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water. Stir until completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into the stew. Stir over low heat until stew thickens.
  • Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions

Follow steps 1 and 2 to brown the beef and give an initial cook of the garlic and tomato paste. Then combine this and all remaining ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Follow step 5 to create a cornstarch slurry. Add to stew and cook another 30 minutes, until thickened.

Nutrition

Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 970mg | Potassium: 1149mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5315IU | Vitamin C: 14.6mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 4.1mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beef Stew

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I always use celery leaves for flavor..dry them in oven when you buy fresh cery in the oven on lowest te PM till they crumble..store in an airtight container..I even use them in potato salads and soups..great flavor..no complaints about celery chunks

Sharon Dunn

5 stars
I’ve been cooking for over 50+ years and this is the best, by far, the best beef stew I have ever made. I shouldn’t have been surprised b/c I make 99% of what I read on Stay at Home Chef. It’s absolutely heavenly and I have recommended this website to all of my friends. Just fantastic recipes…everything.

Robin

I add a couple of Bay leaves to it, too.

Ansie Du Toit

5 stars
I made the beefstew it was delicious can I replace the beef with chicken ?

NancyinSanDiego

I love watching you. You’re one of the best cooking instructors. Your narrative is perfect, as sighted in this recipe video. I saw the list of ingredients and was hesitant. The first thing you addressed was the list of ingredients and most are spices. Whew. I went forward and I’m so glad I did. Every recipe I’ve tried of yours is exceptional! You’re my secret weapon!! Love your stuff!

Judy Merrick

5 stars
Best stew since my Mother-in-law passed away. The flavor is amazing.

Mary Fakatoumafi

My first time ever making beef stew and I have to say, adding Worcestershire Sauce was the best idea ever. My family loved it. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you Rachel for sharing this comfort food recipe. God bless!

5 stars
This is my new go to beef stew recipe. Great flavor in the broth and meat really tender . Thanks for another excellent recipe.

Sandra

Hi Rachel,
One of my twins hates celery, but loves peas. Do you think I can add frozen peas instead? If yes, would you suggest I add them at the end?
Thank you

Celery is common to most stews, and we prefer it with the celery. However, you can omit when necessary. Peas should be fine, and yes, I would add them towards the end. Just make sure they’re heated through before serving.

Sarah Fabian

The flavor celery gives, in combination with other ingredients, is so good. If it was me, I would put in long, whole pieces of celery, just for flavor, then pick it out & discard before serving.

Shannon

5 stars
Cannot say enough about this stew! Sooooooooo good! Thank you!

This looks yummy! If I make it I won’t make a slurry. Just dredge your stew meat in flour, fry in a little hot fat and place it in the Crock pot. It will create the thickener you need.

Peggy

Can I freeze the leftovers

Yes, but if you are making just to freeze right away, wait to add the cornstarch slurry until ready to heat, otherwise it may separate after freezing. Freeze in either large glass jars or gallon sized Ziplock bags, leaving plenty of head space for expansion.

5 stars
Thank you Rachel for this beef stew recipe. This time of year it’s so cold in the house and there’s nothing more comforting then to sit by the fireplace with a warm cup of stew in hand =)

I made this the other night and the kids loved it. Winner, winner!!

5 stars
Wow, this stew looks fantastic!! Have just recently found your website, I just cooked up your Ancho chili beef recipe, was outstanding!! Thank you Rachel

Sharon Dunn

I haven’t tried this recipe yet (plan to buy ingredients this week) but I know it will be fabulous. I’ve tried many of your recipes and have never had anything but a delicious meal. I always share with my neighbors (apartment) and they also love your recipes. After I cook this, I’ll post and let you know how it went, which will be incredible, I’m sure..

Kathi

5 stars
I just made it a fabulous!! I love this chef.

Thank you, your meals have been used by this dad time and time again. Thank you for your help my family appreciates your efforts!!!

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