Tender chunks of beef, vibrant veggies, and creamy potatoes all cook together in a deliciously seasoned sauce in one pot on the stove. This Classic Stovetop Beef Stew is a recipe that never goes out of style.
Everyone should have a solid beef stew recipe in their collection and this one is mine. It is astounding to me that I’ve been at this blog for nearly 8 years now and I have not shared this recipe with you until today.
I think it’s just one of those things like putting on your shoes every day. You do it all the time but never think to tell anyone about it. Well, this rustic stew is as lovely as my loveliest pair of shoes and it absolutely deserves it’s turn in the spotlight so here we go!
The Best Stovetop Beef Stew
There are so many methods out there for creating beef stew but I believe it’s important to start at the beginning. This classic beef stew recipe is made the old-fashioned way, cooked slowly in one pot on the stove until the sauce is rich and thick and the beef and veggies are fork tender.
If you’ve tried my Instant Pot Pot Roast you know I do something a bit unique with the seasonings which makes a huge difference in the result. I do something similar in this recipe. And, if you love your pressure cooker, you can try my Instant Pot Beef Stew.
The ingredients are the usual suspects – beef chuck roast, baby potatoes, celery, carrots, frozen peas, onion, garlic, and a little fresh Italian parsley. You’ll also need an assortment of dry seasonings (detailed below).
Choosing Meat for Beef Stew
Pick up the beef chuck packaged as “beef for stew” to save yourself the time and effort of trimming and cutting up a whole roast. I still find I need to cut some of the larger pieces down to be bite-sized, but let the butchers do the hard part.
Beef Stew Seasoning Mix
The seasonings include rosemary, thyme, marjoram, paprika, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. This mixture of dried spices adds a flavor component to the stew that takes me home! In addition to adding flavor, the paprika does a nice job of adding rich color to the stew.
The rest of the prep is minimal and once you get it going, the process is mostly hands-free.
How to Make Classic Stovetop Beef Stew
This is a quick overview of how to make this recipe. You’ll find detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
The first step is what makes this recipe unique and ensures a fabulous result. The seasoning mix is added in layers to the stew. First to the chunks of beef as they are browned and later to the sauce before it all simmers together.
The sauce starts with a little tomato paste, low-sodium beef broth, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and a bay leaf. It’s thickened at the end of the cooking process with a simple cornstarch/water slurry into a luscious gravy-like sauce for the beef and veggies.
The beef stew requires about two hours of simmer time which is the reason why recipes like this are a Sunday supper tradition.
You’ll want to serve the stew with French bread for dipping.
I can’t think of a more perfect choice for a comforting meal on a lazy Sunday.
More Classic Comfort Food You’ll Love
- Homemade Salisbury Steak
- Roast Chicken and Vegetables
- Tender Eye of Round Roast with Gravy
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Find more great ideas in my collection of Classic Recipes.
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Classic Stovetop Beef Stew
Beef Stew Seasoning Mix
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional as needed
- 2 pounds beef stew meat
- 1 cup diced white or yellow onion
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup medium to full-bodied red wine , (like Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Merlot)
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound baby yellow or red potatoes, or a combination of both, halved or quartered
- 3 or 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas, no need to thaw
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. Cut any large pieces of stew meat into smaller bite-size pieces, if necessary.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Add about half of the meat to the pan, or as much as you can without overcrowding the pan. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture over the meat and sauté the beef until nicely browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a dish and set aside. Repeat with the remaining beef, adding additional oil if needed, and seasoning with 2 more teaspoons of the spice mixture. Reserve remaining spice mixture for later.
- Add additional oil to pan if needed and add the onion, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the tomato paste and stir until well combined. Add the red wine and increase the heat under the pot to bring the mixture to a boil. Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, remaining spice mix and the bay leaf. Add the beef and all the juices that have accumulated back to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to LOW, cover, and simmer for 1 ½ hours, or until the beef is fork tender.
- Add the potatoes and carrots and raise the heat under the pot to bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to LOW, cover and simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes until the veggies are fork tender. Stir in the frozen peas and parsley. Combine the water and cornstarch in a measuring cup or small bowl and stir it into the beef stew. Continue cooking, uncovered, until thickened.
- Discard the bay leaf before serving.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Follow as directed above to create the seasoning mix and brown the beef in batches, transferring the browned beef to a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add additional oil to the pan if needed and add the onion, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the tomato paste and stir until well combined. Add the red wine and stir well. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker with the beef.
- Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, potatoes, carrots, remaining spice mix and the bay leaf to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or until the beef and veggies are fork tender.
- About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in the frozen peas. Combine the water and cornstarch in a measuring cup or small bowl and stir it into the beef stew. Cover and continue cooking for the remaining 30 minutes or until thickened. If stew does not thicken to your liking, stir in an additional 1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 1 tablespoon water and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken a bit more.
- Discard the bay leaf and stir in the parsley before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
I’ve been making beef stew for decades, but the deep, rich flavor of this one is amazing! It will now be my go-to recipe for beef stew!
Thanks so much, Kathy! Glad the recipe worked out so well for you. 🙂
Can you make this ahead of time like the day before? Does it reheat well?
Hi Jackie. It reheats very well. It will thicken up when chilled so you may want to thin it with a bit of additional broth or water. Warm it first and then you’ll be able to judge if it needs it or not.
Just made it and I’m sitting here eating it close to 10 pm. Delicious!! Definitely saving this for the future.
Haha! Beef stew at 10pm is always a good thing. 🙂 Thanks, DJ.
Absolutely the best flavor beef stew ever!!
I did mince extra fresh garlic, about 3 cloves more
Beef so very tender!!
This was the most incredible beef stew I have ever tasted. My family and friends were absolutely amazed at how good it was and wanted the recipe. If you follow it as written you will be amazed at the absolute deliciousness of this recipe. My husband keeps asking when I’m making it again…. today!
Tastes like my Grandmother used to make! So glad I found this recipe. Thank you Valerie!
My husband said this is the best beef stew he’s ever eaten and was even better the next day! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.
I have already licked the stir spoon about 75 times. This is perfect.
This is the most delicious beef stew recipe I’ve ever made. Thanks for sharing!
What a great stew! My husband and I love it! Would this recipe be ok to can in a pressure canner?
Hi Kathy. So glad you loved it! I have all the details on how to pressure cook stew in the post for my Instant Pot Beef Stew. It’s an excellent method!
Thank you for sharing this Valerie! It turned out fantastic. New favorite on the rotation. I think the red wine gave it a great back flavor.
You’re welcome! Thanks, David. 🙂
Easy and delicious! Needed very little seasoning adjustments at the end. This will be my go to recipe! 🙂