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
this recipe is amazing!! My husband who considers himself a foodie said the flavors are so good! he made a copy of recipe because he wants to make it next time! thank you!
How much more of the spices would I have to use if I were to use 6 pounds of beef stew meat?
Can I change the wine to red wine vinegar or will it give it a different taste?
I think vinegar would add a very strong taste that might not work with a classic beef stew. I think you’d do better replacing the wine with additional beef broth.
You knocked this one out of the park! I am a beef stew FREAK! I bet you I have made 10 or 12 recipes over the years. This one is by far the best. The broth is complex and fragrant, the meat is tender, the potatoes make it hearty and I will definitely make it again. The only modification that I made because I don’t like peas, is to take them out and I added mushrooms, which IMO made it even better, if that was possible. Great recipe, Valerie!! I will be looking at your other recipes now. Thank you for sharing!
Such a wonderful compliment. Thank you! So happy you enjoyed the recipe, LaDawn. 🙂
The only stew recipe I use! I use 50% less meat, 50% more potatoes and add mushrooms. Also, I add 1/4 C of pot barley. SO GOOD, every time!!!
Love the addition of barley. Thanks, Lana!
Second time making this was just as good. I’m living on my own now and don’t drink/have a limited budget so didn’t have wine, but replaced it with extra broth and some ACV for acidity. Definitely changed the flavour a bit but was still amazing. Also freezes well! Just need to add a little water and heat on stove in a pot.
Can I omit the onion? Do I need to replace it with something? This looks delicious!
Onion adds a lot of flavor to beef stew but you can omit it replace it with shallots for a milder onion flavor, if you’d like.
Will it hurt to omit the wine? WhT can use in its place?
Hi Vickie. You can replace the wine with additional broth. It will lack a little of the depth of flavor but I believe others have done this with a great result. I hope it turns out great for you!
Do I have to add potatoes? Would like to serve with a side of mash instead. Of course I will add the carrots and the peas
Thanks so much!
No, you can omit the potatoes and if you’d like, you can up the amount of carrots a bit. Hope you love it!
If I want to add mushrooms for the slow cooker, when would I add them in
Hi John. Mushrooms cook much more quickly than the other veggies so in slow cooker recipes, I like to add them about 45 minutes to an hour before the end of the cooking time. Hope this helps!
I love this recipe so so much!
Yummy, I served it with rosemary bread from a bakery.