This Beef Stew is incredibly easy to make with rich, savory gravy, tender chunks of beef, and a medley of hearty vegetables, and it hits all the right notes of flavor and texture. It’s the perfect fall or winter dish that’s comforting, delicious, and a true family favorite!
Beef stew is a classic dish that's perfect for those chilly nights when you need a warming, home-cooked meal. It’s the ultimate cold-weather comfort food the whole family will love. The savory flavors combined with the tender, hearty meat is the best combination ever!
The best part is that you can easily make it at home using pantry staples! And if you always struggle to get your meat all nice and tender, then this recipe shares a secret tip that’ll guarantee that every bite is melt-in-your-mouth soft.
So, if you're looking for a delicious, comforting, and easy-to-make dish, this beef stew recipe is a must-try!
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious beef stew recipe today!
- What is Beef Stew?
- Why This Is The Best Beef Stew Recipe
- What You Need to Make Beef Stew At Home
- How to Make Beef Stew Step by Step
- Tips For Making the Best Beef Stew
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Beef Stew
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Beef Stew
- You Will Also Like These Recipes With Beef
What is Beef Stew?
Beef stew is a hearty, comforting dish that is a staple in many households. The classic beef stew recipe often includes a variety of ingredients, such as beef stew meat, carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, and garlic, all simmered together in a rich beef broth.
The slow cooking process allows the flavors of the vegetables and meat to meld together, creating a satisfying and flavorful dish. What’s best is that you don't need a crockpot or instant pot to make it.
This beef stew recipe is unique because it uses a special secret method to make the beef more soft. The trick is to add baking soda to the beef and massage it into the meat before refrigerating; it helps to tenderize the meat.
This is then rinsed off, and the beef is seared on medium-high heat, adding a depth of flavor to the dish. The addition of onions and garlic, followed by a slow simmer in a pot, allows all the flavors to come together beautifully.
The aroma of the stew cooking slowly on the stove is mouthwatering, and the taste is even better. This recipe is sure to become a favorite in your home, and I highly recommend you try it!
Why This Is The Best Beef Stew Recipe
- Easy to make: This beef stew recipe is straightforward and simple, requiring only basic cooking skills. From searing the beef stew meat to simmering the vegetables, each step is easy to follow.
- Quick: Unlike many other beef stew recipes, this one doesn't require hours of slow cooking. With the help of baking soda to tenderize the beef and the use of a pot on medium-high heat, you'll have a delicious stew ready in no time.
- Family Favorite: With its hearty ingredients like potatoes, carrots, and beef, this stew is a crowd-pleaser that will have the whole family asking for seconds. The robust flavor of thyme and a hint of heat from the cayenne pepper makes this recipe a family favorite.
- Adaptable: This beef stew recipe is incredibly adaptable. You can easily substitute or add different vegetables according to your preference or what you have on hand. Whether you want to add green beans, peas, or russet potatoes instead of red potatoes, this recipe can handle it.
- Mouthwatering: The combination of ingredients like tomato paste, garlic, onions, and a mix of spices gives this stew a rich and irresistible flavor. The beef is tender and juicy, while the vegetables add a comforting and satisfying texture. This is a beef stew recipe that you'll want to make over and over again.
What You Need to Make Beef Stew At Home
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious beef stew recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Beef Stew Meat: This is the star ingredient of the recipe. The beef stew meat will be tender and flavorful, especially when cooked slowly over a long period of time. Alternatively, you can use a beef chuck roast or ribeye.
- Baking Soda: This ingredient helps to tenderize the beef stew meat. If you choose not to use it, you can simply increase the beef cooking time to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Avocado Oil: This oil is used for searing the beef stew meat. It has a high smoking point, making it perfect for this process.
- Onion: Onions provide a base flavor for the stew. They become incredibly sweet and tender as they cook.
- Garlic: Garlic adds a punch of flavor to the stew. It is chopped to make sure that it is distributed evenly throughout the stew.
- Water: This is essential for creating the stew's broth. It helps to deglaze the pot after searing the beef and sautéing the onions and garlic.
- Paprika and Smoked Paprika: These spices add a smoky, sweet flavor to the stew.
- Cayenne Pepper: This spice adds a bit of heat to the beef stew.
- Dried Thyme: Thyme adds an earthy, slightly floral flavor to the stew.
- Salt and Pepper: These seasonings are used to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Potatoes: Potatoes add a hearty, comforting element to the stew. They also help to thicken the stew as they break down during cooking. Use either Yukon golds potatoes or red potatoes, both will work for this recipe.
- Carrot: Carrots add a touch of sweetness and a pop of color to the stew.
- Portobello Mushrooms: These mushrooms add a rich, umami flavor to the stew.
- Green Bell Pepper: This ingredient adds a bit of crunch and freshness to the stew.
- Tomato Paste: Tomato paste adds a deep, rich flavor to the stew. It is also a great thickening agent.
How to Make Beef Stew Step by Step
Making this incredible beef stew recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
- Tenderize the beef: Add baking soda to the beef stew meat and massage it briefly into the meat. Place the bowl with the beef in the fridge for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour, and cover it with plastic wrap. This step enhances the tenderness of your beef.
- Rinse the beef: Rinse the meat thoroughly with cold water two times, making sure there’s no baking soda left.
- Dry the meat: Drain and pat the meat dry with a paper towel.
- Sear the meat: Heat avocado oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté, frequently stirring, until all the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.
- Saute onion and garlic: Stir in onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Boil the beef: Add enough water to almost cover the beef (about 2 ½ or 3 cups). Stir, increase the heat, and bring it to a boil.
- Simmer the stew: Reduce the heat to low and let your beef stew recipe simmer for 1 hour.
- Add vegetables and spices: Stir in paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt, pepper, potatoes, and carrots, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and bell pepper: Incorporate mushrooms and bell pepper into your pot, and cook for 10 more minutes.
- Make the tomato sauce. In a small bowl, whisk the tomato paste with ½ cup of stew liquid. Add the mixture to a stew, adjust the seasoning, and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Serve. Remove the beef stew from the heat, ladle into the bowls, and serve with some crusty bread.
Tips For Making the Best Beef Stew
- Marinate the beef with baking soda: Adding baking soda to the beef stew meat and letting it sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes to an hour helps to tenderize the meat. Make sure to rinse the meat thoroughly to make sure that there's no baking soda left before cooking.
- Slow Cook: Simmering the stew on low heat for an hour or more allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the tenderness of the beef. If you skip the baking soda step, increase the cooking time to 1 hour 30 minutes for even more tenderness.
- Stagger the vegetables: Adding the vegetables at different times helps guarantee that they all cook to the perfect tenderness. Potatoes and carrots need more time to cook than mushrooms and bell peppers, so add them earlier in the recipe.
- Experiment with spices: While this recipe calls for paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and thyme, feel free to experiment with your favorite spices to make this beef stew recipe your own. Just remember to balance the flavors to keep the stew from becoming too spicy or bland.
- For a hearty dinner, serve this beef stew over a bed of steamed brown or white rice. The rice will soak up the flavorful gravy and add a satisfying texture to your meal.
- Want to keep it low-carb? Swap out the potatoes in the recipe for some chunky cauliflower florets. You'll still get the tenderness and flavor of the stew, but with fewer carbs and calories.
- For a rustic touch, serve your beef stew in a bread bowl. The soft, fluffy bread pairs perfectly with the rich stew, and you can eat the bowl once you're done!
- This beef stew also pairs wonderfully with a side of blue cheese bread or crusty bread. Dip the bread into the stew to soak up all the delicious flavors.
- For a lighter option, serve your beef stew with a side of sautéed green beans or peas. The freshness of the vegetables will complement the rich flavors of the stew.
- Want a wine pairing? Try serving your beef stew with a glass of dry red wine. The robust flavors of the wine will enhance the savory taste of the stew.
- For a fun twist, why not make beef stew tacos? Simply spoon some stew onto a soft tortilla, top with shredded cheese and fresh coriander, and enjoy!
Recipe Variation Ideas for Beef Stew
This delicious beef stew recipe is so flavorful and easy to make you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
- Vegetables: Add in extra vegetables such as peas, green beans, and celery to the recipe. Not only do they add a pop of color, but they also increase the nutritional value of the stew.
- Wine: For a more sophisticated flavor, try adding a cup of red wine to the stew. The wine adds a depth of flavor and helps tenderize the beef stew meat further.
- Thicken it up: If you prefer your stew with a thicker gravy, try adding a cornstarch slurry (a mixture of cornstarch and water) towards the end of cooking. This will give your stew a rich, hearty gravy that's perfect for a cold day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Baking soda is used in this recipe to tenderize the beef. By massaging it into the meat and allowing it to rest, the baking soda breaks down the meat fibers, resulting in a more tender beef stew.
Yes, you can. If you choose to skip the baking soda, you will need to increase the beef cooking time in step 7 to 1 hour and 30 minutes to guarantee the tenderness of the meat.
A large pot or a Dutch oven would work best for this recipe. These types of pots are great for slow cooking and will guarantee even heat distribution for a flavorful beef stew.
You can substitute Portobello mushrooms with other types of mushrooms, such as button or cremini. The mushrooms add a nice flavor and texture to the beef stew.
Rinsing the meat after applying baking soda helps make sure that there’s no baking soda left on the meat. Leftover baking soda might alter the flavor of the stew.
Absolutely! This recipe is quite versatile. Feel free to add in other vegetables like peas, green beans, or even some celery for an extra crunch. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to guarantee that all the ingredients are cooked through.
How to Store Leftover Beef Stew
Refrigerate: To store your leftover beef stew, allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the stew into airtight containers. It is key to separate the stew into portions for easier reheating later. Your stew can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Reheat: When you're ready to enjoy your stew again, reheat it on the stove over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the stew is heated through. If you find the gravy has thickened too much, you can add a splash of beef broth or water to thin it out.
Freeze: If you've made a large pot of stew and want to freeze some for later, you can do so. To freeze, allow the stew to cool completely. Then, transfer the cooled stew into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Be sure to leave some space at the top as the stew will expand as it freezes. You can store your stew in the freezer for up to three months.
Thaw: To thaw frozen stew, move it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. When you're ready to eat, reheat the stew on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
You Will Also Like These Recipes With Beef
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes (Homemade and Flavorful)
- 2 lb beef stew meat
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 large onion
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 ½ -3 c water
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 medium potatoes cubed
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 lb Portobello mushrooms quartered
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Add baking soda to the beef and briefly massage it into the meat. Put the bowl with the beef in a fridge for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour. Cover with a plastic wrap. This step will help to make the beef tender.
- Rinse the meat very well with cold water two times, ensuring there’s no baking soda left.
- Drain and pat the meat with a paper towel.
- Heat avocado oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and saute, frequently stirring, until all the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add enough water to almost cover the beef (about 2 ½ or 3 cups). Stir, increase the heat, and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
- Stir in paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, salt, pepper, potatoes, and carrot, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add in mushrooms and bell pepper, and cook for 10 more minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk tomato paste with ½ cup of stew liquid. Add the mixture to a stew, adjust the seasoning, and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove the beef stew from the heat, ladle into the bowls, and serve with some crusty bread.
Iryna Bychkiv is the founder and writer of the culinary website Lavender & Macarons, where she shares clean, European-inspired recipes that are delicious, easy to prepare, and made with wholesome ingredients. Iryna loves creating meals that are simple yet healthy and unique, including vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Iryna is also a freelance writer for MSN and Associated Press Wire.