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Beef Stew

2 hours 40 mins Cook
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NomNom Recipes 76

Beef stew is a simple ingredient, yet powerful! You’ll love the melt-in-your-mouth beef and the deep flavor of the sauce in this beef he stew recipe.

Economical and hearty. Simmer slowly on the stovetop or in the oven, speed it up in the pressure cooker, or set it in the slow cooker and forget about it. Wipe the bowl clean with crunchy artisan bread.

Beef Stew - NomNomWow
Beef Stew – NomNomWow

Beef Stew

The Queen of the Brown Hood strikes again. Continuing with brown foods, perhaps her two most brown foods in the world – Friday’s Curry and Today’s Beef Stew Recipe.

*Headbang*I’m not going to be a magazine editor. Can you imagine? Brown cheeky goodness one after another…..

A good beef stew is beautiful. Then simmer until the beef is tender.

How to make Beef Stew

  • Best beef for beef stew is chuck beef. Because it’s nicely marbled with fat, it’s the best beef for braising for hours – it’s got terrific flavour, is juicy and beautifully tender. Boneless beef rib also works very well. Whatever beef you use, use big pieces so they don’t cook too quickly – Beef Stew needs time for the flavour to develop.
  • Sear the beef well on all sides – in batches, because if you cram them all in at the same time, they will steam and won’t brown well.
  • Sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery in the beef drippings so they soak up extra flavour.
  • Add beef stew sauce ingredients – beef broth, red wine (great for extra flavour, but can be skipped), Worcestershire sauce (savouriness and depth), flour (to thicken) and tomato paste (to thicken + a touch of sour to balance richness).
  • Add potatoes, bay leaves and thyme. The liquid will be covering the ingredients at this stage.
  • Simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours covered, until the beef is almost fall apart tender.
  • Simmer for a further 30 minutes without the lid to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken.

Key tip: Brown the beef well

The more it browns, the more brown stuff sticks to the bottom of the pan* = the more flavorful and darker the sauce. You can see in the recipe video that the bottom of the pan is basically all dark brown when the beef is browned.

The brown stuff is called stock, and whenever you fry meat, fish, or shrimp in a skillet, every effort should be made to use it in sauces or similar because it is flavor, flavor, flavor. I have!

What to serve with Beef Stew

  • Personally, I only serve stews with mashed potatoes. I know, I know, I’m so bored!
  • Mashed Cauliflower – Low Carb Alternative
  • Mashed Sweet Potato or Other Vegetable Puree (Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips, Pumpkin, or Other Root Vegetables)
  • Polenta, Rice, or Bread – This Easy Unfermented Irish Soda Wipe your plate clean with bread!
Beef Stew

Beef Stew

Beef stew is a simple ingredient, yet powerful! You'll love the melt-in-your-mouth beef and the deep flavor of the sauce in this beef he stew recipe. Economical and hearty. Simmer slowly on the stovetop or in the oven, speed it up in the pressure cooker, or set it in the slow cooker and forget about it. Wipe the bowl clean with crunchy artisan bread.
prep time
15 mins
cooking time
2 hours 40 mins
total time
2 hours 55 mins



  • 1.2 kg / 2.4lb chuck beef , cut into 3.5 cm / 1.5" cubes (Note 1)

  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper

  • 3 tbsp olive oil , divided

  • 1 large onion , halved then cut into 1 cm / 2/5" slices

  • 4 garlic cloves , minced

  • 3 carrots , cut into 2.5cm / 1" pieces on the diagonal

  • 2 celery stalks , cut into 2.5 cm / 1" pieces

  • 1/3 cup / 50g flour

  • 3 cups / 750ml beef broth / stock , salt reduced

  • 2 cups / 500 ml red wine , bold and dry (Cab Sauv, Burgundy, Merlot) (Note 2)

  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 bay leaves , fresh or dried

  • 4 sprigs thyme

  • 400 g / 14 oz baby potatoes , halved

  • More salt and pepper , to taste.


Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a large, heavy based casserole pot over high heat until just starting to smoke.
Add 1/3 of the beef and brown aggressively all over - about 4 minutes. Remove to bowl, repeat with remaining beef, adding more oil if required.
Turn down heat to medium high. Add 1 tbsp oil if required. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes until onion is softened slightly and golden on the edge.
Add carrot and celery, stir for 1 minute to coat in flavours.
Sprinkle flour evenly across surface, then stir to coat.
Add broth, red wine, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to dissolve tomato paste and flour into liquid.
Add cooked beef (including any juices), thyme, bay leaf and potato. Stir. Water level should almost fully cover everything (see video), if not, add a touch of water.
Bring to simmer, then adjust heat to low / medium low so it's simmering gently. (Note 3 for other cooking methods)
Cover and cook for 1 hour 45 minutes or until beef is pretty tender (check with 2 forks at 1.5 hrs).
Remove lid and simmer for further 30 minutes or until sauce reduces slightly. It should be like a thin gravy (see video) and beef should now be very tender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve over creamy mashed potato with a sprig of fresh thyme for decoration or a sprinkle of parsley (Note 4).


Beef - Any slow cooking cut of beef will work. Chuck is my favourite from a texture and fat % point. Brisket and gravy beef will also work great. Red wine adds to the depth of flavour of the sauce. Use a good value full-bodied red wine, like cabernet sauvignon or merlot. Shiraz is ok too. No need to use expensive wine for slow cooked recipes like this (and the New York Times agrees). Use discount end of bin specials. Pinots not suitable, too light. 99% of the alcohol in the red wine evaporates during cooking. The sauce does not taste winey at all, it completely transforms. If you can't consume alcohol, substitute with more beef broth and 2 tsp brown sugar. Other Cooking Methods: - OVEN: Cover and bake for 2 1/2 hours at 150C / 300F. Remove lid then return to oven for a further 30 - 45 minutes to reduce sauce. - SLOW COOKER: Reduce beef broth by 1 cup. After you finish step 7, transfer everything into the slow cooker. Add splash of water into pot, bring to simmer, scraping the bottom of the pot, then tip it all into the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, per recipe. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove lid and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving, stirring every now and then (the sauce will thicken slightly). - PRESSURE COOKER: Follow slow cooker instructions, except cook on HIGH for 40 minutes. - INSTANT POT*: Follow steps 1 to 7 of the recipe using the sauté function, then proceed with either the Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker function. Simmer with the lid off at the end if you want to thicken the sauce slightly. Other serving suggestions: with warm crusty bread for dunking (try this easy rustic no-yeast Irish Bread), polenta, rice, cauliflower mash (low carb option), or other mashed root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, pumpkin, sweet potato). STORAGE / LEFTOVERS - Refrigerate or freeze, then thaw before reheating on the stove or microwave. Tastes even better the next day because the flavours develop even more. Nutrition per serving, assuming 6 servings. I like to trim excess fat from the beef but this is not factored into the nutrition. Stew only - not mashed potato.
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