Homemade Beef Stew

5 from 2 votes

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This classic stovetop Beef Stew recipe, featuring tender chunks of beef roast, carrots, and potatoes, is the epitome of comfort food. It is what you want to come home to after a long, busy day. 

blue dutch oven with beef stew in it, looking from the top down, sitting on a cutting board garnished with chopped greens.
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First, I want to let you know that It will take a few hours to get the beef to just the right amount of tenderness. I promise you it is worth it, though. You begin by searing chunks of beef roast, and once they are nice and tender, it is time to add the potatoes and carrots. The longer the flavors marinate together the better on this classic stew recipe.

The most popular meat for beef stew is a chuck roast. I use this most often. When I see chuck roasts on sale, I always snag one or two to freeze and use later. If you want to get really fancy or if you are serving this stew for a special occasion, you could use ribeye. Watch for 4-inch ribeyes to be on sale during the holidays. It makes a great stew. 

two bowls of hearty and traditional beef stew with a spoon.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Classic healthy beef stew is the essence of comfort food. It is warm, hearty, full of vegetables, and has a big flavor. You are going to love it!
  • There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to the cooking time. It can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on how you choose to prepare the stew.
  • Chuck roast is often more affordable than other cuts of meat and is often on sale around the holidays!

Recipe Ingredients

  • Boneless chuck roast
  • Onions – yellow
  • Celery
  • Tomato paste
  • Red wine – you can use white grape juice if you prefer
  • Beef broth
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Seasonings –salt, pepper, dried rosemary, thyme, bay leave and garlic cloves

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

ingredients for beef stew on a cutting board potato carrots celery onion and beef.

How to Make Homemade Beef Stew

  1. Season your beef and sear it in the hot pan. When it’s cooked, add the flavor builders.
  2. Deglaze the pan, add broth, and seared beef back into the pan. Add your seasonings.
  3. Cover and cook for as long as you can, then add potatoes and carrots and simmer.
  4. Enjoy hot and sop up the brothy gravy with crust bread (sourdough or baguette preferred).

Recipe FAQs

Why is my stew meat tough?

If you don’t cook your stew meat long enough, it will be tough. Don’t rush the process. A chuck roast takes a few hours to become tender, and trust me when I say it is worth the wait! 

Why is chuck roast so much cheaper than other cuts of beef?

Chuck roast is more affordable than other cuts of meat (although not as affordable as it once was) because it is leaner, so it tends to be more tough. 

What type of potatoes are best for beef stew?

You want to use a potato that is low in starch and will keep its shape. Yukon or red potatoes are both good options. I like to use Yukon gold potatoes because they have a thin peel and don’t require peeling prior to being added to the stew. 

Why is my beef stew so watery?

You used the wrong recipe or didn’t let it cook long enough! This recipe uses tomato paste to help thicken the stew, and the long cooking time gives the stew time to evaporate some of the water and the starch in the potatoes, breaking down and thickening the stew. In the notes of the recipe, you can also read about how to add cornstarch to your stew if you want it even thicker! There is no running beef stew here.

two bowls of hearty and traditional beef stew with a spoon.

Expert Tips

  • Looking for a good side dish for this recipe? You can’t go wrong with bread! Try rolls, cornbread, a crusty sourdough loaf, or a baguette. If company is coming over, I also like to serve my beef stew with a green salad.
  • Add some green vegetables, such as frozen green beans or peas, to this recipe at the end of cooking time. Just let them cook long enough to heat through.
  • If you need to have your dinner ready quicker, cut your potatoes and carrots into smaller pieces so that they cook faster. 
blue dutch oven with beef stew in it, looking from the top down, sitting on a cutting board.

More Soup, Stews, and Chowder Recipes to Consider

blue dutch oven with beef stew in it, looking from the top down, sitting on a cutting board
5 from 2 votes

Old Fashioned Beef Stew Recipe

Classic beef stew made with chuck roast, potatoes, onions, carrots, and spices. This dish simmers away on the stove for a few hours so that it's perfectly tender when it's time for dinner. 
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless chuck roast
  • 2-5 tablespoons light oil, (such as avocado or vegetable, divided)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup red wine or white grape juice
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leave
  • 6 medium (or 3 large) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large 1.5 inch pieces
  • 3 large carrots, cut into large 1-2 inch pieces
  • chopped parsley, optional for a garnish
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  • Add your salt and pepper to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • With a sharp knife, cut your beef roast into chubby 2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over all of the roast, taking care to get it on lots of sides of the pieces of cubed meat.
  • In a large Dutch oven add the oil and heat over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned beef and cook on one side until well seared. Use tongs to rotate the beef so that it sears on multiple sides. Don’t crowd the pan at this step, you’ll probably need to work in 2-3 batches so that the beef isn’t touching in the bottom of the pot. Remove the seared beef to a plate, add more oil, and sear the next batch, repeating as needed until all of the beef is nicely browned. It will not be cooked through at this point, only on the outside. 
  • Remove all of the seared beef to a plate and the onions and celery to the same pot that you seared the beef in. If it need a little more oil, go ahead and add a few teaspoons. Cook the vegetables until they are just tender, about 3 minutes. The pan should be nice and brown on the bottom but turn down the heat a bit if it’s looking too black or smokey.
  • Add the garlic and the tomato pasta and stir to combine. Let cook for an additional 1 minute or so or until fragrant.
  • Add the red wine or grape juice to the hot pan. It will sizzle and any bits of meat and veggies that were stuck there will come off. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen up those crusted on bits. Simmer this mixture for 5 minutes.
  • Add the beef broth, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf to the pot. Add the seared beef and any juices that collected on the plate. Stir to combine.
  • Bring the pot to a gentle simmer, cover with the lid, and let cook at a very low simmer for 1-2 hours.
  • Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot and simmer for another 40 minutes to 1 hour or until the vegetables are tender. 
  • Adjust the salt and pepper in the dish to taste, garnish if desired with chopped parsley, and serve hot. It’s excellent with hot bread such as baguettes, my moms jumbo dinner rolls, or fresh sourdough bread.



  • This recipe has a lot of flexibility regarding the cooking time. The shortest time it takes me is about 2 hours (20 minutes to get everything ready/seared, 1 hour cooking the beef, and 40 minutes for the vegetables). I like it better if I take 3 or more hours to make it, though, and I’ll often start it midafternoon and let it simmer away. I think the beef is best when cooked for 1.5 to 2 hours as it makes it more tender, and I like the vegetables very soft and will often cook them for a full hour. The potatoes start to break down a bit and thicken the sauce a bit. It’s wonderful.
  • If you are in more of a hurry, cut your potatoes and carrots into smaller pieces so that they cook faster. You can also add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to 1/2 cup of cold water (mix well to combine) and add that to your stew at the end to thicken it up a little (let it cook in the stew for 3-4 minutes). If the liquid isn’t as thick as you like. I’ll do that sometimes, too, if I don’t let the potatoes cook down as much as I might other times. 
  • I love to add a cup or two of frozen peas to this recipe 5 minutes before I serve it. It might be less traditional, but I think it’s delicious. 
  • Using tomato paste helps thicken the stew, and the long cooking time gives the stew time to evaporate some of the water and the starch in the potatoes.


Serving: 1 of 8 servings, Calories: 527kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 117mg, Sodium: 1135mg, Potassium: 1560mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 4715IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 90mg, Iron: 6mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Lynn says:

    5 stars
    This is my second time making this recipe. It’s absolutely delicious! My family and I love it. I added mushrooms to mine , we love mushrooms. Looking forward to making more of your recipes .

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks so much Lynn, the mushrooms sound wonderful!