Hearty Beef Stew

This post has been updated to include new images and recipe video.

Hearty Beef Stew

So, you know I like my meals to be simple, but delicious. Well, this beef stew is a little more work than my usual, but — oh my — is it ever worth it.

Consider this a small labor of love. Yes, it’s more time-consuming, but it’s actually pretty simple in technique. I promise.

Hearty Beef Stew - The Meat

First, you brown the meat to develop its flavor.  Then, you braise the beef with some vegetables in a red wine-beef broth mixture.  Mmm.  Finally, near the end, you add the rest of the chopped vegetables so they keep their character, color and flavor.

This is one hearty beef stew.  It is kinda like pot roast in a bowl.  You’re gonna want seconds because it’s so good, but you’ll be too full to eat more than one bowl. Sooo yummy.

Hearty Beef Stew - Out Of The Oven

Enjoy it with some fresh egg bread buns with a little butter and you’re set for — like — days.

Since Dustin and I are now expecting our second baby (woohoo!), I was worried about how to substitute for the red wine in this stew because it adds such a good depth of flavor.  Thanks to my pal, Alton Brown, I’m just not one of those people who believes all the alcohol gets completely evaporated out during cooking.

But, then I discovered non-alcoholic wine!  It’s called Fre and it came in Chardonnay, Merlot and White Zinfandel at my local store.  It smells like wine and tastes like wine without the alcohol. Plus, it was less than $7 for the bottle.  Perfect!

Hearty Beef Stew

The beauty about this stew is it really gives you back what you give it.  I guess most food is like that, huh?  What I mean is: the more care you take to brown the meat and follow each step carefully, the more delicious your final result will be.

And, believe me, it will be delicious. Perfect for a chilly Fall day.

Seriously, this hearty beef stew is some good stuff.  Wanna see this goodness getting cooked?  Watch the video below!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Hearty Beef Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is one hearty beef stew. It is kinda like pot roast in a bowl. You're gonna want seconds because it's so good, but you'll be too full to eat more than one bowl.
Author:
Recipe type: Medium
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, for seasoning beef
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper, for seasoning beef
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour, for coating beef
  • 2 carrots, unpeeled and quartered PLUS 3 carrots, sliced into ½-inch slices
  • 2 celery ribs, quartered
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ bottle dry red wine (I use Merlot)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 lbs. red or yukon potatoes, unpeeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 7 cremini mushrooms, quartered
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season beef chunks with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Pour flour into a shallow dish and lightly coat the beef with flour. Without crowding the meat, brown in batches, turning to brown all sides. You will have approximately 3-4 batches. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Once all meat is browned, reduce the heat to medium and add the quartered carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook approximately 10-15 minutes until well-browned, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add tomato paste to the pot and mix to incorporate.
  5. Add balsamic vinegar to the vegetables and stir to incorporate. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the wine, bay leaf and thyme. Simmer until liquid is reduced by two thirds, approximately 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add beef broth to the pot, along with the beef (with any residual juices), and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise in the oven until meat is tender, about 2½ hours.
  8. Carefully remove the meat, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Set beef aside and discard the herbs. Using a stick blender, blend the remaining contents in the pot (if you don't have a stick blender, you can use a food processor or blender). After blended, return the meat to the pot and bring to a boil.
  9. Add the potatoes, carrots and mushrooms to the braised beef mixture, taking care to submerge as many vegetables as possible. Simmer, covered, until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 40-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

80 comments… add one

  1. Tara October 6, 2010, 9:22 pm

    Congratulations Lacey!! The stew look delicious!

    Reply
  2. Shari (aka: fruitloopgirl) October 7, 2010, 9:41 am

    I LOVE beef stew and this recipe looks amazing. Will definitely give this a try!

    And congrats on your expectant baby!!!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 7, 2010, 5:08 pm

      Hi Shari! Thanks for the congrats (and for the tweets!). If you try this stew, I’d love to know what you think. Thanks again!!

      Reply
  3. Jessica October 7, 2010, 11:53 am

    I just found your blog on Tasty Kitchen and it’s just what I need! So many great, tasty recipes. Keep up all the wonderful inspiration!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 7, 2010, 5:10 pm

      Hi Jessica…and welcome! I’m so glad you found my blog too :). Hope to see you around and thanks for the support!

      Reply
  4. Zina October 7, 2010, 5:08 pm

    Now this looks absolutely, drooly, yummy, good! I’ll be making this for an upcoming family visit…your recipes never disappoint and thank you so much for sharing them. …wishing you and your family all the best and congratulations. Zina

    Reply
  5. delicieux October 7, 2010, 11:09 pm

    This looks like such a hearty stew. Beautiful photos too Lacey. Perfect for the stormy weather we are having today. I will have to file this one away to make for my boyfriend (I’m vegetarian so I might adapt it to make a vegetarian version).

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 9, 2010, 8:36 pm

      This stew is soooo good in stormy weather! I’d love to know how it turns out for you if you try it sans meat. :)

      Reply
  6. John October 8, 2010, 12:11 pm

    Looks very hearty, although i like to add finely diced potatoes at the start, since i dont use flour. (essentially replacing one starch with another)

    In future, you could try using the wine to deglaze the pan just after searing the beef, that way you can ensure a thorough reduction. you should add the thyme when you do this, as its shown to prevent harmful chemicals occuring during the process, not to mention the fragrances it’ll produce.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 9, 2010, 8:38 pm

      Hi John! I like your ideas of using the diced potatoes in the beginning and of using the wine to deglaze the pan. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  7. Eliza October 12, 2010, 4:50 pm

    this recipe was great!! made it without the red wine (the liquor store wasn’t open), short ribs instead of stew meat, and added some canned le sueur peas at the very end – it was delish! it’s all about making it work with what you’ve got.

    it turned out perfectly, so hearty and nourishing.

    thanks!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 13, 2010, 12:27 pm

      Hi Eliza! Wow, such interesting substitutions! I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  8. Kelley Coffey January 2, 2011, 10:18 pm

    OMG, the stew is almost done and I had a small bite of the meat. UNBELIEVABLE – the flavor is so intense. I seriously think that it is the best thing I have ever made. Marched myself into husbands workshop and informed him how lucky he was to have me. LOL.

    Thank you for creating and posting this dish. Amazing!!!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 3, 2011, 3:38 pm

      Hi Kelley! You’re hilarious! I’m so glad you like the stew. It’s one of my (and my husband’s) favorites to.

      Reply
  9. Susan January 5, 2011, 9:40 am

    Made this last week and just now remembered I didn’t comment. I have made many stews over many years, I think this is the most flavorful one I’ve ever made. Thank you so much, I have kept the recipe and will be making this again and again. It has a great depth of flavors and was even better the next day!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 5, 2011, 2:28 pm

      Wow, Susan. I’m so glad the stew turned out well for you and that you will be keeping the recipe — what a compliment :)

      Reply
  10. Dustin Baier January 16, 2011, 4:36 pm

    Hearty beef stew sounds really good right now. All this rain makes me want some and some tasty rolls :)

    Reply
  11. Erika January 17, 2011, 7:37 pm

    I tried this out yesterday. It it by far the best beef stew I’d ever tasted. I let my husband have a bite of meat before it was finished, and he spazzed about it and wanted to just have a plate full of the meat. :P

    I like how flavorful it turned out… a lot of beef soup/stews I’ve run into, I end up having to put in some ‘Better Than Boullion’ just to make it not seem terribly bland. This needed no such treatment was AMAZING.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 17, 2011, 9:18 pm

      Wow, Erika, thank you so much for your great review. I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed it!

      Reply
  12. Kelly February 16, 2011, 7:54 pm

    fantastic lacey – we had this tonite for dinner and both licked our bowls! i added some stewed tomatoe’s (because i add them to everything) but otherwise didn’t change a thing! perfect!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef February 16, 2011, 10:16 pm

      Hi Kelly! Yay — so glad you guys enjoyed it. Definitely worth the love and energy, huh? I like the addition of stewed tomatoes — maybe I’ll try that next time :)

      Reply
  13. Bob February 18, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Hi Lacey, I just stumbled upon your site while looking for good recipes to try out. Absolutely love the vibe of your blog site here. The photos are nicely shot with care & detail to really give each recipe a visual appeal. Simply worded recipe instructions too make it very easy for even novice cooks to understand. I plan on trying a LOT of your recipes & have definitely bookmarked this site & will pass it around to friends; online & in person.

    One question I had for this beef stew recipe here: Do you think this would work well too cook in a slow-cooker? And if so, how long would you recommend it to cook in the slow cooker? I just bought a nice big 6-quart slow-cooker & would like to make a large batch of this to share with my parents, as well as my two sisters & their kids ;).

    Can’t wait to try out a lot of these recipes. I’ve found your site to be quite resourceful all around so far.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef February 18, 2011, 10:03 pm

      Hey Bob! I;m so glad you like my blog — thanks for all your great feedback.

      Regarding the beef stew, I would recommend cooking it for a good 4-6 hours, assuming you are browning the meat first to give it extra flavor. Unfortunately, this is only a guess, as I’m not as familiar with crock pot recipes…sorry. I hope it turns out for you…I’d love to know how it goes.

      Thanks again for your kind words!

      Reply
  14. Angie March 5, 2011, 3:10 pm

    I made this a few weeks ago. My husband said “this stew makes me love you even more”. SO, thanks for that Sweet Pea Chef! This is an amazing recipe. I had to make a few changes based on items I did and did not have on hand and it turned out phenomenal. We will definitely be making this again before winter is over. I also bought a bottle of that FRE wine and I like! Next time I will use that. I had Sherry cooking wine on hand and that’s what I used.

    Also, congrats on baby 2. Hope your pregnancy goes well.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef March 6, 2011, 10:48 am

      Haha, Angie! Gotta love beef-stew-induced-love! Thanks so much for sharing — you put a big smile on my face. Glad you two enjoyed it.

      Thanks for the baby wishes as well — we’re getting so close! :)

      Reply
  15. Delwyn August 8, 2011, 3:24 am

    Hi Lacey, I love this recipe..!
    Please tell meause I live in Australia, what is a sweet pea chef..???? it is a mystery to me..
    Delwyn
    xxx

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef August 9, 2011, 1:07 pm

      Haha, Delwyn. Would you believe you’re the first person to ever ask me that?? “Sweet Pea” is a common term of endearment we use in the U.S. and was a nickname my dad used to call me. I also call my two little girls “sweet peas.”

      So, I decided to call my business Sweet Pea Chef and myself A Sweet Pea Chef :0) I hope that makes sense!

      Reply
  16. Kitty September 10, 2011, 6:34 am

    This was FABULOUS! We raise beef cattle and have a vineyard so this was a perfect fix for our early Fall days. I mean, the best that I have ever made/tasted. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef September 13, 2011, 1:48 pm

      Oh, Kitty, I’m so happy to hear that. By the way, when can I come over for dinner? ;)

      Reply
  17. Kitty September 13, 2011, 8:13 pm

    Please come see us! We live in the beautiful mountains in Virginia. We picked grapes all day, today and the weather was cool to accomodate us.

    Reply
  18. Danielle Yeager October 25, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Hi Lacey,
    I found your site through Once a month freezer cooking. Do you have freezer directions for this stew? It looks great and I’d like to try prepping it ahead of time…

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 31, 2011, 10:15 am

      Oh, I wish I did for you, Danielle. We always devour it whenever I make it so I’ve never had an opportunity to freeze it. If you try it out, I’d love to know how it freezes.

      Reply
  19. sue b. October 31, 2011, 9:39 am

    I made this yesterday… It is the best beef stew I’ve had… I was afraid of using so much red wine, so I used less… but it was still soooo flavorful!! I had made beef stew before using the crock pot, but now I can’t go back to “that”… this is the only way for beef stew for us! Thank you!

    Reply
  20. Katie S November 12, 2011, 3:38 pm

    I made this stew today. It’s so much different from the usual Louisiana stew made with roux, but it is just as delicious! I had to forego the red wine as I am under age so I substituted a little red wine vinegar and added more beef broth. Absolutely wonderful and perfect for this fall afternoon! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  21. Glenda November 28, 2011, 5:14 pm

    During cold Canadian winters stew is a regular menu item. I just finished eating my Hearty Beef Stew and it was one of the best stew recipes i’ve made…and I have made many stews! I made a slight modification and left the wine out. I added a little more broth without a problem. It is absolutely delicious and this stew will be served many time this winter.

    Reply
  22. Karen January 6, 2012, 7:04 pm

    This looks awesome and yummy. Will be trying it this weekend! Thanks, I’ll post and let you know how fast it was eaten!

    Reply
      1. Karen January 11, 2012, 11:30 pm

        We all loved it. It was devoured within about 40 minutes. Make a double batch next time Mom! Thanks a whole lot for all your hard work on this site! Will be trying more of your recipes, for sure. :)

        Reply
  23. David January 9, 2012, 2:36 am

    Hi there, great recipe, without a doubt the best stewed i’ve made. This ones a keeper :) Cheers, i’ll keep an eye on your blog for recipes in future!

    Reply
  24. Heather January 15, 2012, 4:25 pm

    This looks so yummy! I was wondering if it would work being tossed into a slow cooker? If not do you have any hearty beef stew recipes that work with one? mmmmm I want to eat this right now!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 16, 2012, 1:16 pm

      I’d bet it would turn out pretty well in a slow cooker as long as you brown the beef first. If you try it, I’d love to know how it turns out!

      Reply
  25. Jamie January 21, 2012, 12:05 pm

    Hi Lacey. My husband Austen loved this recipe. Also a Texas boy, he is quite picky. This was his first stew to try and love. I am looking forward to trying your other recipes.

    Reply
  26. Juliana February 13, 2012, 3:30 pm

    The stew has only been in my oven for an hour and it already smells AMAZING! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    Reply
  27. Karen February 19, 2012, 3:38 pm

    Made this today – it did take a long time but, my goodness, it was sooooo worth it! Great flavor, tender meat, wonderful smell. This is getting added to my recipe box as THE beef stew to make! Thanks!

    Reply
  28. Susan February 20, 2012, 11:28 pm

    Hi Lacey, This is one amazing stew. I am not a very good cook at all. My kids are always complaining that my food never has any flavor. I have been looking for a stew that is thicker (more like a gravy then soupy) and yours has fit that bill. I followed the directions exactly except with one error. I read the balsamic vinegar wrong and put in a 1/2 cup instead of 1/4 cup but after I noticed it I kept right on going and was hoping it was going to turn out okay. I also added a little bit of celery and some pearl onions during step 2.

    It has just finished and my daughter just came down for dinner and she said she was skyping with her BF and she was telling him that I was making something that smells amazing. She tried it and loved it. It turned out perfect although I will put the correct amount of vinegar in next time. The smell of the wine and that much vinegar was just a little much for me. I don’t like the smell of wine so that was my problem. This will go in my book under the heading MEALS ALL 4 KIDS LOVE!!! That is one hard thing to do to.

    I have been looking for a recipe for Chicken and Biscuits or Chicken and Dumplings with vegetables. Again, we like the thicker sauce (just like this one). Do you happen to know of any or do you have one?

    Thank you so much for an amazing meal. Well worth spending most of the day in the kitchen. I am sure once I do it a few times it won’t take me as long but I was going very slow and it was well worth it. 5 Star Recipe all the way….

    Reply
  29. Peris February 28, 2012, 2:57 pm

    Hi there, I am wanting to make your stew recipe…however I dont have a dutch oven???? Would it all just be stove top then. I have been trying to “come out of my shell” cooking wise and learn new things but I am just not sure how to tackle this…thanks so much.

    Reply
  30. Kelley Coffey October 26, 2012, 8:59 am

    If you are even thing about making this dish, IT MUST BE DONE. I’ve made this a few times and people think I’m amazing and ooh and aah over it. Had small gathering for impromptu day after thanksgiving meal last year and now I’ve been ambushed to make it for the Tanksgiving meal this year. Thank you Lacey for making me look so good!
    P.S. homemade cornbread is perfect with this

    Reply
  31. Cynthia November 21, 2012, 3:42 pm

    I just made this for the second time last night. Love it. I call it the “4 hour stew”. Even though it usually takes me about 5 hours from start to finish, I’m really horrible at time management, haha. Thank you for posting this recipe! It is well worth the time. I figured since my family enjoys it so much that I should come back and give you kudos! Delicious.

    Reply
  32. Sarah December 10, 2012, 5:53 pm

    Honestly , I hate beef stew . never liked it . I came across this receipe basically just to use up all the veggies I had in my fridge . Came across your beautiful website and decided to give this recipe a whirl. I did exactly what you said to do in the recipe and I was by far amazing ! Like , so good you get an automatic pass to heaven ! Thank you so much for posting this and I’m telling everyone I know about your website , you have re-introduced me to beef stew in a whole new light , so greatful – Sarah .

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef December 10, 2012, 8:09 pm

      Wow, Sarah…I’m speechless. Thanks for the great review, for giving my recipe a shot and now for spreading the word! You just made my day with your comment :)

      Reply
  33. Kathy Baier January 1, 2013, 5:51 pm

    Lacey: Another winner!! I made this wonderful stew today. It was AWESOME! Keep up the good work. I love coming here and trying your recipes. XOXOXO

    Reply
  34. Chris January 5, 2013, 3:35 am

    Amazing stew! First time I attempted something this time consuming (usually just BBQ everything), but man oh man was it worth it. Full, hearty, beefy flavor and as filling as you would think it would be. Just great. Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply
  35. Reggie February 19, 2013, 8:11 pm

    I like your stew……but I can’t leave things alone….I have added diced tomatoes, canned beans, corn and 6 bean mix as well as turnip……. And will simmer for 12 hours and add more carrot , potatoe and onion a couple hours before serving. The added veggies gives more body to the stew….like I said…..just can’t leave things alone

    Reggie

    Reply
  36. Jerry Liebler March 1, 2013, 4:46 pm

    WOW! Without a doubt the best stew I’ve ever tasted!
    I was a bit apprehensive after reading through the procedure but decided it was worth a try. I used some of my homemade sherry and added 4 stalks of celery, cut in 1″ pieces, in step 2 at my wife’s insistence, to her it’s not stew without visible celery. I also added several cups of water between steps 1 and 2. Next time I make it I’ll add fresh green beans and frozen peas in step 2. You are so right it’s worth the effort!
    Jerry

    Reply
  37. Beck October 6, 2013, 5:07 am

    I just made this stew today and it was delicious, the search for the perfect stew is over! I cooked it in my pressure cooker and it all came out great, the meat was so tender! Thank you for the recipe :)

    Reply
  38. john moughon October 11, 2013, 9:43 am

    I have made this stew numerous times and it is wonderful plus it freezes well. It has wonderful flavor and is so worth the effort it takes.

    Reply
  39. Lisa S December 8, 2013, 8:19 pm

    I donot consume alcohol in any form nor do I cook with it. What is a suitable substitute for the Merlot in the Hearty beef soup? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Lisa S December 8, 2013, 8:22 pm

      So, I went straight to the recipe to look at the ingredients before I read your post…..and there it was…non alcoholic choices. But if I don’t use those either…what then are good alternatives?

      Reply
  40. betty January 28, 2014, 12:08 pm

    I am in the process of making this. My guys are freaking out waiting while they are at work to come home to this. :)

    Reply
  41. sheila February 8, 2014, 9:59 pm

    My house smells WONDERFUL with the mouth watering aroma of this stew. The taste tests have been above what we were expecting!! We’re running low on butter rolls now!!! Lol!!! Thank you for sharing and helping to create a family memory today.

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier February 20, 2014, 10:25 am

      This comment makes me so happy, Sheila :)

      Reply
  42. Jennifer B April 4, 2014, 2:32 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. I made this for my family and they loved it. They want me to make it again. However, when I cook with wine, the sulfates wreak havoc on my allergies. Do you think think I could substitute the wine with beer? And if so, what type of beer would you recommend?

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier April 5, 2014, 8:23 pm

      Hi Jennifer. Sorry to hear about the allergy issue to wine! I’ve never tried using beer in this recipe before, but porters and Guinness are good ones to use in beef stews. Please share how it goes if you try it. Best of luck!

      Reply
  43. Deb September 27, 2014, 7:36 pm

    The taste of this stew is ridiculous!! Unfortunately I didn’t find this recipe until 3PM…so the meat only braised for 1 hour 45 minutes, also…no mushrooms (grrrr). Did not disappoint however! It’s a little step-intensive, but I enjoy recipes that are a little more involved. The flavor building is essential. AMAZING recipe ASPC!! 5 Gold Stars Squared!

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier September 27, 2014, 10:10 pm

      Oh, and there is so much flavor building with this stew! So glad it still turned out so well for you with those alterations. Never had a recipe have stars squared — quite the compliment — thank you :)

      Reply
  44. diane October 3, 2014, 12:51 pm

    I make a stew very similar, but I put a can of canneilli beans, and butternut squash, and 2Tbs. tomato paste to this. Very good!

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier October 3, 2014, 4:37 pm

      Ooh, never thought to add in some squash – I love that idea :)

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  45. Laura Shannon October 3, 2014, 4:56 pm

    I’m so excited. We put beef stew on the menu for Sunday night and then I get home and find your newsletter with a beef stew recipe. It’s food fate! I can’t wait to try this with frsh, crusty bread.

    Reply
    1. Lacey Baier October 5, 2014, 7:26 pm

      Omg, that sounds delicious, Laura! That’s the BEST way to enjoy this stew :)

      Reply

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