Believe me when I say this hearty beef stew is extra thick and extra perfect for winter! This post will share how to make it (so good, you’ll always want seconds).
I like my meals to be simple but delicious. And although this beef stew needs a little more lovin’ than usual — oh my — is it ever worth it. Consider this a small labor of love. And it’s pretty simple in technique. I promise.
First, you brown the meat to develop its flavor. Then, you braise the beef with vegetables in a red wine-beef broth mixture. Finally, near the end, you add the rest of the chopped veggies to keep their character, color, and flavor.
Mmm, beef stew. Can you smell it already?
The beauty of this dish is it gives you back what you give it. 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. And thick. So let’s go to it!
Is This Hearty Beef Stew Healthy?
Yes, we’ve turned this hearty beef stew recipe into a clean-eating version. We’re using lots of veggies packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Then, we’ve reduced the sodium by using low-sodium beef broth.
So we’re still getting rich, savory flavor from the broth, browned meat juices (YUM). Plus the beautiful mix of veggies, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, etc. There is a LOT to love in this stew.
If you’re into hearty and healthy meals, try my Healthy Braised Short Ribs with Polenta!
How Can I Make My Beef Stew More Flavorful?
To make your beef stew as flavorful as possible, make sure to brown the meat by searing it on high heat. This step adds a noticeable difference.
For extra umami, add in some mushrooms. In this recipe, I use cremini mushrooms (which have an earthy flavor and meaty texture).
What else? Really think about what forms the broth. This recipe, for instance, also uses balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, dry red wine, and low-sodium beef broth for added depth and decadence.
Cold in your neck of the woods? Try these other warming dishes:
How Do You Make Beef Stew Meat Tender?
Here are some tips to make sure you get tender and juicy meat in your beef stew:
- Be patient with your stew. Cook your beef stew low and slow for around three and a half hours (it will be worth the wait when the meat melts in your mouth). Chuck roast is fabulous for beef stew and does need time to break down.
- But do not overcook your meat. That being said, don’t get too carried away. Once the connective tissues in the meat break down, make sure you don’t keep walloping it with heat. Overcooking results in tough meat!
- In this recipe, we’ve got the timing nailed down. The first 2 hours are dedicated to braising and tenderizing the meat. While the last 40-60 minutes of simmering brings all the flavors together.
Does Beef Get More Tender The Longer You Stew It?
It depends. Too little time on the stove might not be enough to cook the connective tissue in your meat (which adds moisture and brings tenderness). While too much cooking can cause your beef to toughen up and dry out.
So we’ve got a Goldilocks situation on our hands and need to find a timing that is just right.
As a general rule, don’t cook your stew for over 3 hours and 30 minutes. (2 hours and 30 minutes for braising your meat and up to 60 minutes for simmering everything together.)
Additionally, keep your heat on low and check your beef from time to time.
How Can I Thicken My Beef Stew?
A common gluten-free way to thicken your beef stew is to add some cornstarch. I prefer chickpea flour which works well too. I add the chickpea flour as a coat on the beef before browning it in this recipe.
- Another technique I’ve found helpful is adding two tablespoons of tomato paste and reducing your liquid by ⅔ as you cook. Follow the recipe steps carefully, and you will end up with a thick (velvety even!) stew.
What Spices Go Well With Beef?
Common spices that go great with beef include rosemary, sage, thyme, and parsley. Basil, too. But for the BEST BEEF STEW EVER, here are the specially selected spices we’re using:
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Tomato paste
- Balsamic vinegar
- Bay leaf
- Fresh thyme sprigs
What Is In This Hearty Beef Stew?
In addition to the spices and seasonings we mentioned above, here are the other simple ingredients you’ll need to complete this superb meal:
- Boneless beef chuck roast: This cut adds insane flavor to your stew and doesn’t dry out quickly.
- Chickpea flour: For added thickness (I like my stews thick).
- Carrots: Loaded with beta-carotene and beneficial nutrients, carrots add fiber and fullness to your stew. Try these yummy Maple Glazed Carrots if you want to up your intake of this veggie!
- Celery ribs: Another way to add antioxidants and texture to your hearty dish.
- Onions: They never fail to add a caramelized depth to your stew.
- Dry red wine: Optional : )
- Low-sodium beef broth: Avoid extra sodium without skimping on flavor.
- Red or Yukon potatoes: For more fiber, nutrients, and texture.
- Cremini mushrooms: For extra earthiness and umami.
How To Store?
Properly store your hearty beef stew in a heavy plastic or airtight container for maximum fridge life and safety. Before covering your container, allow your stew to come to room temp. When kept in the fridge, cooked beef stew can last for up to 4 days.
- When kept in the freezer, cooked beef stew can last for up to 3 months. Make sure to leave some space at the top for when it expands!
More Tasty Soups And Stews
Ready to try your hand at making more soups and stews? You’ve got this! Here are some recipes I think you’ll love:
- 17 Healthy Soup Recipes
- Healthy Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
- Low Carb Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- Easy Turkey Noodle Soup
- Easy Chicken and Dumplings
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.
- 3 lbs boneless beef chuck roast cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sea salt for seasoning beef
- 2 tsp ground black pepper for seasoning beef
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour for coating beef
- 2 carrots unpeeled and quartered PLUS 3 carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 celery ribs quartered
- 1 medium yellow onion quartered
- 10 garlic cloves peeled
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 bottle dry red wine I use Merlot (can also use low sodium beef broth)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 whole fresh thyme sprigs
- 4 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 lbs red or yukon potatoes unpeeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 7 cremini mushrooms quartered
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil in a large over medium-high heat. Season beef chunks with sea 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.
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.
Add tomato paste to the pot and mix to incorporate.
Add balsamic vinegar to the vegetables and stir to incorporate. Cook 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the wine, bay leaf and thyme. Simmer until liquid is reduced by two thirds, approximately 10-15 minutes.
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 2 1/2 hours.
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.