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What’s For Dinner? Beef Stew

This Beef Stew recipe is a classic! Full of tender beef, seasonal vegetables and delicious gravy.  Enjoy with mashed potatoes, bread, or homemade popovers.

Hearty meals like this Beef Stew are the best kind of comfort food. This Classic Beef Stew is a family favourite recipe that is on permanent rotation in my home (we especially love it on chilly fall or winter nights). There is nothing better than the smell of this dinner simmering on the stove. Delicious, rich and comforting.

a top down close up image of a pot of beef stew. next to the dish is a loaf of bread, plates and forks

A Classic Beef Stew Recipe

This is a very simple, basic stew, with chunks of fork tender beef, garden fresh carrots, celery, garlic, onions and potatoes. With simple herbs and flavourful stock. Simple but SO flavourful. This is a hearty and meaty dish that’s perfect for chilly nights. The gravy is nice and rich, and wonderful on mashed potatoes or with homemade buns or popovers! This really is the best beef stew.

a top down close up image of a pot of beef stew

The key is to brown the beef!

The key to a good stew is in the browning of the beef. Browning the beef is what gives stew all the flavour. But not only that, all the tasty brown bits in the bottom of the pan after browning are what creates the rich, deep flavour for the gravy. Make sure you scrape all those bits up and mix them in when you’re sautéeing your vegetables!

a top down close up image of a pot of beef stew. next to the dish is a loaf of bread

About the Ingredients:

  • Beef: Use 1 – 2 inch cubes of beef stew meat (beef chuck, chuck roast).
  • Vegetables: Carrots, onions, garlic, celery and potatoes are added to this stew.
  • Potatoes: You can use any kind of potatoes for this stew: gold potatoes, red potatoes, mini potatoes. Just make sure they’re in about 1 inch chunks.
  • Consommé: I like to use consommé for my beef stews because of the rich flavour. You can substitute it with beef stock/beef broth if necessary.
a top down close up image of a pot of beef stew. next to the dish is a loaf of bread, plates and forks

Beef Stew Tips & Tricks

  • Browning the beef: As you brown the beef, make sure that you are using enough oil. You don’t want the beef to stick and burn to the bottom of the pan. Add more as necessary.
  • Scrape the bottom of the pan! When cooking the vegetable mix, make sure to scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan that are leftover from browning the beef. This is what makes the gravy so flavourful!
  • Addition Options: You can add parsnips to your stew.  If you do, you may just need to add a little extra water. You can also stir in 1 cup of frozen peas at the end of the cooking time…just add the frozen peas, stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the peas are thawed and warm.
  • If the stew gravy ends up being too thin, add 1-2 tbsp of kneaded butter. Kneaded butter is equal parts flour and butter, mixed into a paste. This is a trick I learned from the Joy of Cooking.  Don’t add too much or your gravy will taste floury.
  • Serving Options: This stew is a complete meal in itself, but you can also serve it with homemade buns or popovers! And a side salad or steamed green beans.
  • Leftovers: Leftovers keep beautifully in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
a top down close up image of a pot of beef stew.

Classic Beef Stew

a top down close up image of a pot of beef stew

This Beef Stew recipe is a classic! Full of tender beef, seasonal vegetables and delicious gravy.  Enjoy with mashed potatoes, bread, or homemade popovers.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Stovetop


Units Scale

Step 1: Browning Beef

  • 2 lbs stewing beef (cut into 2 inch chunks)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (you will likely need more)

Step 2: Sautéed Vegetables

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Step 3: Adding Consommé/Stock

  • 2 (284 mL) cans undiluted beef consommé
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves

Step 4: Adding More Vegetables

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks


Step 1: Browning Beef

  1. Heat up about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in the pot you are going to simmer your stew in.
  2. Season the meat with salt, pepper, basil and oregano.
  3. Add the flour to a shallow dish, then dredge the seasoned meat in the flour. Shake off excess flour.
  4. Brown the beef, in small batches to avoid overcrowding.
  5. Repeat until all of the meat is browned. You just want to brown it, not cook it. Also you will find that you will likely need to add more oil with each batch.
  6. When the meat is browned, transfer it over to a bowl or plate to rest, and set aside.

Step 2: Sautéed Vegetables

  1. In the same pan that was used to brown the meat, if needed, add 1 tbsp oil, and cook the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan (this is where all the good flavour comes from!)

Step 3: Adding the Consommé/Stock

  1. Once the veggies are cooked, turn the heat under the pot to med-high, and add the consommé, water, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and browned beef. Bring to a light boil, then turn down to low-med heat, cover with a lid, and cook for about 1 hour.
  2. Stir as necessary so the mixture doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pot.

Step 4: Adding More Vegetables

  1. After the 1 hour cooking time, add the big chunks of carrots, celery and potatoes.
  2. Simmer for 30-45 minutes more, or until the meat is tender and the veggies are cooked. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.

Keywords: beef stew, classic beef stew

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Then pour yourself a glass of red wine and enjoy!  Have a delicious day!

Please note, this recipe was originally published in 2016, but I have since updated this post with new images and more tips. Same great recipe, just more helpful information for you!

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  1. My mouth is watering looking at this! Reminds me I found a butternut squash and beef stew recipe in my new cooking light mag last night. Can’t wait to try!

  2. I ran across your recipe today on Pinterest, and it made my mouth water I had to go home and make it, even though it’s 100 degrees outside! It was amazing, my husband told me the left overs won’t last until the morning:) thanks for sharing your recipe!


  4. In the ingredient actual list you do not say potatoes.
    I would never make a stew without them anyway and later you mention them but it should say it.

  5. Ok I made it.
    Very good but I needed in my opinion to add Thyme and to cook the beef in bacon fat and a bit of olive oil.
    Just gave it a much richer flavor.
    I was very surprised by the oregano and basil in beef stew and not Thyme but used your recipe and tweaked.
    My only personal issue is that I will only use grass fed and finished beef and that takes way longer to soften as it just does not have much fat in it.
    Next time I will try for organic beef which still should have the fat marbling I want.
    Thank you for this unique different recipe.

  6. What do you mean add the chunks of celery and onion at the end of the recipe?? I thought we added it in already to be cooked

    1. Hi Toni! There are 2 portions of vegetables, one portion is the chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic that you sautee and simmer in the broth with the stock. The second portion are the large chunks of vegetables that get added 1 hour into the cooking time.

  7. Hello 🙂 does the consommé equal about 2 cups? Just want to make sure because I am making this now and it doesn’t look like there is enough liquids! Can’t wait to try! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Hi Julia! The amount of consomme equals about 2 1/2 cups…if it seems like you need more liquid, feel free to add more water as necessary. I haven’t needed to but, you can if you like. 🙂

  8. I’ve got a big pot of this simmering right now and my whole entire house smells heavenly! Thank you for sharing this recipe so many years ago. I can’t wait to try it 🙂

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