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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 or homemade popovers!

I really love classic meals, the back-to-basics kinds like this Beef Stew.  Sometimes we forget to make and enjoy old tried and true recipes that have withstood the test of time.  But when we do create them, we are instantly taken back to the days of our youth, with the delicious smells of dinner simmering on the stove.  I love that.

You may have your own family recipe for a classic like Beef Stew,  but it’s always nice to have options right?  I thought I would share this delicious stew recipe that our family enjoys.  It is rich and very delicious.

Classic Beef Stew {A Pretty Life}

I don’t like to overcomplicate my stew, so I keep the ingredients very basic…chunks of beef, garden fresh carrots, onions and potatoes.  Some celery and simple herbs.  But the key to a good stew is in the browning of the beef.  The browning and all the bits left in the pan after browning are what creates the rich, deep flavour for the gravy.  Make sure you scrape all those bits up when you’re sauteing your vegetables!

Classic Beef Stew {A Pretty Life}

This is a really flavourful and meaty dish that’s perfect for cold nights. The gravy is nice and rich, and wonderful on mashed potatoes or popovers!  Enjoy!

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Classic Beef Stew

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

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 105 minutes
  • Total Time: 125 minutes
  • Yield: 6 - 8 servings 1x



Step 1: Browning Beef

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

Step 2: Sauteed Vegetables

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

Step 3: Adding Stock

  • 2284 mL cans undiluted beef consomme
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 leaves bay

Step 4: Adding Vegetables

  • 2 carrots (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 2 celery (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 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: Sauteed 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 Stock

  1. Once the veggies are cooked, turn the heat under the pot to med-high, and add the consomme, 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 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.

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Tips for the perfect beef stew!

  • As I mentioned before, make sure to scrape up all the bits left over from browning the beef, as they are what makes the gravy so flavourful!
  • As you brown your beef, make sure 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.
  • If you like, you can add parsnips to your stew.  If you do, you may just need to add a little extra water.
  • 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.
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Classic Beef Stew {A Pretty Life}

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

More Delicious Stew Recipes:

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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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