This easy homemade beef stew satisfies even the hardiest of appetites on a cold winters day. Made with simple ingredients, this beef stew recipe made using one pot is one your family will be asking for again and again.
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There may be no better meal on a blistery cold winters day than beef stew. This is one beef stew recipe that my family begs for time and again. Especially when served with our delectable homemade biscuits. Just sayin’ 😉
I don’t know about you, but any recipe that uses only one pot is my kind of recipe. Add to that a recipe that is quick to put together and lets the stove do all the work is a keeper for sure.
What makes the process even better? When I let the antique cookstove do triple duty! Heat the homestead, dry the clothes, and cook the meal. It warms my heart thru & thru.
Below you will find my simple, easy to make homemade beef stew recipe so you don’t have to scroll, scroll, scroll to find it. Should you be interested in variations, substitutions, and tips for making yours the best version you can, be sure to continue reading.
HOW TO MAKE BEEF STEW FROM SCRATCH
If there is only one piece of advice I can extend, it’s to sear your beef first. This is where you begin to build the flavors by carmelizing the meat, developing the dark bits & pieces known as the “fond” that create depth of flavor. So don’t skip this part. You can thank me later 😉
As I make most of our dishes gluten-free now for my daughter to enjoy as well, this beef stew uses no flour, dredging, or flour based roux. Using potato in the recipe will allow the stew to naturally thicken a bit.
To thicken further once the stew has fully simmered, I use a cornstarch slurry, by simply diluting several tablespoons of cornstarch with cold water and mixing it into the stew. Although it does not come out as thick as we prefer, it still thickens somewhat. That being said, I will give variations below on thickeners you can give a try.
So, let’s get cooking, or stewing as the case may be….
- PREP THE BEEF – Begin by prepping beef, I use only 1# of stew beef but you can adjust according to your desire. Cut the pieces of beef of your choice into bite size chunks, making sure they are all approximately the same size. Salt & pepper to taste.
- BROWN THE BUTTER – This stew is made using whole ingredients, and that means good ole’ fashioned butter. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, melt and brown approximately 1/2 stick of butter.
- SEAR THE BEEF – On medium to medium/high heat, begin searing the beef on all sides making sure a good caramelization has developed. Don’t worry about the pan developing dark areas, this is what you are seeking.
- PREP THE VEGETABLES – What you use for veggies is up to you. Potatoes, carrots, & turnip is what we really enjoy, but feel free to experiment.
NOTE: Keeping the veggies approximately the same size so as they cook evenly is recommended. Should you want to add peas for instance, I would add them toward the end of the simmering time.
- ADD THE VEGETABLES – Being the lazy kitchen wench that I am, I don’t bother to remove the meat and saute the vegetables prior to adding the stock or water. They cook within the liquid just fine in my humble opinion. Feel free to pre-cook with the fond (brown bits) if you like for 1-2 minutes.
- ADD BROTH – I prefer to add my homemade bone broth in lieu of water or beef stock. Whichever you decide to use, just cover the vegetables and beef with the liquid.
- ADD SEASONINGS – I add 2 Tbl Beef Boullion, my preferred brand is Organic Better Than Boullion, and sprinkle with black pepper. Stir well to combine.
- COVER & COOK – Bring all to a slow boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer, and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
- THICKEN – To keep GF, thicken using 2 TBL cornstarch mixed slightly with cold water & add to the stew, simmering for several minutes.
THICKENER ALTERNATIVE: Another favorite way to truly thicken the stew is to make a roux. Melt 1/4 C butter in a small saucepan to which add 1/4 C flour. Increase the amounts if needed. Whisk at low heat for several minutes creating a thick butter consistency. Add to the stew and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
How easy is that? My kind of meal, quick in prep and cleanup!
- 1-2# Stew Meat (or beef cut of your choice)
- 6-7 Medium to Large Carrots
- 6-8 Medium Sized Potatoes
- 1 Medium Sized Turnip
- *Vegetables of your choice
- PREP THE BEEF - Begin by prepping beef. Cut the pieces of beef of your choice into bite size chunks, making sure they are all approximately the same size. Salt & pepper to taste.
- BROWN THE BUTTER - In a large stock pot or dutch oven, melt and brown approximately 1/2 stick of butter.
- SEAR THE BEEF - On medium to medium/high heat, begin searing the beef on all sides making sure a good caramelization has developed.
- PREP THE VEGETABLES - Cut vegetables of your choice into same size pieces
- ADD THE VEGETABLES - Add your prepped vegetables to the pot
- ADD BROTH - Cover the vegetables & beef with water, broth, or bone broth
- ADD SEASONINGS - Add 2 Tbl Beef Boullion (or to taste) and season with black pepper. Stir well to combine.
- COVER & COOK - Bring all to a slow boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer, and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
- THICKEN - Thicken the stew prior to serving using either cornstarch, a roux, or alternative thickener of your choice
*Keep roughly the same size vegetables when prepping *Add smaller vegetables such as peas toward the end of the cooking process
Like to keep all your recipes old school? I know I do. I like to go to my recipe box and pull out my intended card. Not sure why. But it is my preferred method. Thus, the creation of these farm inspired recipe cards! Go to our Etsy Shop and grab yours, made especially from my homestead to yours 😉
HOW TO MAKE BEEF STEW FLAVORFUL
Once you have made this recipe for yourself, you may find it boasts a wonderful flavor as is. There are variations or additions you can add, however.
Here are few to consider if you like…
- Add tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, and worcestershire sauce to the beef and cook for 1 minute prior to adding the vegetables and broth
- Add red wine, rosemary, and garlic to the beef and saute for a minute or two prior to adding veggies & broth
- When adding the broth, add 1/2 the amount of broth along with a good tomato juice as your liquid along with worcestershire sauce, thyme, and a bay leaf
- To the beef, add tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, a bay leaf, and a bit of balsamic vinegar
As you can see, the variations are limitless. We, however, really enjoy keeping it simple, as is.
SUBSTITUTES FOR STEW MEAT
There are other choices of which type of beef cut you choose to use other than stew meat when making this homemade beef stew.
By choosing other cuts of beef (chuck roast or round roast) and cutting it into chunks yourself, you will be saving a few pennies. As we purchase our beef from a local farm, we have limited options for cuts & prefer to use the stew meat. Most beef cuts will work wonderfully as this stew simmers long and slow, ending in a tender meat.
BEEF BROTH OR WATER FOR BEEF STEW
Here again, we have choices. It’s a personal choice, but I prefer to use my homemade bone broth when making beef stew. If you’ve never made your own bone broth, be sure to check out my how to. It’s worth the effort. Not only am I getting all the nutrient benefits from my bone broth, but also the deep flavor.
You can of course use your favorite beef stock, either homemade or purchased, or simply use water. If using only water, be sure to keep an eye closely on the seasoning. You will most likely need to add additional flavorings for a full bodied stew.
HOW TO SOFTEN STEW MEAT
The trick to enjoying a wonderfully, tender stew meat is all in the prep and the low & slow cooking. Skip either one and you can be sure your meat will be tough. Period.
Caramelize the meat first and then once the stew is boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook the full 3-4 hours. You won’t regret it.
STORING & FREEZING HOMEMADE BEEF STEW
One of the major benefits of making a large pot of soup or stew is the leftovers. I eat leftovers for breakfast, just sayin’ 😉
This beef stew can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, reheated as needed. It can also be frozen in your favorite freezer container if for some reason it lasts longer than that.
As an added thought for all you food preppers out there, this is a wonderful meal to freeze in individual serving sizes!
HOW TO SERVE HOMEMADE BEEF STEW
Our favorite way to enjoy a steaming bowl of this stew is with a homemade biscuit. Very rarely, and only when I am exhausted and don’t have the energy to make these delectable biscuits, do we forgo making them.
I hope you can give this easy homemade beef stew a try! Make it in the crockpot, on the stove top, or even in the oven. No matter which method of cooking you choose, you will surely enjoy it!
I would love to hear from you! Comment in the section below or on any social media channel (if you haven’t already followed, liked, or subscribed, please do!).
Have you given this recipe a try?
Love, Light, & Laughter ~