How to Make Beef Stew

Photo by Woodsy at SXC.HU
Photo by Woodsy at SXC.HU

An Old Favorite Recipe

This delicious stew is a recipe that was handed down to me from my mom. You will find it very simple in its ingredients, and also simple to make. Hope you try it and enjoy. Good any time of the year, but especially great for those cool autumn nights, or definitely cold, winter nights.

I had the pleasure of spending a few days at my best friend's (Sally's Trove) house over this holiday weekend. Since I offered to make dinner, I decided I'd make this 'comfort food' stew. Needless to say, it was a big hit! Even I was impressed, as its been years since I made it myself.

I just spoke with Sally, and she said her daughter (Annemaeve) came for dinner yesterday. Her daughter (and mine as well), do not like cooked carrots. Sally shared with me that not only did her daughter love the stew, she even ate the carrots! Success! Score one for me!!

So, run out to your favorite store, buy the ingredients and prepare the stew, then invite a few friends over, and enjoy!


Cooking oil (vegetable or olive)

1 large onion, sliced, then sliced again

2-3 lbs. stew beef (chuck is best, as it has just enough fat in it, and depending on the size of the pieces, you may want to cut them a bit smaller)

1 bunch fresh carrots, (not pre-packaged) washed, unpeeled, sliced

1 lg. can tomato sauce

Salt/pepper to taste

Garlic powder to taste or fresh garlic, 1 or 2 cloves peeled and chopped, OPTIONAL

6-7 potatoes, peeled, cut into pieces


Note: This is prepared without a lid.

Cut the onion into slices, then slice those as well. In a large stew or spaghetti pot, pour a small to medium amount of oil in and heat on low. When it starts to bubble, add the onion. Cook and stir the onion occasionally, just letting it get a bit browned.

Once the onion is browned a bit, add the stew beef. Stir and let that simmer for a while. In about 5 or less minutes, check the beef and stir again. When it all becomes mostly brown, add water to cover. Let that cook for about 10 minutes. Check again and if necessary, add more water. You always need to keep it just covered.

While that is simmering, wash and slice the carrots. You can now add them to the pot, and add still more water, just enough to cover the carrots. Let that cook for about 15 minutes at a low boil. Stir occasionally.

After the 15 minutes, add the large can of tomato sauce, salt, pepper and garlic powder or cloves of garlic (peeled, chopped). Let it cook for about 10 minutes.

While the meat and carrots are cooking, peel and cut into pieces the potatoes, about the size you would use for making potato salad. Add these to the stew, making sure all the liquid is just over the top of the food.

Stir occasionally. Check potatoes for doneness, once those are fully cooked, usually in about 20 or less minutes, the stew is done. Remove from heat and let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then stir, and it is ready to serve.

Serve this with a nice crusty bread, and a salad or green vegetable of your choice, if desired. A nice cold beer or glass of wine would go well with this as well.

Serves 6-8

Comments 82 comments

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Not only is this dish delicious, it is beautiful and it is so easy to make. Especially if you have a slave in the kitchen (that would be me) to do your chopping and food prep tasks.

I love cooking in the kitchen with my friend Trish. She designs and directs, I do the labor, and then we feast.

And by the way, it was hot as Hades this weekend, but this stew is so timeless and so comforting...just turn up the air conditioning and enjoy!

Trish, what a lovely recounting of this special weekend.

annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 8 years ago from Philly Burbs

Hear hear! I did eat my carrots, and my leftover stew carrots the next night for dinner, too! Trish, your stew is fantastic. Those were definitely the tastiest cooked carrots EVER. Love you!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Sally,

I'm so glad you enjoyed the meal. Next time will be the stew w/dumplings :)

And hey, I seem to recall being the 'slave' myself.

Thanks for commenting,


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Anne,

I was blown away when your mom told me you LIKED the carrots! Now, if only I could get my own kids to like them :)

Thanks for commenting, love u too!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

I'll bet the conversation was as lively and comforting as the stew. I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall to hear all of that! =) I'm going to add this recipe to my collection...I think it would go great with my "sexiest cake" recipe. I might fix a lot and save some for the kids. M I G H T.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Marisue,

Hmmmm,,,,a 'hobo' stew along with a 'sexy' cake? LOL,,,nice combo!  Seriously, I promise you will love the stew.  IF there is leftover stew it can easily be frozen.  Pull it out on a cold rainy day and enjoy :)

Now, if I could only find my recipes for carrot cake and zucchini bread!

Thanks for stopping by,


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Liked the Stew, found that it was great the next day as well.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Wow! thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it.

When I get around to it, I will publish my stew w/dumplings recipe.

Thanks for the compliment, you just made my day :)


funnebone profile image

funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

you just made me hungry, which I wouldn't hve thought possible after reading the hub on toenail clippings

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

LOL you're so funny! your comment makes me feel all-powerful,,maybe this stew is a cure for whatever ails you :)

Seriously, this stew is well worth the effort. A very filling, satisfying meal.

Thanks so much for your comment,


Haris Amin profile image

Haris Amin 8 years ago from Mars

Great recipe ill try it ASAP

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Great Haris!  I make another version of this stew with dumplings.  It's just as easy.  Where this one calls for the tomato sauce, you eliminate the tomato sauce and substitute more water, just enough to cover the food at all times.  While it's simmering, make the dumplings.  Measure into a bowl two cups of Bisquick, 2/3 cup of milk, and stir.  Then drop the dough by spoonfuls on the top of the stew.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and let it cook an additional 10 minutes.  Then it's done, so it's now a stew with brown gravy.  My daughter prefers this one :)

RGraf profile image

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

You've won me other with this one. I've got to try it. My family loves stews.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi RGraf!

Good!  it is really delicious!  And as with most meals, the leftovers (if you're inclined to eat leftovers, some folks won't), it tastes even better the next day.

I'd be curious to know how it turned out :)

Thanks so much for commenting.

Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia

You are BOOKMARKED. I've been looking for a good stew recipe, and this sounds like a great one. Except I'd also like to have some Sally on the side please?? To cut things up. ;)

Thanks for sharing this Trish. Not sure when I'm going to make it, but I WILL make it.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hey there Pam! 

LOL, you're cracking me up here.  I just had to phone Sally to tell her what you said :)

Gled this tickled your fancy, and I truly hope you try it.  Worst case scenario, feed it to stray cats or your dog if you have one.

thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Lucy Wallace profile image

Lucy Wallace 8 years ago from Swansea, UK

Mmmm beef stew is the best! This recipe is identical to the one I follow but I chuck in parsnips, swede, cherry tomatoes and anything else I can find that will simmer down. Damn I'm hungry now...!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Lucy!

I've never tried adding other things, but you're right, this recipe lends itself to adding all kinds of yummy things!  I should get a little daring and experiment with adding new flavors.  What I love about this stew is its simplicity and yes, it tastes absolutely delicious 'unadorned'.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!  Why don't you publish your recipe, I'd love to see it :)

linjingjing profile image

linjingjing 7 years ago

How to Make Beef Stew

Writing good

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi linjingjing,

Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed it.  I hope you try it!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma

I love beef stew and this sounds great. My wife doesn't like cooked carrots but, she loves them raw. She has some texture issues with food. I just don't get it. But, I will give this recipe a try. Thanks.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Jim,

As a kid, I preferred raw carrots.  It wasn't until I became an adult that I came to appreciate cooked carrots, and I credit that to my mom and grandmother.  They always bought fresh carrots, washed them thoroughly, and used them in stews and chicken recipes.  I have fond memories of simple carrots simmering in a soup or stew, and the 'unpeeled' look just made it seem so much more appealing to me.  Both my children also hated cooked carrots but had no problems with raw ones.  Just a matter of preference.

I hope you enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Yummy Trish, boy you can cook just as amazing as you write. I have added this one to my Hub Page recipes I am collecting to try.Thanks for sharing this one. My problem is I have overly senisitive smoke alarms,half the time I cook they start going off, so it's not I am a bad cook, its my smoke alarm's fault lol

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Well thank you!

LOL, we have the same problem with our smoke alarms, so I'm with you that it's definitely not the cook's fault.  I'm flattered that you bookmarked this.  It's been a family favorite for more years than I care to count :)

Please enjoy, and thanks for visiting and commenting.

j@a's mom 7 years ago

Great stew. even my hsband who is "not a stew person" loved it. Said it was the best stew he'd ever had! Best o f all, easy as....well stew! Looking forward to more recipes!Thanks

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Wow! I am thrilled!  You just made my day :)  One of the things I like about this stew is that the next day, assuming there are leftovers, the sauce is thicker, great for dipping nice crusty, buttered bread in.

It's funny you mention more recipes, because I've been thinking the same thing lately.  I have a couple on the back burner so it's just a matter of putting them together.  I have one hub that has consistently done well, but this beef stew recipe has even outshone that one. Must be a comfort thing or something :)

Thank you so much!  I'm very pleased that you tried it and that even your hubby liked it too!

Mireille G profile image

Mireille G 7 years ago from Kansas

Like so many of these age old recipes the next day is almost always better. I really like beef stew, or for that matter any kind of stew, so yes if you have some other good old recipes by all means put them up. Thanks Trish.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Mireille,

Yes, you're right. So many recipes taste more flavorful the next day once they've marinated in their sauces/seasonings. My favorite meals in the cold weather are homemade soups and stews. I've never mastered soup, so perhaps I'll be trying my hand at some of those. If I come up with a good one, I'll be sure to publish it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dale Knecht 7 years ago

great recipie makes a home feel like home the smells of the browned beef the bullion and veggies its going to be a good meal I hope my girlfriend enjoys it after a hard day of work

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Dale,

Even if I do say so myself, I can't sing enough praises about this particular recipe. It is tasty, filling and just plain old good. You're right, there is nothing like walking in the house and smelling something yummy simmering on the stove.

I hope you try it and your girlfriend enjoys it as well. I'd love to hear how it turned out :)

Thanks for commenting.

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

Congrats on 10,000 views for this hub Trish. It does seem very easy to make, if I remember to watch the water level. Beef stew this time of the year is really delicious.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Jen!

It is fairly simple to put together. The only thing time consuming about it is the potatoes and carrots, but once it's all in the pot, magic happens :)

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Hope you try it!

Dale Knecht 7 years ago

Hi Trish,

well we really enjoyed this recipie it was everything i hoped for thank you

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

hi Dale!

Wow, I'm so glad you tried it and liked it. I'm flattered.

Thanks so much for letting me know, I really appreciate it.

Trish 7 years ago

Hay Trish,

Trish here hahahaha.

Loved your recipe, all the way in Perth, Australia.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Well, hi there Trish!

So glad you liked it, hope you give it a try.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

h.a.borcich profile image

h.a.borcich 7 years ago


This recipe will be Friday night dinner :) Your newest "follower", Holly

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cosette 7 years ago

sounds yummy! i think the tomato sauce would add a nice dimension of flavor!

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poetlorraine 7 years ago

i feel like i could just do with some beef stew

Jane@CM profile image

Jane@CM 7 years ago

tomato sauce is the key to my recipe too...your recipe looks wonderful!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author


I promise, you won't regret it :) A great one-pot meal for cold winter nights. In fact, I just heard today that the lower than average cold temps are here indefinitely starting tomorrow.

Thanks for commenting.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

hi cosette,

Yes, the tomato sauce does give it a very good flavor. Actually, I haven't made this in a while, so it's definitely on my menu for the cold weather ahead.

Thanks for commenting.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

hi poetlorraine,

It's definitely a feel good meal. I especially love it the second day, assuming there are leftovers. It makes a nice lunch.

Thanks for commenting.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Jane,

As I mentioned, my mom passed this recipe down to me. It's the only version I grew up with. I only wish I had her recipe for chicken and dumplings. I do have a good idea of how it was made, so that will be on my list of things to try this winter.

Thanks for commenting.

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lulu1982 7 years ago

This is just how I make my stew too - I have one bubbling away on the hob right now! But as my mother in law has kindly taken my daughter for the night I have added a dash of worcester sauce and half a bottle of red wine! After 6 hours of slow cooking it tastes delicious! We have ours inside a large yorkshire pudding! Just what we need on a cold snowy evening - Can't wait till tea time!

Lucy :0)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

hi lulu,

It's nice to know this stew is made around the world in a similar style. I love the idea of worcester and wine, I'll have to give that a try the next time I make it. I've never had Yorkshire pudding and I have no clue what it's even made of. It does sound yummy though!

Thanks so much for commenting.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

@Lucy (hope you don't mind, Trish)...You brought back such good memories. I haven't had Yorkshire pudding in years and years. I can just imagine this wonderful stew combined with the hearty texture of the pudding. I talked with Trish tonight, and we've agreed to make a date where she'll make the stew and I'll make the pudding. With plenty of wine added in. We should both be comatose by the next day! Great comment.

2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

MMMMMM beef stew! This recipe is almost identical to how I make it - but not quite. I will try your version next week.

It is unusually cold here (southern England) at present, so II need comfort food.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author


No, I don't mind, silly girl. I am so looking forward to our get together :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author


If nothing else, this is definitely a comfort food. It has been very cold here in New Jersey, staying pretty much in the low 30s during the day, and teens to 20s overnight.

Glad you're going to try it, and I'd love to hear what you thought.

Thanks so much for commenting.

Wanda K. 6 years ago

this sounds amazing, i am going to try it :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Wanda,

Trust me, it is :)

I hope you like it! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

PS: I would like to hear how it turns out, and, if for some reason you don't care for it, I can accept that as well :)

ryan 6 years ago

I made this for my boy's and i. It goes well with corn bread. I also added some sweet corn and celery. Stew in the fall great!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi ryan,

That's what's great about this recipe. You certainly can add things to it and make it your own. I'm glad you tried it, and couldn't agree with you more. Stews and also soups make wonderful fall/winter meals.

Thanks for commenting.

terrie schmidt 6 years ago

I want to say THANK YOU for this recipe! I printed a copy and just made some;using 4 carrots ;4 taters;1/2 onion;4 cloves garlic and 3 spoonfulls minced garlic. I cut the recipe in half,since it,s justthe two of us.The house smells so good. I,m going to make some bread to go with it.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi terrie,

You just made my day! I am wearing a huge smile :)

I sure hope it becomes one of your family favorites. Nothing nicer than the smell of good, healthy food permeating the house.

Thanks so much for trying it, and your wonderful comment.

John 6 years ago

Well I wasn't too impressed with this recipe - too much meat and too little onions in the ingredients. I also added 1/2 Knor Beef Cube to it - but when I added some Green Thai Curry paste, it was fantastic.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi John,

You've actually hit on the beauty of this recipe. You're certainly free to add/subtract anything that doesn't suit your fancy. I, for one, don't care for curry, so it's not something I'd be apt to try. However, you have inspired me to 'mix it up' so to speak, so I'll be looking for ways to make this differently, and just as tasty.

Thanks so much for your input :)

Dave 6 years ago

Thankyou so much for this brilliant recipe. I've made it twice this week (partly because the 1st time I made it I didn't have a very big pan so 3 hungry people later it was gone). And your comment about the beauty of this recipe is being able to add/subtract is what makes it great. Adding a few different vegetables and a bit of Beef stock towards the end of cooking to thicken up that gravy is my little addition to the recipe, aswell as thinking up other things to possibly add in the future. Thankyou so much :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Dave,

I am so happy to hear this meal was a success for you. It's one meal I grew up with, and it wasn't till much later that I tried making this stew with dumplings, which, in my opinion, is equally good. In fact, my daughter prefers it to this one. I definitely like that you felt free to add to this recipe, and in fact, the next time I make it, I too will try a variation. Part of the beauty of cooking is creating new and tasty meals.

So, twice in one week! I am flattered. It gives me a warm feeling to know my mom lives on through this wonderful recipe (she was my teacher).

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, I truly appreciate the feedback.

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TopUniverse 6 years ago

Good recipe. It looks very simple to make. I will definitely try it.

wsupaul88 profile image

wsupaul88 6 years ago from Seattle, WA

Great Hub, good job!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi TopUniverse,

Yes, it isn't dificult at all. Not a whole lot of ingredients and my favorite part is that it cooks in one pot :)

Thanks for commenting.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi wsupaul88,

Thanks so much, glad you liked it.

Thanks for commenting.

viryabo profile image

viryabo 6 years ago

I told you i'm having this tonight. With a glass of red wine of course.

Thanks for this recipe Trish. i have always loved beef stew but never tried making it myself. Never knew it was so easy to prepare.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi viryabo!

And so you are! It really is easy to do. It's just the preparing that takes a bit of time.

Thanks so much for commenting and enjoy!

sugarloaf10 profile image

sugarloaf10 6 years ago from Kentucky USA

I have been searching for a good simple beef stew recipe for a while, I am definitely bookmarking this one, thanks!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi again sugarloaf10,

This recipe is very simple. Not a lot of ingredients, but loaded with flavor. I'd be delighted to know how it turns out for you.

Thanks for commenting.

Rachel 6 years ago

I didn't like this, no offence but Beef stew is now ment to have red sauce in it. We tried it and sadly no one liked it, well cept me dog :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Rachel,

I'm sorry to hear it wasn't to your liking. My beef stew with dumplings recipe has brown gravy, so if this hasn't scared you off, perhaps you'd give that one a go.

I'm glad your dog liked it! When I had dogs, they ate plenty of mistakes and leftovers :)

Thanks for your honest opinion.

StefanyRae 5 years ago

Love the recipe! It was easy and very delicious. I'm bookmarking this stew! :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi StefanyRae,

I am so glad you enjoyed it! The season for stews and soups is just around the corner, and I can't wait :)

Thanks for commenting.

michael 5 years ago

thanks my wife will love this with dumplins wont be eating myself tho lol x

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi michael,

I'm sure this will be to her liking. I even think you would too :)

Glad you're going to try it though, thanks for commenting.

Clive o 5 years ago

Corrrrrrr, I du luvs a bit of beef stew me!

Catherine Evs 5 years ago

Sweet suculent cooked beef, in a tomatoe based sauce. It's not just carrots, it's cooked carrot's!

Eddie 5 years ago

Omg marry me lol this was lovely best stew I have made thank you.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

LOL you've made me blush, and flattery will get you everywhere :)

Hi Eddie, I am very glad you enjoyed it. It was one of my favorites growing up, and I'm glad I learned how to make it. It gives me great pleasure to know that I've shared it and have passed on a favorite meal to others, who now enjoy it as well.

Thanks so much for commenting.

misty gardner 4 years ago

can you cook stews on the hob and in the oven

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago Author

Hi misty,

I've never heard of a hob, but I found this definition: 1.A flat metal shelf at the side or back of a fireplace, having its surface level with the top of the grate and used esp. for heating pans. It seems to me a hob is only meant to keep food warm. A stew, as far as I know, can be cooked in a large spaghetti pot, a crock pot, or a Dutch oven. This is the information I found out about the Dutch oven: Often called for in the making of a stew or the cooking of a roast, a Dutch oven can be used to brown the meat on the stovetop before other ingredients are added. Then the lid is added and the dish is generally finished in the oven. The tight, heavy lid enhances condensation in the pot and also radiates heat into the pot, turning it into a snug oven that surrounds the food in moist heat.

The Dutch oven may also be called a stew pot or heavy casserole, and it may also be made of aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and uncoated cast iron. The enameled cast-iron pots are less likely to rust and easier to clean than the plain cast iron. They range in size from 3 quarts to 12 quarts, with most people opting for 6 to 9 quarts.

I hope this helps. Thanks for the inquiry :)

Jaqui 3 years ago

My dad ate four bowls of this and said he really liked it. Funny thing is, it was my first time making beef stew! Thank you for the awesome recipe!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 3 years ago Author

Hi Jaqui,

I am so glad your dad liked it, and congrats to you for your first effort. Comments like yours warm my heart :)

Four bowls? that's impressive. Did he leave any for you? If so, I hope you enjoyed it as well.

Thanks so much for stopping by and your lovely comment.

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