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How to Cook Beef Stew

Updated on October 1, 2014

Beef Stew: Warming Food for a Cold Winter Day

If you are a busy mum or dad you need dinner recipes that are inexpensive and that you can put together easily, but you don't want to spend your entire evening in the kitchen. How much better it would be if you could sort out dinner and let it cook while you get on doing other things. At times like these I opt to put together a delicious soup or stew for my family. A few minutes prep time in the kitchen, then it can be left to cook slowly on the hob or in the oven until we are ready to eat.

When the weather starts turning colder, it's time to think about cooking hearty soups and stews. These dishes are simple, and delicious, and a very good way to use up those vegetables lurking in the bottom of the fridge.

My personal favourite is a delicious vegetable beef stew. Follow along as I show you just how simple beef stew can be to make.

Serve the stew in a shallow bowl with thick slices of buttered crusty bread, or boiled potatoes.

Stewing meat
Stewing meat

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: 4 - 6 generous servings


  • 2 heaped spoonfuls flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 pound stewing steak, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 glass red wine, optional
  • 1 - 2 liters beef stock
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 or 3 different root vegetables, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 sprig thyme, or 1 tsp dried
  • generous dash Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste

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  1. Add the flour to a plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the cubed beef, a handful at a time to coat with flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed stew pot. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Pour in 1 glass red wine (optional) and scrape the bottom of the pan to get up all the bits which have stuck. If not using wine, use a half cup of beef stock instead.
  4. Pour in 1- 2 litre beef stock, enough to cover the added vegetables.
  5. Add the chopped onion, carrots, parsnips, swede, or any other desired vegetable.
  6. Add 1 large or 2 small bay leaves, 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 1 sprig fresh thyme, and a good dash of Worcestershire sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bring up to a boil, reduce heat and cover, and simmer on a very slow boil (1 - 2 bubbles breaking the surface at a time) for at least an hour. The longer you can give it, the better.
  8. Alternatively, bring it up to a boil, cover and place in an oven at a very low heat for 1 - 2 hours.

300 More Stew Recipes - from around the world

Real Stew: 300 Recipes for Authentic Home-Cooked Cassoulet, Gumbo, Chili, Curry, Minestrone, Bouillabaise, Stroganoff, Goulash, Chowder, and Much More (Non)
Real Stew: 300 Recipes for Authentic Home-Cooked Cassoulet, Gumbo, Chili, Curry, Minestrone, Bouillabaise, Stroganoff, Goulash, Chowder, and Much More (Non) Review

The global scope of stews and other long-simmered, richly warming dishes is vast. Clifford Wright's Real Stew offers 300 recipes for this delicious fare--everything from basic Irish stew through stroganoff, bouillabaisse, gumbo, feijoada, and much more. What makes Wright's dishes--and cookbook--different from similar efforts (besides its "all-under-one-roof" commitment) is his insistence on authenticity.

vegetable medley
vegetable medley

A Few Vegetable Ideas For Your Beef Stew

The wonderful thing about a stew is that there is no end to the list of vegetables you can add. I like to take advantage of the multitude of squashes and root vegetables available this time of year. I suggest picking out 2 or 3 vegetables to use in any one dish.


The basis of nearly any food dish. Check out How To Chop an Onion for information on how to chop an onion quickly and easily.


I actually prefer to boil up a pot of potatoes to serve alongside the stew instead of cooking them in the stew.


Save time by adding a large handful of frozen sweetcorn to the stew.

Butternut squash

Squash will add a good flavour to your stew plus helps to thicken it.

Sweet chestnuts

Sweet chestnuts go very well with strong flavoured meats like beef and venison.


Peel and chop the swede and add it in.


Peel and chop it exactly like a carrot. These taste best after the first hard frost in Autumn.


A stew wouldn't be complete without carrots.


Much maligned, but delicious in a stew with the other flavours.


Rinse off the stalks, cut it up, and add it in, leaves and stalks together.


Halve or quarter these before adding them in

Beef Stew Cooks Up Very Nicely in a Slow Cooker - just make these alterations to the recipe

Cut the amount of beef stock down to 1/2 litre.

Brown the meat off in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the wine or a small amount of stock to deglaze the pan. Then pour the lot into a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, cover with the lid, and cook on low for several hours.

A few minutes time in the morning before work, and when you get home you'll have a meal ready to set on the table.

What Do You Think of My Beef Stew

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    • profile image

      myshelle01 6 years ago

      Love your lens great images love stews too

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I think there's nothing better on a rainy winter's night, eating a classic stew with chunks of bread in front of the fire.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 7 years ago

      I love beef stew, my husband, not so much, he just doesn't care for it. But I do love to make it once in a while, especially in winter. Great lens.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      After several days of reheating, the flavors blend to perfection. Beef stew is one of my favorite comfort foods.

    • patinkc profile image

      patinkc 7 years ago from Midwest

      You make it sound so easy! I'm looking forward to trying this.

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 7 years ago

      I'm tempted to run right out and get all the ingredients for this. We're having a very blustery day here in Iowa and I just want to hibernate and eat.

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 7 years ago

      yum yum! favoriting to try your recipe. thanks for sharing it!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      Stews are the perfect warming food, I agree! And I enjoy making them, too. The smell of a stew simmering on the stove is delightful.

    • NanLT profile image

      Nan 7 years ago from London, UK

      @TonyPayne: This is one of the reasons why I love stews so much, it doesn't matter what veggies you add or leave out. It still tastes yummy.

      I have to leave out mushrooms as well because they don't like my hubby unless I chop them realllllly small and cook the heck out of them.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This does indeed look very good - apart from the mushrooms - one thing I don't like. Lovely thick stews, loaded with veggies, they taste so good, and smell so good too.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      Your beef stew looks soooo good. I am going to try your recipe next time I make a stew. Thanks!