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Beef Stew

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You can make this beef stew in the oven or a slow cooker. Either way, in two simple steps, you will have a warming, wholesome, and wonderfully flavorful meal.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
beef stew

Photography: David Loftus

Source: Everyday Food, October 2006

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound medium onions (about 2), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound small white or red new potatoes (about 6), well scrubbed, halved if large
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a Dutch oven (5-quart) with a tight-fitting lid, combine beef, tomato paste, vinegar, and flour; season with salt and pepper.

  2. Add onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is fork-tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and, if desired, season with salt and pepper before serving.

Variations

Slow-Cooker Variation: Place beef in a 5-quart slow cooker. Distribute tomato paste, vinegar, and flour over beef; season generously with salt and pepper. Add onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, and bay leaves. Cover slow cooker; cook on high until beef is fork-tender, about 5 hours (or cook on low heat 8 hours).

Cook's Notes

Freeze individual-size servings of your beef stew, and turn leftovers into a great lunch or dinner.

Reviews Add a comment

  • JodiPA
    1 OCT, 2014
    I've been using this beef stew recipe for a few years now and I love it! I make it in the crock pot. The only thing I change is that I add additional flour to the beef in the beginning as I like my beef stew thick. I also add a can of beef broth or french onion soup. It comes out perfect every time.
    Reply
  • ri_mur
    7 MAR, 2014
    I make this frequently in the slow cooker, but take the extra time to brown my beef in a skillet and deglaze the pan with some red wine before I assemble the ingredients per the recipe's instructions. I also add celery and extra garlic cloves/potatoes/carrots, just because of personal preference. It always turns out extremely well. It's so easy, even with the extra step, and gives a huge flavor payoff. I have never tried the dutch oven version because I don't have the best oven (renter).
    Reply
  • AmberLeanneDV
    17 FEB, 2014
    I've been making this recipe for years. It's in constant rotation for my winter recipes. It's simple and delicious. I've made it in both a crockpot and dutch oven and prefer the dutch oven method.
    Reply
  • Judynyc61
    30 JAN, 2014
    Great spring board recipe! The balsamic vinegar definitely gives this stew a tasty kick. I do this in the oven vs. crock pock and instead of adding water, I bump it up and add 2 cups of beef stock and 1 cup of red wine. After 2 hours I throw in a package of quartered baby bella mushrooms and a few handfuls of fresh string beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces. You can also throw in a handful of frozen peas at the end as well. One dish wonder and oh so good.
    Reply
  • Swasian35
    4 JAN, 2014
    As a relatively new "cook", I try to follow the recipes to a T but I read the review beforehand for an overall impression. I have never used a slow cooker before but it worked very well. No water was needed and there was plenty of moisture created by the ingredients themselves. I felt that the amount of carrots and onions were heavy. This dish was tasty immediately afterwards; however, re-heated, it lacked its original flavor and texture. A keeper but not on a regular rotation.
    Reply
  • Victoria n84
    20 DEC, 2013
    This recipe is perfect , easy , delicious and exactly what I was looking for .
    Reply
  • susan_j_thornton
    26 NOV, 2013
    Very very simple and tasty without going to much trouble. I made this in the crock pot using a little over 1 and 1/2 lbs lean stew beef, halved the potatoes and carrots, substituted 8 oz frozen pearl onions for chopped, and added 8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms. Also added some celery seed and dried basil and oregano. Cooked on high for 5 hours. Will probably add a little red wine next time because I would like more gravy. A little crumbled bacon would probably be a nice touch, too.
    Reply
  • Leslie1947
    23 OCT, 2013
    The slow cooker recipe doesn't say anything about adding water??? I just added it anyway and started it. Sure hope it's right!
    Reply
  • luckylady49736
    4 OCT, 2013
    Remove bay leaf? My grandmother always said "whoever gets the bay leaf has to kiss the cook".
    Reply
  • eplutz
    22 SEP, 2013
    I was looking for a recipe just like this one. Foolproof, tasty and so simple that it wouldn't take ages to make. Never mind browning meat and wasting time - just mix the first group of ingredients together over medium heat, add the rest of it and plunk it in the oven. That's it! SO delicious and absolutely tastes like you spent HOURS making it! Will absolutely be making again!
    Reply