Beef Stew

Prep Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins

Two simple steps is all it takes to make this comforting, classic beef stew recipe. We skip browning the meat and instead use tomato paste and balsamic vinegar to amp up the flavor. This recipe also works well in the slow cooker if you prefer.


  • 3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 ½-inch cubes

  • 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 ½-inch lengths

  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 2 bay leaves


  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.

    beef stew with vegetables
    Julia Hartbeck

Cook's Notes

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


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).

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