Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

Beef Stew
The Spruce
  • Total: 2 hrs
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
401 Calories
17g Fat
22g Carbs
37g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 401
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 798mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 37g
Calcium 88mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is a very basic beef stew. It’s easy, delicious, and inexpensive to make. While there are hundreds of variations of this traditional recipe, it’s hard to improve on this version’s savory and comforting goodness.

For even better flavor, make this dish the day before you plan to serve it.


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  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds boneless chuck roast (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 yellow onions (cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 carrots (peeled and cut into 1-inch slices)
  • 2 stalks celery (cut into 1-inch slices)
  • 3 large russet potatoes (peeled and cut in eighths)
  • Garnish: fresh parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Old-Fashioned Stew Ingredients
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  2. On medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil to a large heavy pot (one that has a tight-fitting lid).

    Vegetable oil poured into a pot.
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  3. When it begins to smoke slightly, add the beef and brown very well. Do so in batches if necessary. Add the salt and pepper as the beef browns.

    Meat added to the pot.
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  4. Once browned, remove the beef with a slotted spoon or tongs and set aside.

    Removing the meat from the pot with tongs.
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  5. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened.

    Onions added to the pot.
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  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes stirring often.

    Flour added to the onions in the pot.
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  7. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

  8. Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. The flour will start to thicken the wine as it comes to a simmer.

    Red wine added to the mixture.
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  9. Simmer wine for 5 minutes and then add the broth, rosemary, bay leaf, thyme, and the beef.

    Other ingredients added to the mixture.
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  10. Bring back to a gentle simmer, cover and cook on very low for about 1 hour.

  11. Add carrots, celery, and potatoes and simmer covered for another 30 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    Add vegetables to the pot.
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  12. Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with the fresh parsley if desired.

    Old-Fashioned Stew
    The Spruce


  • Don't skip the step for searing meat. This process is a way of improving the meat's appearance and developing the Maillard flavors that stewing alone cannot. It provides very nice coloring and a flavorful "crust" on the meat's surface, which later translates into a tastier dish.
  • The same with deglazing. Don't skip this step either, as it is a great way to loosen the flavorful fond at the bottom of the pan and then use those bits to add flavor to your sauce.