A bowl of hearty classic beef stew with a side salad.

Classic beef stew


Cozy up with a bowl of classic beef stew for a hearty winter meal. This classic beef stew recipe has everything I love about a hearty beef stew. Tender beef, potatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, celery and gravy. It’s savory and beefy.

A bowl of hearty classic beef stew with a side salad.
Classic beef stew is hearty and delicious.

There is something so comforting and heartwarming about a bowl of beef stew. It’s easy to heat up and serve with a simple side salad for a quick mid-week dinner. It almost tastes better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld together.

Beef stew is one dish you can use any vegetables of your choice. For example, I love potatoes, but if you would like to use turnips (another root vegetable) you can. Cut up fresh green beans or peas are also options you can toss into the mix if you like. I prefer carrots, but some people like parsnips, which is a cousin of the carrot.

An overhead photo of hearty beef stew and a small garden salad.
Braising stew meat low and slow makes it tender and flavorful

How to cook beef stew

Stewing beef tends to be a tougher cut of meat. Braising these cuts of meat on a low temperature for a longer duration helps make the beef tender and flavorful. You can choose stew meat already prepared by the butcher or a chuck roast, which you cut up into one and a half to two inch cubes. Searing the beef cubes prior to combining it with the vegetables and gravy to bake in the oven is a critical step for developing great flavor in the stew.

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The seasoning in this classic beef stew recipe are quite simple. Onions, garlic, salt and pepper are essential. I typically add a teaspoon of Simply Organic Italian Seasoning, but you can switch it up and use thyme or oregano if you prefer. Many herbs pair well with beef.

A bowl of hearty beef stew with Italian parsley sprigs on top.
Serve beef stew with a simple garden salad

Why add wine to beef stew?

I add about 1/4 cup of dry red wine to my classic beef stew recipe. It is optional. However, adding a dry red wine will add acidity and flavor to the dish overall. As the stew simmers, the alcohol is burned off. Choose a lighter-style dry red wine with moderate tannins such as Sangiovese (Chianti), Cabernet or Merlot. Only use a wine that you would enjoy drinking. Never a “cooking wine.” Full-bodied reds with big bold flavors (Syrah / some Pinot Noir) will be too much for the stew. It will not produce the right flavor, so avoid these.

A dutch oven fresh out of the oven containing hearty beef stew. A wooden spoon in the pot.
Hearty beef stew in “big blue” Le Creuset dutch oven

This recipe will feed four to six people. I always use a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven, like my Le Creuset. This enamel cast-iron pot is particularly good for braising meats low and slow. Allow the stew to sit for at least five minutes after it comes out of the oven. As it sits, the gravy will thicken more. When was the last time you had a hearty bowl of beef stew? I hope you enjoy this classic beef stew recipe. I’d love to hear your comments and take on this classic below. Thank you for visiting this blog.

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Happy cooking,


Classic beef stew

Recipe by Michelle BarsnessCourse: Beef, SoupsCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





This classic beef stew recipe features tender beef, potatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, celery and gravy. It’s savory and beefy. A great family mid-week meal.


  • 1 1/2 lbs beef stewing meat cut into 1.5 to 2 inch squares.

  • 2 tbsp flour

  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 large carrots, sliced

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped

  • 1/4 cup dry red wine

  • 4 cups beef broth

  • 3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

  • Sprigs fresh Italian parsley for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lay the stew meat onto a dinner plate. Gently press paper towel into the meat to wick away any moisture. Throw paper towels away.
  • Sprinkle the stew meat with flour and toss gently to coat it. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  • On the cook-top: Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven. Sear the stew meat all over for several minutes. Once it starts to brown, remove the meat back to a clean dinner plate.
  • Add 1 more tbsp of vegetable oil to the pan. Add the onions and saute for several minutes or until they begin to go translucent. Scrape up any brown bits as you go. Next, add the garlic, carrots and celery. Continue to saute for 3 more minutes.
  • Add the wine and broth, stirring to scrape up and dissolve any browned bits. Finally, add the potatoes and Italian seasoning. Bring the stew to a simmer. Cover and turn off the heat.
  • Transfer the pot to the oven. Bake in the oven for 1.5 hours. The meat will become tender and the vegetables will have cooked through. Let the stew sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. The gravy will thicken more as it sits. Garnish with sprigs of fresh Italian parsley.


  • Choose a lighter-style dry red wine with moderate tannins such as Sangiovese (Chianti), Cabernet or Merlot. I recommend a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven such as Le Creuset for braising meats.
  • Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear your experience at northwestspoon.com

Nutrition Facts

6 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories300
  • % Daily Value *

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


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