What’s For Dinner? Beef Stew

This Beef Stew recipe is a classic!  Full of tender beef, seasonal vegetables and delicious gravy!  Enjoy with mashed potatoes or homemade popovers!
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I really love classic meals, the back-to-basics kinds like this Beef Stew.  Sometimes we forget to make and enjoy old tried and true recipes that have withstood the test of time.  But when we do create them, we are instantly taken back to the days of our youth, with the delicious smells of dinner simmering on the stove.  I love that.
You may have your own family recipe for a classic like Beef Stew,  but it’s always nice to have options right?  I thought I would share this delicious stew recipe that our family enjoys.  It is rich and very delicious.
Classic Beef Stew {A Pretty Life}
I don’t like to overcomplicate my stew, so I keep the ingredients very basic…chunks of beef, garden fresh carrots, onions and potatoes.  Some celery and simple herbs.  But the key to a good stew is in the browning of the beef.  The browning and all the bits left in the pan after browning are what creates the rich, deep flavour for the gravy.  Make sure you scrape all those bits up when you’re sauteing your vegetables!
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Classic Beef Stew {A Pretty Life}
This is a really flavourful and meaty dish that’s perfect for cold nights. The gravy is nice and rich, and wonderful on mashed potatoes or popovers!  Enjoy!
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Classic Beef Stew

20 minPrep Time

1 hr, 45 Cook Time

2 hr, 5 Total Time

Save Recipe


    Step 1: Browning Beef
  • 2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (you will likely need more)
  • Step 2: Sauteed Vegetables
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Step 3: Adding Stock
  • 2 - 284 mL cans undiluted beef consomme
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Step 4: Adding Vegetables
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks


    Step 1: Browning Beef
  1. Heat up about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in the pot you are going to simmer your stew in.
  2. Season the meat with pepper, basil and oregano.
  3. Add the flour to a shallow dish, then dredge the seasoned meat in the flour. Shake off excess flour.
  4. Brown the beef, in small batches to avoid overcrowding.
  5. Repeat until all of the meat is browned. You just want to brown it, not cook it. Also you will find that you will likely need to add more oil with each batch.
  6. When the meat is browned, transfer it over to a bowl or plate to rest, and set aside.
  7. Step 2: Sauteed Vegetables
  8. In the same pan that was used to brown the meat, if needed, add 1 tbsp oil, and cook the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan (this is where all the good flavour comes from!)
  9. Step 3: Adding Stock
  10. Once the veggies are cooked, turn the heat under the pot to med-high, and add the consomme, water, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and browned beef. Bring to a light boil, then turn down to low-med heat, cover with a lid, and cook for about 1 hour.
  11. Stir as necessary so the mixture doesn't burn to the bottom of the pot.
  12. Step 4: Adding Vegetables
  13. After the 1 hour cooking time, add the big chunks of carrots, celery and potatoes.
  14. Simmer for 30-45 minutes more, or until the meat is tender and the veggies are cooked. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.

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Tips for the perfect beef stew!

As I mentioned before, make sure to scrape up all the bits left over from browning the beef, as they are what makes the gravy so flavourful!

As you brown your beef, make sure you are using enough oil, you don’t want the beef to stick and burn to the bottom of the pan.  Add more as necessary.

If you like, you can add parsnips to your stew.  If you do, you may just need to add a little extra water.

If the stew gravy ends up being too thin, add 1-2 tbsp of kneaded butter.  Kneaded butter is equal parts flour and butter, mixed into a paste.  This is a trick I learned from the Joy of Cooking.  Don’t add too much or your gravy will taste floury.

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Classic Beef Stew {A Pretty Life}
Then pour yourself a glass of red wine and enjoy!  Have a delicious day!
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  • Reply Barb November 1, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    I can attest – this is delicious!! and I LOVE your header – so fresh!

  • Reply Sugarr2518 November 1, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    I can’t remember the last time I had beef stew and seeing this makes me what to make it this week!!! It looks tasty:)

  • Reply Judy @ Contented at Home November 1, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    This looks so delicious! Adding to Pinterest. 🙂

  • Reply Carrie November 1, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    Looks so good! We are having beef stew tonight as well, I had left over pot roast that I turned into a stew.

  • Reply Catie @ Catie's Corner November 1, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    Oh, yum! Can’t you drop some by around 5:30?? Thanks! =)

    ~ Catie

  • Reply alissa {33shadesofgreen} November 2, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    I don’t actually have a standby beef stew recipe – this may become the one! Looks delicious. I’m so ready for good comfort food like this now that it’s cold out! Thanks so much for linking up!

  • Reply Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) November 2, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    My kids just love it! Great blog and lovely recipe! Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  • Reply Kim Bee November 2, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Yah, a fellow Canuck in blogland. So nice to meet you. This recipe is amazing. I love stew. Yours looks so tasty.

  • Reply Lindsay @ Delighted Momma November 2, 2011 at 4:18 AM

    Oooh looks like a wonderful meal! I love stews..your recipe sounds perfecto!

  • Reply Q @ JAQS November 2, 2011 at 5:29 AM

    Love beef stew – yours look great!

    Love for you to link up at:
    “Made by ME” Linky Party at JAQS at

  • Reply Emily November 2, 2011 at 5:35 AM

    looks like a great meal for a cool fall evening! Would love for you to come over and share this at my Tasty Tuesday Party going on now!

  • Reply SnoWhite November 2, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    I need a good beef stew recipe! This looks like one we can enjoy 🙂

  • Reply Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos November 2, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    This is exactly the recipe I’ve been looking for! Looks delicious!

  • Reply lolly November 4, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    My mouth is watering looking at this! Reminds me I found a butternut squash and beef stew recipe in my new cooking light mag last night. Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply Christine knapkins_com November 8, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Hi Jo-Anna, Your Stew recipe has been selected by Knapkins to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. To play, go here: Congrats again!! 🙂

  • Reply AmyfromCB July 14, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    I ran across your recipe today on Pinterest, and it made my mouth water I had to go home and make it, even though it’s 100 degrees outside! It was amazing, my husband told me the left overs won’t last until the morning:) thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • Reply LAUREN STAGNER February 16, 2015 at 3:35 PM


    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife February 16, 2015 at 3:45 PM

      Hi Lauren
      I’ve made this recipe quite a few times and it is enough. But if if doesn’t look like enough for your stew, maybe add some beef broth to your pot.

      • Reply LAUREN STAGNER February 16, 2015 at 3:47 PM


  • Reply kira Paran October 3, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    Looks amazing, trying it this week!

  • Reply Karen @ Seasonal Cravings October 8, 2016 at 5:00 AM

    I love a classic beef stew and especially love that my kids will eat it! This looks delicious!

  • Reply Randi Hofmann October 25, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    In the ingredient actual list you do not say potatoes.
    I would never make a stew without them anyway and later you mention them but it should say it.

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife October 25, 2016 at 3:14 PM

      Hi Randi! The potatoes are listed in step 4 of the recipe. We love potatoes in our stew!

  • Reply Randi Hofmann October 25, 2016 at 4:03 PM

    Ok I made it.
    Very good but I needed in my opinion to add Thyme and to cook the beef in bacon fat and a bit of olive oil.
    Just gave it a much richer flavor.
    I was very surprised by the oregano and basil in beef stew and not Thyme but used your recipe and tweaked.
    My only personal issue is that I will only use grass fed and finished beef and that takes way longer to soften as it just does not have much fat in it.
    Next time I will try for organic beef which still should have the fat marbling I want.
    Thank you for this unique different recipe.

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife October 25, 2016 at 4:08 PM

      You are very welcome! I love that you tweaked the recipe and made it work for you! That’s what I love the most about sharing recipes!

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