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Dutch Oven Beef Stew

A hearty and delicious beef stew is the perfect meal to warm you up on a cold winter day. This beef stew is made with simple ingredients that are easy to find, and it’s cooked in a Dutch oven so the flavors develop beautifully.

The best part of this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, so it’s perfect for feeding a large crowd or for taking to a potluck. Plus, it reheats well so you can enjoy it all week long.

dutch oven pan filled with cooked beef stew with carrots potatoes and parsley

Benefits of this recipe

  1. This recipe has all of the traditional flavors of your childhood! Who doesn’t love tender cooked beef with veggies and a rich flavorful gravy/broth.
  2. Cooking a beef stew in a Dutch oven is the way to go for the best flavor. In the dutch oven the flavors have time to really develop and meld together. The meat becomes incredibly tender, and the vegetables soak up all of the delicious juices from the stew.
  3. You can make a huge batch and heat it up for easy leftover meals the entire week, and it’s also easy to repurpose the leftovers into new meals.
close up of beef stew in a blue bowl

What you’ll love about this recipe

This dutch oven beef stew is:

  • Hearty
  • Comforting
  • Simple to make
  • Great for leftovers
  • Can be made ahead of time
  • Freezer friendly
bowls filled with ingredients for beef stew (carrots, potatoes, meat, seasoning and broth)

Ingredients

beef stew meat – a lot of different cuts of meat can be used for stew meat, but typically with beef stew meat it comes from chuck roast. These pieces will be a bit tough and have connective tissues, but will break down with low and slow cooking into tender and flavorful bites of meat

onion – I love a yellow sweet onion in my stew because it gives the perfect amount of flavor without the bite

tapioca flour – you can use flour, cornstarch and more to thicken your stew, so use what you have on hand. If you’ve never used tapioca flour, give it a try. It thickens easily without being grainy or clumpy and stirs in easily. It’s also gluten free.

a box of organic beef bone broth

beef broth – I’d venture to say that just about every family makes their stew with a different liquid or combo of liquids. I really like beef broth, or stock for flavor. If I have it I might add a bit of red wine. My favorite option, though, is adding beef bone broth.

Bone broth has so many health benefits for your digestion, immune system and so much more so I love adding it to recipes like this.

carrots – I always suggest using regular carrots you peel yourself rather than baby carrots. I feel baby carrots lose their flavor and just aren’t as delicious.

potatoes – use a heartier potato like Yukon gold, baby red or other less starchy potato (don’t use russet) because they will hold their shape and texture while the stew cooks.

tomato paste – I love tomato paste for that compact tomato flavor without having tomato chunks in my stew. They belong in chili (in my opinion) and in my stew I just want the richness and all those antioxidants from the tomato paste.

sugar – totally optional, but I think this little bit cuts any acidity in the stew and helps the flavors caramelize and come together.

seasonings – traditional stew seasoning is mainly different dried herbs, so I once again like to keep it really simple and use my favorite herb and garlic seasoning blend plus a little extra salt.

dutch oven filled with cooked beef chunks, carrots and halved potatoes with a gravy

Tips for making this recipe


  • When browning the beef get the oil and the pan nice and hot. Then add the beef and don’t move it around. Let it sit there the full 4-5 minutes so that it truly gets brown and caramelized. Once it gets a nice sear, it should be easy to move and not stick, so that’s usually how you can tell.
  • Make sure to chop your veggies into larger chunks. This will help keep them from getting overcooked while the meat is cooking. You could add them a bit later, but I prefer not to hassle with it and prefer to throw everything in at once.
  • Beef should be fall apart tender when done cooking. If not, let it cook longer. It’s not pleasant to eat beef stew with chewy meat.

Swaps and Substitutions

  • You could make a pork stew by swapping out the beef for chunks of pork shoulder
  • Feel free to add more veggies – root veggies like parsnips and turnips can be added with the carrots and potatoes or add frozen corn and peas at the end of cooking time and let them heat through
  • If you don’t have tapioca flour you can thicken your stew with cornstarch, regular flour or arrowroot flour
  • Use water, beef stock, chicken broth, red wine or any combo of these in place of the beef broth.
overhead view of a bowl of beef stew topped with fresh chopped parsley

Beef Stew FAQ’s

What’s the secret to good stew?

Letting it cook long enough! The longer the better because the tougher cuts of meat used for stew will break down and become tender and all the flavors will develop.

Should I toss my stew meat in flour before browning?

Nope, no need. Because I like my stew a little thicker I do add some tapioca flour, but you can leave this out just as well.

What if I don’t have a dutch oven?

Stew is also delicious made in a pressure cooker. Also works well in a time crunch!

Which vegetables are best for a beef stew?

Traditional veggies for stew include root veggies like potatoes, onions, carrots, turnips, and parsnips. A few other delicious additions would be green beans, peas, corn and celery.

What are the best potatoes for beef stew?

Starchy potatoes like Yukon gold or red potatoes are best. Baking potatoes like russets will break down and become grainy.

dutch oven pan filled with cooked beef stew with carrots potatoes and parsley

Dutch Oven Beef Stew

Print Recipe
A hearty and delicious beef stew is the perfect meal to warm you up on a cold winter day. This beef stew is made with simple ingredients that are easy to find, and it's cooked in a Dutch oven so the flavors develop beautifully.
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Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • ¼ cup sweet onion peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour or cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 8 oz potatoes cut into large bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoons herb and garlic seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Heat oil in dutch oven over medium high heat
  • Add beef and cook on each side for 4-5 minutes until browned
  • Add onion and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally until onion starts to brown
  • Sprinkle with tapioca flour and stir to coat well
  • Slowly add broth while stirring to avoid any clumps
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer
  • Let simmer for 10 minutes
  • Cover with oven safe lid and place in oven for 60-90 minutes until beef and veggies are tender

Notes

  • When browning the beef get the oil and the pan nice and hot. Then add the beef and don’t move it around. Let it sit there the full 4-5 minutes so that it truly gets brown and caramelized. Once it gets a nice sear, it should be easy to move and not stick, so that’s usually how you can tell.
  • Make sure to chop your veggies into larger chunks. This will help keep them from getting overcooked while the meat is cooking. You could add them a bit later, but I prefer not to hassle with it and prefer to throw everything in at once.
  • Beef should be fall apart tender when done cooking. If not, let it cook longer. It’s not pleasant to eat beef stew with chewy meat.

Nutrition

Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 601mg | Potassium: 843mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5179IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 312kcal

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