My classic beef stew recipe features tender chunks of beef and vegetables is the perfect wintertime comfort food. Cozy and hearty, you just let the stew simmer for hours on the stove top then serve with crusty bread for a rib-sticking, soul-warming dish that never disappoints on a chilly day.
Looking for ways to use that chuck roast in your freezer? Try my saucy and rich beef ragu with pappardelle, a classic oven-braised pot roast, instant pot beef stew or fancy it up with a boeuf bourguignon version, or the most amazing beef birria tacos!
Make this Stovetop Beef Stew all Winter Long!
My old fashioned beef stew is a Sweet Tea + Thyme classic; a recipe I have been whipping up since I was 19, newly married, in our tiny apartment in Texas after a 22 hour drive from South Florida. We unpacked, I bought pots and pans from the local Walmart and H.E.B., and made my first pot of beef stew.
It was the first winter I had experienced since I was a kid in Virginia, and I really wanted to show out for not only my husband but the new friends we now had from his C school. A hearty beef stew on a cold night served up with yummy buttermilk biscuits.
Y'all...I poured red wine in it and ruined the whole thing! I did not know you're supposed to use a wine you like...surprise! I didn't like red wine, I didn't even drink! My husband had grabbed a random red wine from the store and well, lesson learned.
It wasn't until I went to culinary school a few years later that I learned how to work with wine in cooking. But we fell in love with this homemade stew sans the red wine way beforehand. While red wine in stews is delicious, my recipe never needed it.
So when you make this incredible beef stew without wine, know that it is something that has been tweaked and loved on for over 13 years. I've made it more times than I can count; learning just how to perfect that savoriness, the umami, tender (and not dry) beef...it's everything you want in a bowl full of pure comfort.
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Why You'll Love this Hearty Dutch Oven Beef Stew
- It's a one pot wonder - everything is done in your dutch oven, from searing the beef to simmering and serving!
- A perfect freezer-friendly recipe - it freezes beautifully and all you need to do is thaw and reheat for comfort food anytime.
- Alcohol-Free - this beef stew is made without wine, so you don't need to worry about any alcohol content; this going to be totally gobbled up by the family!
- This recipe has been developed by a classically trained chef over many years and is a favorite of many home cooks.
- Chef Knife and Cutting Board
- Vegetable Peeler
- Large Dutch Oven
- Wooden Spoon
Full ingredients, measurements, and printable instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Vegetable Oil - use a high heat oil you like, avocado oil works well.
- Beef Chuck Roast - buy it whole, cut it up yourself into bite-sized chunks. You'll end up with a way better stew than using stew meat.
- Carrots, Onions, and Celery - the classic mirepoix, the French basis to many dishes. These aromatics also add heartiness to our dish.
- Minced Garlic
- Tomato Paste - tomato paste is concentrated, cooked tomato umami condensed into this thick thing. A good spoonful adds a this stew has been simmering for fifteen hours kind of richness.
- Dried Herbs - I love using thyme and oregano when making stew, along with the stew-classic: a good ole bay leaf. But be careful with strong herbs like rosemary, too much can overpower the entire stew.
- Gold Potatoes - these are a creamy, buttery potato that hold their shape in stews and aren't too starchy.
- All Purpose Flour
- Beef Broth or Stock
- Worcestershire Sauce - this adds umami to the beef stew, a little more savoriness.
- Frozen Sweet Peas
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
Chuck Roast vs. Beef Stew Meat
There are plenty of great cuts of beef stew but the best cuts are the ones not labeled 'stew meat' at the grocery store.
In my opinion, chuck roast is the best cut of meat to use. It loves a long cooking time, making tender beef that is full of flavor.
'Stew Meat' are leftover scraps of random cuts of beef that the butcher was creating steaks and roasts with, so not only are they all different sizes but they are also made of different cuts.
In other words, if you're stewing scraps of sirloin, chuck, and maybe flank or tenderloin, it'll be a hot mess. They're all going to cook through at different times, some of them aren't meant to braise or stew for long periods of time so they'll be crumbly and dry, the others may not even be completely cooked through and still tough and full of sinew.
So the best thing to do is buy a whole cut of beef and then cut it into bite sized pieces. This not only will give you more control over what type of meat you're cooking with, but you will also have them in equal pieces. Or at least trying to be equal...definitely more equal than the stew beef.
How to Make Beef Stew without Wine
Step 1 | Sear your seasoned beef in a single layer over medium-high heat in a large pot. We want to brown the beef really well on at least 2 sides before removing from the pot and onto a plate.
Do this in batches; don't overcrowd, or you won't get a beautiful brown crust or get those good browned bits on the bottom!
Step 2 | Now sauté the veggies with the tomato paste over medium heat Season and get some color on them for 5-6 minutes, then at the last minute add the minced garlic and dried herbs. Let that cook for a minute.
Step 3 | Add flour and stir to combine, we want to cook out the raw flour and get everything coated in it. We're using this to thicken our stew as it simmers.
Step 4 | Gradually add in the beef stock or broth (splash some in and use your wooden spoon to scrape up those brown bits on the bottom of the pot), splash in the worcestershire sauce, add your browned beef chunks and a couple of bay leaves, and stir it all up.
Step 5 | Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then cook on low for 2.5 to 3 hours or until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally. It's a long cooking time, let it simmer to make sure the chuck's connective tissues breaks down.
Step 6 | At the end of the cook time, add in the peas to warm them through. We don't want to overcook them or they'll no longer be sweet and will become starchy and mushy.
Step 7 | Serve the beef stew hot with a slice of delicious homemade bread. I served it with my black pepper focaccia in these photos. So good.
- Do not use russet potatoes, they are very starchy and break down easily instead of holding its shape like waxy potatoes.
- Forgot to add the flour or is your stew just not thick enough? A little corn starch slurry (about 1 tablespoon water mixed into 1 tablespoon cornstarch) or, my preference, a beurre manié, mixed into your finished stew will result in a thicker stew.
- Honestly, this is a great make ahead meal. The rich flavors just get even better the next day!
- For the most flavorful, savory beef stew make sure you sear the beef in batches! That brown crust is the Maillard Reaction taking place, making that delicious flavor that only brown food can make!
- To make the stew taste richer add umami-packed ingredients like MSG, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, or porcini mushroom powder. This also helps fix a bland tasting stew. Sometimes you're just missing that umami punch!
Storage and Reheating
You can store the beef stew in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheat it on the stove top on medium low heat or in your microwave in a microwave-safe bowl until heated through.
To freeze the stew, put individual portions into freezer-safe zip-top bags or vacuum sealed bags to freeze flat. This not only saves space but it also helps with thawing the stew quicker.
When ready to thaw, put the frozen stew servings in the refrigerator to thaw overnight or on the counter for about an hour or two until soft enough to remove and heat in the saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl.
What to Serve with your Delicious Beef Stew
Beef stew is basically a complete meal on its own, but here are my favorite sides and options to serve with it.
- If I don't put potatoes into the soup, serving the stew over roasted garlic mashed potatoes is just *chef's kiss*.
- Serve over egg noodles for an easy twist that kids love (what kid doesn't love noodles?!)
- That crusty bread? I love either homemade sourdough loaf, crusty artisan bread, or homemade focaccia. Yum!
- Also: homemade cheddar bay biscuits. Cheesy, savory drop biscuits from heaven.
- Whip up some smoky Texas Roadhouse style green beans with bacon on the side!
- My husband will add rice to any soup or stew, it just makes it even heartier.
Yes you can! Cool the stew to room temperature, then transfer it all into freezer-safe containers or gallon-size freezer bags and freeze. Thaw in the fridge then reheat in a pot on the stove over medium heat until completely warmed through.
Use beef cuts that are great for braising. Chuck roast is perfect for beef stew since the connective tissues melt away after a few hours of simmering, leaving soft and tender beef.
Root vegetables are ideal: parsnips, potatoes, turnips, even rutabaga. They hold up to braising well. We can also think of other vegetables like pearl onions, green beans, peas, and mushrooms to bulk up our hearty stew.
More Cozy Soup and Stew Recipes:
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Dutch Oven Beef Stew Recipe without Wine
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 lbs beef chuck roast trimmed of excess fat and cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 medium carrots peeled and chopped to bite sized pieces
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 1 large yellow onion medium dice
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 7 medium yellow potatoes peeled and chopped to medium size
- 5 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 3 stems fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 stems fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups beef broth or stock
- ½ tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup frozen peas
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Heat vegetable oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Season the chuck roast cubes evenly with salt and pepper, then sear the beef in batches (as to not overcrowd the pot) to get a deep brown crust, about 2-3 minutes. Remove each batch with tongs or an asian spider to a large bowl or plate and continue searing each batch until all the meat is seared. Set the beef aside.
- Lower the temperature to medium, and add carrots, celery, and onion into the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and start to brown. Add the potatoes, garlic, and herbs and stir in for a minute, then stir in ¼ cup flour. Make sure the flour is coating the veggies well, there should be no dry flour in the pan.
- Stir while letting the flour cook through for about one minute, then add in a splash of beef broth and stir well. Then add about a cup of broth and stir well once again. It should look kind of like a paste, that's fine. Add another cup of the broth and stir well. Add the rest of the broth, stir again. Then add the beef and their juices from the bowl into the pot.
- Add worcestershire sauce and bay leaves, raise temperature to medium-high and let the pot come to a gentle simmer. After it comes to a simmer, lower the temperature to medium low and cover the pot with a lid.
- Let the beef stew simmer for 2.5 hours, check the beef for tenderness. If tender and ready to eat, then remove the lid for 15 minutes. If not, let it cook for another 30 minutes, then remove the lid for 15 to help thicken the stew.
- After 15 minutes has passed, stir in the frozen peas and let cook for another 5-10 minutes. Check stew for seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Remove bay leaves and serve the beef stew while hot.