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Classic Beef Stew

Want to sing? I knew you did….. “The weather outside is frightful but in here is so delightful and since we’ve no place to go, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!!!!!

*** this post was originally published on February 26, 2015 and has been updated for your convenience!***

(You’ll feel better if you get really obnoxious on that last part). (I know this is a Christmas song – but hey, who cares?). NOTE:  YOU DO NOT need snow to make a homemade beef stew recipe!

A close up photo of a black bowl full of classic beef stew showing how shiny the stew is.

Homemade Beef Stew Recipe

My philosophy on this weather is  ,”I can’t change it, so I’m just gonna go with it. So,  SING while you cook.

Since you can make this Classic Beef Stew in the crockpot you will have plenty of time for SINGING!

I was talking to my 95 year old patient yesterday and she said, “well, I don’t know what everyone is complaining about.

It’s winter – you don’t expect it to be warm and sunny in the winter. You expect snow in the winter and you just live with it”. True that. Wisdom comes with age my friend.

Cold weather begs to be celebrated with delectable rich recipes like an adobo chicken . One time, all full of my own cold weather and Christmas cheer,  I treated my bookclub to this deliciousness. Even Pioneer Woman loves to take some time making her Sunday afternoon stews! So, this is my version of a classic beef stew, comfy and homemade.

Here it is in the crockpot (bad kitchen lightly and all) ready for the lid to go on for 8 hours…

A photo of beef, celery, carrots and the other ingredients all loaded into the crockpot ready to make into classic beef stew

Everything loaded into the crockpot

WHAT DOES THIS HOMEMADE BEEF STEW TASTE LIKE?

Here is the rating from the Chief Tasting Officer, Mr. Loaves and Dishes, when I insisted that we save enough to make pictures for the website my grown husband actually pouted.

So I am hurrying to take the pictures for this post so that he can eat the rest. Food models are more than just a pretty face around here!

A black bowl of classic beef stew that is a pinnable image for pinterest that says "classic beef stew" and the website name on the photo

Homemade Beef Stew Recipe

Let me also answer a few questions I know you will have…

HOW TO MAKE THIS HOMEMADE BEEF STEW ON THE STOVE TOP

Follow the instructions through browning the meat. Then add 2 cups of water and put all of the ingredients in a medium to large size stew pot. Set on low and simmer, stirring frequently until the beef is falling apart tender. (2-4 hours).

HOW TO MAKE THIS HOMEMADE BEEF STEW IN THE OVEN

Brown the meat in the bottom of a dutch oven in 1 tbs of oil. Add the 2 cups of water to the dutch oven and scrape up the flavorful bits that have no doubt stuck to the bottom of the dutch oven. Place all the other ingredients in the pot. Put the lid on tightly and place into a preheated 350 degree oven. Cook for 3-5 hours until the beef yields easily when pierced with a fork.

HOW TO MAKE THIS HOMEMADE BEEF STEW IN THE PRESSURE COOKER

Brown the meat in the bottom of the pressure cooker, add the other ingredients and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes and then allow to release naturally.

CAN THIS BEEF STEW BE FROZEN?

Yes, once it is cooked completely and cooled, you can seal it into zip lock freezer storage bags and freeze for up to 3 months.

HOW LONG DOES THIS BEEF STEW KEEP?

Once cooked and placed into the refrigerator, this beef stew keeps very well for 3-5 days.

HOW LONG CAN YOU ALLOW THE BEEF STEW TO SIT OUT?

Once cooked and cooled, do not allow it to sit out longer than 2 hours before refrigerating.

HOW DO I REHEAT MY BEEF STEW?

  1. You can reheat this beef stew by placing the amount you want to serve in a medium sized sauce pot and heat over medium heat on the stovetop until heated through and bubbly.
  2. If you prefer to reheat in the oven, place into an oven safe dish, cover with aluminum foil or lid and heat at 350 for about 20-30 minutes.
  3. You may also reheat in the microwave by placing into a microwave safe bowl (make sure to lay something on top or you’ll have exploded carrots everywhere, a papertowel will do) and reheat on high for 1 minute. Stir and continue reheating in 30 second intervals until heated through.

WHAT OTHER THINGS CAN I ADD TO MY HOMEMADE BEEF STEW?

There are a long list of ingredients that you can add and those include…

  • Use beer instead of water
  • Other herbs and spices can be added such as chili powder, cayenne, cardamom, majoram, curry etc.
  • Apples
  • Potatoes
  • Other veggies that you need to use up that are in your fridge.
  • Use broth instead of water in the recipe.
  • Add a bouillon cube for more flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese always bumps up flavor.

HOW TO THICKEN MY HOMEMADE CLASSIC BEEF STEW

If you follow the instructions in the recipe card, the beef stew should be thick enough, but if you want yours thicker here are some ways to do that…

  1. Pour the beef stew into a large stockpot and heat over medium high. The stew will cook down and thicken up as it does so.
  2. In the very first steps when you are browning the meat, roll it in flour first. The flour will cause the stew to be more thick. (I only recommend this if you have already tried the stew before and it wasn’t thick enough for your liking).
  3. In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbs of corn starch with 2 Tbs of cold water. Mix well and the cornstarch will dissolve and look like milk. Pour this into your beef stew and stir well. Allow about 5 minutes and the stew will be thicker. If this is not thick enough repeat using 1 Tbs cornstarch and 1 Tbs cold water.

 

A small white bowl of beef stew sitting on a white saucer with a piece of yellow cheese beside it

Homemade Classic Beef Stew Recipe

A COMPLETE MEAL WITH CLASSIC BEEF STEW

Seriously, we often JUST have this stew for dinner, BUT if you want a few side dishes, then I recommend..

Serve this homemade beef stew over the top of some classic mashed potatoes

You might want to pan roast a crunchy veggie like asparagus or perhaps a zesty cucumber tomato salad 

Then, of course, serve a flavorful and cherry dessert like Easy Cherry Cobbler!

You might also be interested in this Ultimate guide to ground beef

A black bowl sitting on a dark gray background. The bowl is full of classic beef stew that is shiny and full of orange carrots

Classic Beef Stew

Ya’ll Help Me Out, OK?

Scroll on down to the bottom of the page and leave me a 5 STAR  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 comment, ok? This helps the rest of the internet to know that THIS is the place for the BEST home cooking recipes! 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   is what we need to get there and I know you can help me out that way. You can leave a comment if you have a question, think you might make this recipe one day, if you ever made this recipe or if you just think it looks good!

THE RECIPE FOR CLASSIC BEEF STEW

Classic Beef Stew in a white bowl with spoons and a cheddar cheese slice

Classic Beef Stew

This recipe for Classic Beef Stew is delicious and easy to make in your own crockpot at home. Fix it and forget it!  The post includes instructions for how to make this recipe on the stovetop, in the oven and in a pressure cooker as well. 
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade beef stew recipe, classic beef stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Stew Beef – cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or one fresh clove garlic minced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp tumeric
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 large carrots – quartered and cut into small pie shaped pieces
  • 3 celery stalks – halved and cut into small pieces
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Instructions

  • Brown meat in the olive oil in a skillet on the stove top over medium high heat (2-3 minutes). Place into crock pot
  • Add the 2 cups of water and all ingredients to the crock pot. Cook in crock pot on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  • 30 minutes before serving, in a small bowl mix 2 Tbs of cold water and 2 tbs of corn starch together and mix until corn starch is dissolved. Once dissolved, add to the crock pot. Add the packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix as well. Remove the Bay Leaves before serving

Notes

This recipe can be easily frozen once cooked.  Place in ziplock freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Once cooked, this recipe will keep 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
To reheat this recipe: 
  1. You can reheat this beef stew by placing the amount you want to serve in a medium sized sauce pot and heat over medium heat on the stovetop until heated through and bubbly.  
  2. If you prefer to reheat in the oven, place into an oven safe dish, cover with aluminum foil or lid and heat at 350 for about 20-30 minutes. 
  3. You may also reheat in the microwave by placing into a microwave safe bowl (make sure to lay something on top or you'll have exploded carrots everywhere, a papertowel will do) and reheat on high for 1 minute.  Stir and continue reheating in 30 second intervals until heated through.
You might want to experiment with this recipe by adding some of your own ingredients according to your tastes: 
  • Use beer instead of water 
  • Other herbs and spices can be added such as chili powder, cayenne, cardamom, majoram, curry etc. 
  • Apples
  • Potatoes
  • Other veggies that you need to use up that are in your fridge. 
  • Use broth instead of water in the recipe.
  • Add a bouillon cube for more flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese always bumps up flavor.
While this recipe makes 8 servings, you can easily increase or decrease the servings by multiplying (or dividing) the ingredients according to how many people you will have.  If making a different amount, you might need to increase or decrease the cooking time accordingly. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Classic Beef Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 300
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

A VERSE TO SHARE

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23

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Recipe Rating




Cathy Gibson

Tuesday 6th of August 2019

I'm making stew this week. I love that you give directions for cooking the stew on the stovetop; in the oven, the crockpot, the pressure cooker and you answer every conceivable question a person could ask. Personally, I like the oven method. I think it's easier and faster. I normally cook dinner the night before so it's ready to go after work.

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 7th of August 2019

Hi Cathy! Thanks so much for leaving a comment. This really is my classic stew favorite and you can make it any ol way your heart desires. I usually make it either in a dutch oven in the oven or in the crockpot. I love the slow cooking goodness that either of those impart. You are smart to make things the night before! Have a great day at work today and enjoy!

Shon

Wednesday 12th of December 2018

Beef Stew was great! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 12th of December 2018

Shon! Thanks!

Joyce Coleman

Friday 19th of October 2018

This stew sounds and looks delicious! I will definitely make it very soon! So much fun to cook these yummy winter recipes.

Wendi Spraker

Sunday 21st of October 2018

Thank you so much Joyce! I hope you'll pop back in and let me know how it went!

Nadine

Friday 19th of October 2018

Looks and sounds so good! Pinned for later! Thank you!

Wendi Spraker

Friday 19th of October 2018

Nadine! Thank you so much! I hope you LOVE it!

JimmyP

Thursday 20th of September 2018

You ever try Irish Beef Stew , as the majority of folks in the South came here from Irish / Scott descendent, also read your Pinto Bean - I’ve been using the better than bullion fer about 8 yrs now maybe , it’s good stuff ,

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 20th of September 2018

Hi Jimmy! Thanks for visiting! Tell me about Irish Beef Stew and you favorite thing about it? Thanks for leaving a comment!

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