Old Fashioned Beef Stew Recipe

Old fashioned beef stew is a simple and hearty meal that is easy to make and everyone loves! Rich broth, tender meat and flavorful veggies are the sign of a great old fashioned beef stew recipe. I like to use tons of different root vegetables in my beef stew, if you are not feeling the ones I have selected then change them out for ones you like better.

Stove Top Beef Stew

Old fashioned beef stew can easily be made on the stove top.  Use a good heavy pot to decrease the chance or burning or uneven cooking. Keep your stew pot on simmer for 2 or 3 hours at least, to help make the meat tender and really develop a rich broth. You should stir the stew occasionally and be sure to scrap the bottom of the pot well to ensure it will not stick or burn. Many people who don’t want to watch their stove top beef stew will just pop the stew into a slow cooker on high for 3 hours or longer on low. You will know you have cooked the stew long enough when the beef and veggies are tender.

Store Bought vs Homemade Beef Broth

If you love thick beef stew you may want to do the added work of making my homemade beef bone broth, the collagen in the broth will add flavor and thickness to your stew. If you are sticking with store bought beef broth no problem, your stew is still going to be better than any old fashion beef stew that comes from a can! Making the bone broth is not a very hard process and one batch of roasted bones will yield 8-10 cups of broth.

How do you make a stew thicker?

There are a few tricks for making sure this beef stew or any soup you make is nice and thick. First using homemade stock (chicken or beef depending on the recipe) will thicken you soups as it has collagen that canned broth doesn’t. You also need a thickener like flour or corn starch. In this recipe the beef is dredged in flour before searing adding plenty of flour to thicken the broth, other recipes use a rue.  Just be sure you use the same pot to brown the meat as you will use to make the stew, you don’t want to lose any of the flavorful thickener. In recipes that you don’t use flour you can mix cold water and few tablespoons of corn starch together to make a slurry that when added to soup will thicken a stew instantly.

Can you freeze beef stew?

Freezing beef stew is a great way to plan a hearty homemade meal for the future that will be no added work. I like to freeze the stew in large plastic bags that I freeze flat on a small baking sheet so that they are easy to store on my freezer shelves. Simply reheat the stew either on the stove top or in the microwave. If you want to add a bit of freshness to the reheated soup sprinkle some fresh herbs like parsley on top.

Old Fashioned Beef Stew

Course Soup
Keyword beef stew
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tbs Italian spice blend
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 4 ribs celery chopped
  • 3 large carrots chopped but not peeled
  • 3 medium red potatoes cubed
  • 1 small rutabaga peeled and cubed
  • 3 small turnips peeled and cubed
  • 4 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cloves garlic diced
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dry bay leaves
  • 5 cups homemade beef bone broth or store bought
  • Salt and lots of pepper


  1. Trim you beef stew meat into equal sized chunks, often the meat you get at the store as stew meat is not uniform. Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil over medium heat in your stew pot. Mix the flour, Italian spice and 2 tbs of salt together and put in a shallow bowl or plate. Dredge the beef in the flour mix, shake off excess. Working in batches brown the beef and set aside. Add more olive oil as needed to the pan.
  2. Once the beef is all browned add the onion, celery and carrot to the pot. Sprinkle the veggies with salt. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring often, and scrapping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  3. When the onions are a little bit transparent add the tomato paste and stir until it is fragrant and mixed through. Then add the garlic, cook for about 2 minutes and pour in the wine and Worcestershire. Stir, be sure anything stuck to the bottom of the pot is dissolved. Add the other cubed vegetables, beef broth, ground pepper, and 2 bay leaves to the pot.
  4. Once the stew reaches a soft boil turn the pot down to a simmer and let cook for 2-3 hours on the low/simmer setting, stir it occasionally. Leave the lid off unless it seems that too much liquid has evaporated. If you don’t want to leave a pot on the stove unattended a crockpot would work great for this and you will not need to stir.
  5. Before serving taste the stew and adjust the flavors, add more salt or Worcestershire as needed.

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