This old fashioned beef and vegetable stew is easy to prepare and is slow cooked to perfection. The stew is rich, hearty and flavourful, and the beef is oh so tender. This is the very best beef stew recipe you will find – a traditional winter classic that is bound to become a family favourite.
I find most recipes these days are focused around the trend of fast cooking. We want recipes that can be pumped out in 5 seconds flat and preferably made faster with an Instant Pot. But there is value in traditional cooking methods, and they certainly have their time and place.
This Beef and Vegetable Stew is quick to prep, but it does require a slow roast in the oven for 3 hours. Sure, it’s not a weeknight wonder by any stretch of the imagination. But it is absolutely worthy of bookmarking for a slow Sunday.
This beef stew is a nod to the past. To a time when there were no cooking shortcuts or hacks. Just the smell of slow cooking meat in the oven wafting through the house for hours.
Why you’ll love this recipe…
- The MOST meltingly tender beef and vegetables – slow cooked to perfection
- Quick prep
- Minimal hands-on time
- Flavourful and family friendly
BEEF AND VEGETABLE STEW INGREDIENTS
Don’t be daunted by the long list – most of these are vegetables. I’ve individually listed the vegetables I generally use with the stew but feel free to mix and match with what you have in the fridge. Here’s what you’ll need on your shopping list (full measurements in the recipe card below)…
- Olive Oil
- Chuck Beef / Chuck Casserole Steak
- Brown Onion
- Garlic Cloves
- Tomato Paste
- Mixed Herbs
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Beef Stock
- Pumpkin / Butternut Squash
- Frozen Peas
- Salt & Pepper
WHAT IS THE BEST MEAT FOR STEW?
I’m going to be honest with you guys here – the cheapest and fattiest bits of beef are often the best for stew. The long cook time breaks down these cuts of beef and makes it really tender. The more expensive, leaner cuts? They become dry and tough in the process. No thank you.
I recommend using chuck beef. In Australia it’s sometimes called chuck casserole steak. Same difference. Buy it in chunks or buy the steak whole and cut it up.
MUST NOT SKIP – BROWNING THE BEEF
I know that going to the extra effort of browning the beef sounds like a hassle but trust me, you don’t want to skip this step. Plus you brown it in the same pot as you cook the whole stew in so it’s not creating any more dishes!
Sit the beef in the pot for a few minutes to get a nice dark crust, then flip and do the other side. This creates more a more rich flavour, and you’ll be rewarded at the end of the process with a far superior stew. Just do it.
HOW TO MAKE BEEF AND VEGETABLE STEW – STEP BY STEP
Help – my stew is too runny
Your stew should have a gravy-like consistency at the end of the 3 hours cooking time. Not too runny, but with enough liquid that you have something to mop up with some crusty bread.
Sometimes, though, we may have been a bit too heavy handed with the stock, or didn’t have enough veggies in the pot, and find the consistency is more soup-like. Delicious but soup-like.
Don’t fret if this happens. Here’s a few ways you can thicken up your stew:
- Make a cornflour slurry – If you find your stew is too watery I’d suggest first mixing another 3 tsp of cornflour with 1/4 cup of water, then mix into the stew. Instead of placing the stew back in the oven, place the pot on the stove at medium heat and allow to cook for a few minutes.
- Reduce it down – Leave the stew on medium heat and let the liquid evaporate. You run the risk of overcooking with this method, but it is useful for when your stew has only a little too much liquid and is only on the stove for a short time.
- Add some grains – Add some pearl barley, rice or beans and allow to cook through absorption. This will naturally thicken your stew.
STORING BEEF AND VEGETABLE STEW
This stew will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days, or place it in the freezer for up to three months.
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- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 500 g / 1.1 lbs Chuck Beef / Chuck Casserole Steak, diced
- 1 Brown Onion, diced
- 2 Potatoes, skin on, cut into large chunks (I used white)
- 4 Carrots, cut into large chunks
- 200 g / 7 oz Pumpkin / Butternut Squash, cut into large chunks (I used kent pumpkin)
- ½ head Cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 cup Frozen Peas
- 3 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Mixed Herbs, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, oregano
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 litres / 6 cups Beef Stock
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 3 tsp Cornflour, mix with ¼ cup cold water
- Salt + Pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 160C / 320F.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in dutch oven or oven proof pot over medium-high heat.
- Brown meat is 2 batches, then set aside in a bowl.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil and add brown onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until onion has softened.
- Add paprika, mixed herbs, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add meat, stock, potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and cauliflower and season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
- Cover and place in the oven for 2 ½ hours.
- Add peas and cornflour mixture, stir to combine and place back into oven uncovered for a further 30 minutes.
- Serve on its own or with some crusty bread. Enjoy!
MUST NOT SKIP
- Browning the beef is an important step. Make sure you do it in batches so the meat gets a good sear.
- I've put down the vegetables I usually use but feel free to use what you have on hand.
- Can sub arrowroot flour for cornflour. I use the same ratio.
- You should get 6 average sized bowls of stew from this recipe.
- First published 5th May 2018. Updated 16th July 2019 with new photos, tips & tricks. No changes to the recipe.
- Nutrition information is from a nutrition calculator and is based on one serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: bowl
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 532 Saturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 86mg Sodium: 1073mg Carbohydrates: 47g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 13g Protein: 39g