Classic Beef Stew Recipe
Classic Beef Stew Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Classic Beef Stew Recipe

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Here's a good old-fashioned stew with rich beef gravy that lets the flavor of the potatoes and carrots come through. This is the perfect hearty dish for a blustery winter day. I make it often this time of year. — Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 2-1/2 hours
MAKES:6-8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 2-1/2 hours
MAKES: 6-8 servings


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed beef broth, undiluted
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced celery (1-inch lengths)

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 245 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 751mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 24g protein.


  1. In a Dutch oven, brown beef in batches in oil; drain. Return all meat to the pan. Add onions, tomatoes, broth, tapioca, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  2. Cover stew and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Stir in carrots, potatoes and celery. Bake, covered, 1 hour longer or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Classic Beef Stew in Taste of Home December/January 1994, p37

Light-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir.

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2124arizona User ID: 845443 268369
Reviewed Jun. 24, 2017

"An extra special meal when the weather turns cool."

No_Time_To_Cook User ID: 6334849 263653
Reviewed Mar. 19, 2017

"Very good.. made it exactly per the recipe!"

PrplMonky5 User ID: 6612040 260170
Reviewed Jan. 23, 2017

"I made various tweaks based on several reviews. I also did cut this recipe in half.

I first coated the beef with flour and a little salt and pepper. I browned it in 1 tbsp canola oil. (medium-high heat, turning after about 1-2 minutes). I removed the beef, then put in the garlic and 1/8 C red wine and let it cook for about 1 minutes. I then added all the ingredients stated above back into the pan and brought it to a boil. Instead of just dried parsley, I did use 1/2 tbsp Italian mix (and omitted the bay leaf). Per others' suggestions I used the entire can of broth, and added in an additional 1/8C of wine.
My oven runs a tad hot, so I cooked it at 340deg for 45 minutes, added in the veggies, then cooked for an additional 1 hour. I turned off the oven and kept it in there for an additional 15 minutes with the residual heat while I baked some biscuits to go with the stew.
IT WAS SO GOOD. beef was so tender, the flavor was delicious. It had a slightly thick base, but not too thick. It was perfect for a cold rainy night. I will DEFINITELY be making this again."

chamie7 User ID: 1125417 259595
Reviewed Jan. 13, 2017

"The best I've tasted yet!"

Debbie User ID: 8985258 258101
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2016


Laura User ID: 8983838 257953
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2016

"I've been looking for a good beef stew recipe for years, and my family LOVED this. It was wonderfully flavored, tender, and perfectly thickened. As others mentioned, the key is using tapioca rather than flour to thicken the "gravy." I did make the following changes based on reviews and/or my own preferences: I used Adolph's tenderizer on the meat before browning and omitted the salt. As recommended, I increased the liquid (to 3 cups) by combining 2 3/4 c. of water with 1/4 c. of balsamic vinegar and 1 T. beef bouillon granules. I increased the amount of garlic to 6 and flattened them rather than mincing. I added an extra bay leaf, measured the carrots to 1-lb, and increased the celery to 1 1/2 cups. I added all the veggies at the beginning and cooked everything for two hours in a cast iron Dutch oven, and they did not overcook at all. I will double the recipe next time, because this barely fed our family of 6 with conservative serving portions."

_nlfPA User ID: 1879224 255166
Reviewed Oct. 8, 2016

"This is an excellent dish for cold winter days. A real stick to your ribs kind of dish.

It is so good and so easy to put together."

lucky2 User ID: 1834774 255078
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2016

"I have almost the same recipe I have been using for years and it's the TAPIOCA that makes the difference! Don't substitute it!!

Pat K."

603linda User ID: 819056 255061
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2016

"Someone commented on long cooking time. Have you ever had beef stew before? It takes time for meat to get tender."

amygerman15 User ID: 6030819 246456
Reviewed Apr. 2, 2016

"My husband and I loved it. My picky kids really liked it too. I should have doubled the broth as someone suggested. I did use cornstarch instead of tapioca."

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