We Made The Pioneer Woman Beef Stew and It’s the Easiest Winter Dish

We tested The Pioneer Woman's beef stew recipe and can confirm: It's one heck of a tasty stew.

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Winter is the best time to prepare warm, cozy meals that make your mouth water. If you’re anything like me, as soon as the temperature drops a few degrees, I pull out all of my soup and stew recipes and start plotting. This year, I decided to test out a recipe that has gained notoriety for how delicious it is. Enter: The Pioneer Woman beef stew.

Ree Drummond’s famous stew features a variety of root vegetables in all of their slow-cooked goodness, along with a beer-based broth. Without needing any excuse to pull out my Dutch oven, I put the recipe to the test.

Pioneer Woman Beef Stew Substitutions

Since I am slightly allergic to beer (and am skeptical about the tomato paste), I chose to make a few substitutions: 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar for the Worcestershire, 2 small potatoes instead of 2 parsnips, and 1 spoonful of honey to help thicken the sauce (rather than the tomato paste).

The potatoes add another benefit: Since I did not include beer in my stew, the starch from the potatoes helped create the same effect as incorporating the beer. For a less starchy vegetable, stick with the parsnips.

How to Make The Pioneer Woman Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

Toh 3 2 Ft Gettyimages 693116868 Hero Pioneer Wm Beef Stew Maria Lewczyk For TohErin Dickman for Taste of Home, Getty Images

The Pioneer Woman beef stew is fairly simple to follow, and it takes about 3 hours to complete. Since most of the time is spent in a Dutch oven, this beef stew is easy and simple for anyone to prepare. For this recipe, I used the Our Place Always ceramic nonstick pan, but any Dutch oven would work. This recipe yields 8 servings.

1 Pioneer Wm Beef Stew Maria Lewczyk For TohErin Dickman for Taste of Home


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can of beer (I did not include)
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (Optional substitution: 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste (I did not include)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, add more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, add more to taste
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 parsnips, sliced (Optional substitution: 2 small potatoes, sliced)
  • 1 turnip, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, optional
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional


Step 1: Brown the beef

2 Pioneer Wm Beef Stew Maria Lewczyk For TohErin Dickman for Taste of Home

Heat the olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven or ceramic nonstick pan at medium heat. Once the pot is thoroughly heated, add the beef and brown on both sides. I added a little bit of salt and pepper at this stage to help extract some of the natural flavors of the meat, but this is optional. Once cooked, remove the beef from the pot and place aside.

Step 2: Cook aromatics

Add onions and garlic to the pot. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until translucent.

Step 3: Add the broth mixture

3 Pioneer Wm Beef Stew Maria Lewczyk For TohErin Dickman for Taste of Home

Add beer, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, sugar and paprika to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly. During this stage, I used distilled white vinegar and a spoonful of honey, and did not include the tomato paste.

Step 4: Add back the stew meat

Add the cooked beef stew meat back into the pot. Cover and simmer at a low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender enough to pull apart with a fork.

Editor’s Note: During this stage, feel free to add more broth if needed to keep the liquid level high in the pot.

Step 5: Stir in the root veggies

Add the parsnips, turnips and carrots to the pot and mix. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has reduced further. During this stage, I used potatoes instead of parsnips. They are prepared and cooked the same way.

Step 6: Thicken the broth, if needed

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If the beef stew looks too liquidy, The Pioneer Woman recipe suggests taking out a little bit of the broth liquid and mixing it with the optional 2 tablespoons of flour. This creates a slurry. Once added back to the stew, it will help thicken up the broth into a more sauce-like texture. Simmer for about 10 more minutes, adding more slurry mixture as needed to reach desired thickness.

Step 7: Top with parsley and serve

Once thoroughly cooked, remove from heat and set aside. Add parsley to the stew and mix evenly. Distribute the stew into serving bowls, and top with fresh parsley. Hungry for more? Check out our favorite Pioneer Woman’s pot roast recipe.

Here’s What I Thought

5 Pioneer Wm Beef Stew Maria Lewczyk For TohErin Dickman for Taste of Home

What an incredible stew! Growing up in the South, stews have been a large part of my diet, so I am familiar with a slow-cooked pot of meat. But Ree Drummond’s beef stew took it to another level. The tender meat mixed with the sweetness of the sauce creates such a delicious balance that is simply to die for.

My only critique is that I would include more salt and pepper after introducing each new ingredient. This is not a large note, since everyone is different in their flavor preference.

The Pioneer Woman beef stew would pair nicely with mashed potatoes, cheese grits or on a simple bed of rice. I served mine in a large bowl with the serving pot close by just in case I needed those seconds.

Maria Lewczyk
Maria is a writer with more than 10 years of experience in the world of food. She incorporates elements of history, culture and community into her recipe creations and is currently writing her first cookbook. At Taste of Home, her articles have ranged from techniques for making perfect pork chops to the secrets behind macaroni salad. She’s even written about birthday cakes for cats! Maria is also a personal cook for Atlanta locals and has contributed recipes to zines, community gatherings and brand partnerships.