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Classic Beef Stew Recipe

Classic Beef Stew Recipe

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 YIELD: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)


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Classic Beef Stew

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Susie77 User ID: 98373 269069
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2017

"This is wonderfully-flavored, tender, and healthy as well.... esp. if you can find low-sodium broth or you make your own. You can save money (and calories too) by buying an inexpensive roast on sale and cutting it up to make your own stew meat."

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."

s_pants User ID: 174050 244691
Reviewed Feb. 29, 2016

"Everyone loved it. I doubled the broth to begin with as suggested and also used cornstarch instead of tapioca."

chsteachermom User ID: 2198507 243883
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2016

"Made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it!! Only changes I made is I floured the beef before browning and added a little merlot wine. It was delicious and the beef was so tender!! So worth the extra cooking time!"

dawn537464 User ID: 8765689 243560
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2016

"LOVED IT. this stew is DELICIOUS and turns out PERFECT. I made it four times in two months I strayed from the recipe ever so slightly. I flowered the beef before browning, I sauteed the onions for a few minutes and added about 1/2 cup red wine t onions before I added everything else to the pot. I also threw in about a cup more broth like the other reviewers say. It will be obvious as you see how thick it becomes."

kramerstacey15 User ID: 5709757 242089
Reviewed Jan. 19, 2016

"This was delicious! My entire family loved it."

Im Tee User ID: 5119996 236375
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2015

"My hubby's favorite stew! easy and fast. Very tasty."

skipperstrucking User ID: 4577232 233694
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2015

"Great stew. Followed recipe with only one substitution (used cornstarch instead of tapioca). Used the same amount and the do the same thing. Cooking time is really long but the end result is worth the wait. several other reviews made the comment that more broth was needed. I agree, go ahead and double the beef broth from the start."

Firefly 3044 User ID: 7016113 231472
Reviewed Aug. 19, 2015

"Excellent! I will definitely make this again. I needed to add extra beef broth, and I added a splash of red wine. This recipe is a keeper!"

sjpoor User ID: 2565047 231381
Reviewed Aug. 18, 2015

"The stew was a bit dry after the first baking and so added another can of beef broth. That really helped. My husband thought it was bland so he added some hot sauce to his second helping and liked it better. I have added more of the hot sauce to the left overs so will see if it tastes better tomorrow night. Very easy to make which I really liked."

poppadude User ID: 8368591 231048
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2015

"EX!!!!!.... Great recipe only change was to use cornstarch instead of tapioca...."

[email protected] User ID: 2731069 226983
Reviewed May. 26, 2015 Edited Oct. 28, 2015

"! This stew was awesome! it was a big hit with my family."

Zelda10 User ID: 1980885 223838
Reviewed Mar. 30, 2015

"Fantastic recipe. Couldn't stop eating it. I served it with sesame bread to soak up the great sauce. It's a winner!!"

momof4busyboys User ID: 7126764 218927
Reviewed Jan. 26, 2015

"Yummy!! I made this for my parents this weekend while I was there taking care of my mom. I am going to make it for my hubby and kids now that I am back home. They are gonna love it! It did take me a while, and asking many sweet ladies who were wiser than I, to find the tapioca. Finally found it with the Jello (must of looked there 10 times before I found it). I think that was the hardest part of the recipe. This is a keeper!"

SanDiegoCathy User ID: 5961938 217776
Reviewed Jan. 13, 2015

"Very nice! The gravy is so rich and the meat very tender and good. My addition was a splash or two of Medeira."

kcallison User ID: 5886615 2239
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2014


jimsilver User ID: 8066215 1081
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2014

"an awesome recipe that shows you just how easy it is to produce a gorgeous stew,I managed it!!"

katecrid47 User ID: 7098019 3576
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2014

"I made this the other night. It was awesome. Great flavor and pretty easy. I did not cook in oven, just my stove top and cooked it a little longer. Got two thumbs up around the table. Thanks for sharing!"

Coopjack User ID: 7897568 3575
Reviewed Jul. 20, 2014

"Made this with some changes based on my pantry. Here are the changes- put some flour on meat before cooking. Added all meat back in and then cooked with the onions. Then added the tomatoes, chicken Broth. Didn't have tapioca so added 2 tablespoons of brown gravy mix. Added then 1/4 cup basalmic vinegar and 3/4 cup water. Used all the rest of the ingredients and brought to a boil. Followed the rest of the recipe as listed. Definitely would make again."

KathyKr User ID: 5747973 2234
Reviewed Jan. 26, 2014

"Very good and meaty. I didn't have tapioca so I didn't add that, but followed the rest of the recipe to the letter. I might add a little V8 juice to the stew next time to give it a little more of a tomatoey flavor, but it really is wonderful as is."

destine User ID: 2519270 2232
Reviewed Jan. 23, 2014

"I made this tonight. I didn't have the can of diced tomatoes so I used fresh chopped tomatoes and a small can of V8 juice. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly. This was so good. Even my picky son ate it all up. I served it with a crusty French bread. A green salad would also be a good accompaniment."

Brwneydgirl User ID: 7493495 2229
Reviewed Jan. 17, 2014

"This is by far the best beef stew recipe I've ever had! The meat is so tender and the gravy is so flavorful. You will not be disappointed! The only changes I made were substituting cornstarch for the tapioca and it worked great. Also, I do not have a dutch oven, so I followed step one using a stock pot, then transferred the mixture to a covered casserole dish to bake in the oven."

vamanchef User ID: 4352397 932
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2014

"Ten Stars, but I did add one extra can of broth and tomatoes when I stirred in the vegies. I used a really nice chuck roast which I sliced up into stew meat."

Ceannze User ID: 7240147 1778
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2013

"I've never used Tapioca in a beef Stew. I assume that is to thicken it--correct? Sometimes I brown my meat with flour in the oil, but you have to be careful not to burn it. Adding the Tapioca sounds easier. Also I use about 2 Tablespoons of 57 Sauce and have put a 2 cups of V-8 juice in it without using the chopped tomatoes as this recipe calls for. That's just a couple of ideas for variety~"

Colnight User ID: 41759 1076
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2013

"Very Good and easy to make. But it's missing something."

Hannah0418 User ID: 1795891 1058
Reviewed Sep. 23, 2013

"Excellent! I would cut the salt in half next time though"

bablack User ID: 7199376 2205
Reviewed Aug. 20, 2013

"This recipe is fantastic! I was so used to only cooking stew on the stove. This was the first time I had ever put beef stew in the oven and the meat turned out to be so tender and delicious. There was just so much flavor involved and I loved it! Thank you so much for this recipe!"

deannasnz User ID: 6542477 1057
Reviewed Jul. 17, 2013

"This is not exciting, but it's a good basic recipe."

joyjoy25 User ID: 7085541 457
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2013

"I didn't follow the directions exactly, just cooked it in the dutch oven on the stove. I also added a few fresh tomatoes...delicious! My family (even the kids) loved it."

scotland1 User ID: 1426757 2228
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2013

"I've made this stew before. It is yummy. Yes, I'll make it again."

Jermcar User ID: 6832799 1075
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2013

"Oh my gosh! This is the best stew I've ever eaten! I added one parsnip, that's all! Please try it!"

Debann507 User ID: 7062299 2469
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2013

"My family loved it. Will definitely make it again."

holdosh01 User ID: 5945480 1300
Reviewed Nov. 13, 2012

"Very good recipe! I changed the following...I didn't have tapioca (so I omitted) and used tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes. I also skipped the step of adding sauce to stove to bring to boil. I just browned the beef in a skillet and added the sauce and beef in my Pampered Chef Cranberry Baker. Followed the cooking time and adding of vegetables as instructed in recipe."

kerrynjames User ID: 5662698 1056
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2012

"We loved this dish. Next time, I'm going to use about 2/3rds of the potatoes, add another can of tomatoes, and double the garlic. It's a delicious stew, but I like a little more moisture (hence my plan).

Thanks so much for the recipe!"

kshea User ID: 2698812 198369
Reviewed Jun. 3, 2012

"An old standby, great!"

Aquarelle User ID: 985301 1007
Reviewed Apr. 22, 2012

"This is an extremely flavorful stew!"

tamarachronister User ID: 1908061 1070
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2012

"I didn't have tapioca, but it was great anyway!! I also used frozen chopped Roma tomatoes from my garden - excellent, especially on a cold day. Husband loved it too!!"

jennywrenn User ID: 6222896 931
Reviewed Jan. 9, 2012

"Very easy to make. Is a great cold weather, comfort meal. Goes especially well with garlic bread or garlic toast."

mrichards1993 User ID: 5891468 1587
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2011

"Absolutely delicious!"

jslvsclf User ID: 919747 198368
Reviewed May. 22, 2011

"The first times I made this for myself,I used all the ingredients except the salt and it was very good. When I made it tonight for someone else, I did not use the seasonings because she doesn't like them, and it was still very very good. I do hope you will post more recipes."

rosieannh User ID: 2806772 1776
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2011

"One of the best stew recipes I have ever made"

Jedinva User ID: 2663763 1299
Reviewed Nov. 6, 2010

"This is my "go-to" beef stew recipe. It works well also in the slow cooker."

samwille User ID: 2667075 1069
Reviewed Feb. 20, 2010

"This was easy and tasty. I didn't have tapioca on hand or a can of beef broth so I added the same amount of liquid and a couple of bouillon cubes. I dusted the beef with flour as I browned it and then added all the rest of the ingredients to my dutch oven at once and baked for 2 hours. Turned out perfectly."

daisey5 User ID: 146806 1055
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2010

"I cut it in half and did it in the slow cooker."

drangel User ID: 1583303 930
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2009

"Very tasty, I make this all the time. I also add about 2 T. of sugar, delicious."

sandyshores User ID: 2724858 1775
Reviewed Apr. 7, 2009

"This stew was so tastey! I will cut the vegetables smaller next time to speed up the cooking time, but all in all it was delicious! I finally found a stew I'll make again!"

jslvsclf User ID: 919747 1703
Reviewed Mar. 19, 2009 Edited May. 22, 2011

"Excellent! A recipe I return to time and time again, knowing it will always turn out perfectly. Thank you!"

kfijan User ID: 1279509 1879
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2008

"This is easy and absolutely delicous!"

awal User ID: 956096 2211
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2008


Could this be made in the slow cooker? DS likes stew better when the meat has cooked all day in the slow cooker. Awal"

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