The Best Beef Stew Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 30 min. Cook: 2 hours
Treat yourself to an oh-so-satisfying Sunday dinner with our recipe for the best beef stew of all time.

Updated: Jan. 02, 2024

When chilly weather starts to creep in, there’s only one food that can really warm our bones: a hearty and flavor-packed beef stew. Pair a big bowl of it with a slice or two of buttered homemade bread and its cozy as can be.

This is hands-down the best beef stew we’ve ever had. Its complex flavor comes from the recipe’s use of paprika, rosemary and herbes de Provence. The stew isn’t too heavy, either. The secret ingredient is a splash of balsamic vinegar that brightens up the dish.

Beef Stew Ingredients

  • Beef stew meat
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Smoked paprika
  • Canola oil
  • Tomato paste
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Garlic cloves
  • Dry red wine
  • Beef broth
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Bay leaves
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Cold water
  • Balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • Fresh or frozen peas


Step 1: Prep the beef

First, in a small bowl, toss the beef with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. In a large bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of flour with the smoked paprika, then add a few pieces of beef in, turning until they’re lightly coated.

Test Kitchen Tip: Coating beef in paprika-spiced flour adds a delicious smoky flavor and caramelization that really gives the meat some depth.

Step 2: Start the stew

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, brown the coated beef in oil until it starts to get some color.

Next, stir in the tomato paste, herbes de Provence and garlic, stirring until they’ve darkened in color and have become fragrant. Pour in the wine and let the pot come to a slight boil, making sure to scrape up all the bits and pieces that have crusted to the bottom of the Dutch oven. They have tons of flavor!

Once the wine has reduced by half (which should take about five minutes) add the beef broth, 1 teaspoon of rosemary and bay leaves, then let it all come to a boil. Cut the heat, cover your Dutch oven and let the stew simmer until the meat is almost tender, about an hour and a half.

Test Kitchen Tip: Herbes de Provence is a unique blend that typically contains rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender. It really elevates this stew.

Step 3: Add the veggies

Drop in potatoes, onions and carrots into the stew, then let them simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the veggies and meat are tender.

Test Kitchen Tip: While the recipe calls for potatoes and carrots, feel free to swap in your favorite firm winter veggies, like sweet potatoes, turnips or parsnips.

Step 4: Add the finishing touches

Pick out the bay leaves and discard them. Then, in a small bowl, mix the remaining rosemary, salt, flour, water and balsamic vinegar until it’s smooth. Pour the mixture into the stew, allow it to come to a boil and then add in your peas. After a few minutes, the stew should thicken and be ready to be served.

Test Kitchen Tip: Balsamic vinegar helps cut some of the fat and brightens the flavor. Check your balsamic’s label for an IGP designation. It indicates the vinegar was produced in Modena, Italy, an area known for its high-quality balsamic.

Beef Stew Recipe Tips

Can you make beef stew ahead of time?

Yes, you can make beef stew ahead of time. Beef stew stores in the refrigerator for up to three days and you can freeze it for up to three months. These freezer-friendly stew recipes are great to make in advance, too.

What’s the best kind of beef for beef stew?

We recommend using chuck, also known as front shoulder meat, for this beef stew. The round, or rear muscle, also works well, too. While these tough cuts take time to become tender, they release collagen as they cook for a smooth, gelatin-rich broth. Note: If you see pre-cut packages labeled “beef stew meat” at the store, be sure to ask your butcher what type of meat is included. Get more tips to choose the right beef for your stew.

Do you need tomato paste for beef stew?

We recommend using tomato paste for this recipe. Tomato paste adds crucial flavor and body to the stew meat when cooked with herbs, garlic and wine. If you don’t have any on hand, try one of these tomato paste substitutes. Just keep in mind, it may change the stew’s flavor.

Watch how to Make The Best Beef Stew

The Best Beef Stew

Prep Time 30 min
Yield 6 servings (2-1/4 quarts).


  • 1-1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups cubed peeled potatoes
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped onions (about 2 large)
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • Additional fresh rosemary, optional


  1. In a small bowl, toss beef and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, combine 4 tablespoons flour and paprika. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and toss to coat.
  2. In a Dutch oven, brown beef in oil over medium heat. Stir in tomato paste, herbes de Provence and garlic; cook until fragrant and color starts to darken slightly. Add wine; cook until mixture just comes to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, 1 teaspoon rosemary and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until meat is almost tender, about 1-1/2 hours.
  3. Add potatoes, onions and carrots. Cover; simmer until meat and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes longer.
  4. Discard bay leaves. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 2 tablespoon flour. Add cold water and vinegar; stir until smooth. Stir into stew. Bring to a boil; add peas. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. If desired, top with additional fresh rosemary.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 366 calories, 11g fat (3g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 605mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 6g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.