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Easy Stove-Top Beef Stew

This easy stove-top beef stew cooks perfectly in 2 hours. It’s a classic one-pot meal featuring incredibly tender beef in a rich, red wine sauce with root vegetables. An old-fashioned but oh-so-delicious meal, perfect for a lazy Sunday supper!

A close-up of a cream colored bowl with beef stew.
Table of contents

Why you’ll love my easy beef stew recipe

Classic beef stew can be one of those intimidating recipes that require years of experience in the kitchen to master. I promise you won’t believe how incredibly easy this recipe is to make this hearty beef stew.

This classic dish comes together in just over 2 hours on the hob and makes a comforting, complete meal the whole family will enjoy. Perfect on a cold night! It stores well in the fridge and tastes even better the next day. Yes, meal prep can be that simple and delicious!

  • Slow-cooked, classic comfort food: Fall-apart, tender meat in a rich tomato sauce.
  • Small space friendly: No oven needed, perfect for camping, small apartment living.
  • Safe money: A great way to save money by using a cheaper cut of beef.

Stove tops oven

While cooking a beef stew in the oven, slow cooker, or pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot is certainly convenient, the stove-top method creates a better result. It lets you adjust the temperature and consistency more accurately while cooking, creating an intensely flavored beef stew with a perfect rich sauce, every time.

Ingredients

  • Beef – The best beef stew meat is chuck roast but brisket works well too. Remove any excess fat and cut it into 1 x 1-inch cubes.
  • Red wine – A full-bodied red wine works well such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon but you can also use a lighter-bodied red such as Pinot Noir. Add the equivalent amount of extra stock to the recipe if you prefer a beef stew without red wine.
  • Beef stock – I use homemade beef broth but you can also choose vegetable, lamb stock, or dissolve beef cubes in water if needed.
  • Tomatoes – A can of diced tomatoes and tomato paste give this dish richness and extra flavor. You can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones.
  • Potatoes – Russet potatoes are often recommended for stews due to their high starch content, which helps thicken the stew and provides a creamy texture.
  • Balsamic vinegar & brown sugar – Vinegar and sugar create depth and add sweet and savory notes to this dish. You can use Worcestershire sauce instead.
  • Herbs – Dried rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves are the classic herbs in a bouquet garni and give this dish traditional French seasoning. You can also use fresh herbs.
  • Vegetables – A classic combination of onion, garlic cloves, carrots, and potato features in this recipe.
  • Cornstarch – This is optional but mixed in water it can be used to tweak the consistency at the end of the cooking time.

Serving

This one-pot meal can be served on its own or with a side of green vegetables such as steamed broccoli, green beans, or sautéed silverbeet and fresh crusty bread including my Turkish flatbread.

FAQ

How long do you cook beef stew on the stove-top?

I suggest cooking it for a minimum of 2 hours. You can cook it longer to tenderize the meat further but keep an eye on the carrots and potatoes to prevent them from turning into a mash.

How long can you store beef stew?

You can store the stew in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. In fact, the flavors will intensify further over time, making it even more delicious. You can also store the stew in the freezer for up to 3 months in a freezer-proof container.

Can you reheat beef stew on the stove-top?

Yes, you can. I store the lidded pot straight in the fridge which makes it the easiest way to reheat this delicious stew the next day.

For more dinner ideas, check out the following recipes:

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A close-up of a cream colored bowl with beef stew.

Easy Stove-Top Beef Stew

Caro Jensen
This easy stove-top beef stew cooks perfectly in 2 hours. It's a classic one-pot meal featuring incredibly tender beef in a rich, red wine sauce with root vegetables. An old-fashioned but oh so delicious dish, perfect for Sunday supper!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 576 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 1/2 lb beef diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes equivalent of 1 can
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 4 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch optional

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot (*note 1) on medium-high heat. Add the diced beef, season generously with salt and pepper, and brown the beef for 2-3 minutes evenly on high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté them for another 2-3 minutes with the diced beef.
    1 1/2 lb beef, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt & black pepper, 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic
  • Deglaze the pot with red wine, stir, and let it simmer on high for 1-2 minutes for the alcohol to burn off.
    1/2 cup red wine
  • Add beef stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary. Combine everything thoroughly on medium heat (*note 2).
    1 cup beef stock, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 dried bay leaf, 14 oz diced tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Reduce to low heat, add the lid, and let it simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stir the stew occasionally to ensure the bottom of the pot doesn't burn (* note 3).
  • Add the diced carrot and potatoes and combine everything. Let everything simmer for another 45 minutes until the carrots and potatoes are well cooked.
    2 carrots, 4 potatoes
  • If the stew has a lot of liquid I suggest leaving the lid off for the last 45 minutes for it to reduce down and get more concentrated. Add the lid if the consistency looks good or add more stock if it's on the drier side (* note 4).
  • Once fully cooked, you can add 1 tbsp of cornstarch mixed in cold water to the stew to further adjust the consistency for a thicker stew. Stir in the flour mixture and cook for another 5-10 minutes until it thickens up. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    1 tbsp cornstarch

Notes

1. Heavy bottom pot: To prevent the stew from burning at the bottom, choose a pot with a heavy bottom or a large Dutch oven. You will need a well-fitted lid.
2. Submerge meat: The meat needs to be submerged in the sauce during simmering to prevent it from drying out. Add additional stock if necessary.
3. Check it often: Check the stew every 15 minutes to start with and give it a thorough stir to ensure the temperature isn’t too high. You’re after a gentle simmer, not a boil. Switch to a smaller element or take the pot slightly off the element to reduce the heat if needed.
4. Reduce liquid: If the stew has too much liquid towards the end you can remove the lid toward the end of the cooking time for it to reduce or adjust the consistency by adding cornstarch mixed with water.

Nutrition

Calories: 576kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 49gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 414mgPotassium: 2030mgFiber: 7gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 5472IUVitamin C: 56mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 8mg
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