This Dutch oven beef stew is the perfect meal for a chilly day! Each spoonful is filled with carrots, potatoes, celery, tender pieces of beef, and a robustly flavored broth. It’s one of the heartiest winter comfort foods that warms you from the inside out!
When winter weather approaches, this beef stew should be at the top of your list for dinner! It’s comforting, cozy, and filled with tender bites of beef and hearty vegetables.
While testing this recipe, I found that many traditional beef stews had three things in common. They didn’t have enough fresh herbs, the recipe called for red wine, adding complexity for many home cooks, and the consistency was too thick – almost gravy-like.
Instead of red wine, I used Worcestershire sauce, which adds richness and body and is something you may already have in your pantry. With the flour, we use only a little to create the perfect consistency where it’s not overly thick and helps the end result be lighter and healthier.
If you’re looking for your next chilly weekend recipe, look no further than this cozy stew!
See the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients & measurements.
- Meat – chuck roast is the ideal cut for beef stew. Although this beef cut can be tough, a longer cooking time will help tenderize the meat.
- The vegetables – to add flavor, I like to use carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and then potatoes for heartiness. The potatoes also release starches, which help to thicken the broth naturally.
- For flavor – to layer and develop a flavorful stew, I use a combination of fresh herbs – parsley, rosemary, and thyme. And then, for robust flavor, a little bit of Worcestershire sauce. This helps eliminate the use of red wine, which is a typical ingredient in beef stew.
- For the broth – salt and pepper are used generously to draw out each ingredient’s flavors. Also, beef broth is for the liquid, and a little flour is used to help thicken the broth.
How to Make Beef Stew
Toss the beef in flour. In a bowl, toss the beef in the flour evenly coating each piece along with a healthy pinch of salt.
Brown the beef. Heat a dutch oven on medium heat with olive oil, and brown the beef on all sides for 2-3 minutes on each side. Then transfer the beef onto a plate when finished.
Sauté the vegetables. In the same pot you cooked the beef, add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until soft (about 4-5 minutes) with a pinch of salt. Then add the minced garlic for 1 minute. If the bottom of the pan is really dry, add a splash of beef broth to deglaze the bottom using your spoon to scrape up any bits.
Add remaining ingredients. In the same pot as the sautéed vegetables, add the browned beef, cubed potatoes, thyme and rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth. Season with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and stir ingredients together.
Cover and roast. Cover the pot with a fitted lid, and roast for 1 and 30 minutes at 375F. Peek at the stew at the 1 hour mark and add any extra broth if needed. When it’s finished, add the chopped parsley, taste, and season with additional salt & black pepper until the flavor is just right. Then serve!
Keep the meat bite-sized. This helps the meat cook faster and will also make eating it easier! Especially if some pieces end up being tougher than they should.
Trim the extra fat off. A little fat is great for flavor, but a lot of it can make bites of the meat unpleasant when cooked. Use a sharp knife to trim any extra unwanted fat from the meat before you season and flour it.
Add more flour for a thicker broth. I kept the flour content low in this recipe to make it healthier, and I personally like it less thick. I find the broth consistency comes out perfect with just 1 Tablespoon flour and the help from natural starches released from the potatoes. But if you prefer a gravy-like consistency for your stew, you can add 2 additional Tablespoons.
Fresh herbs are a must. Just like most of my other recipes, I highly recommend fresh herbs for this dish. Dried ones are fine, but the stew will lack brightness and depth of flavor without the use of fresh aromatics. If you must use dried herbs, I recommend using dried rosemary and thyme but keeping fresh parsley in the recipe!
Season every layer with salt. When cooking something like stew, it’s important to season every layer of the cooking process generously with salt. This helps develop essential flavor from each ingredient!
Types of flour you can use. I have tested this recipe with both all purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour, both had identical results. If you are to use whole wheat flour, I recommend a white whole wheat for a more mild flavor. To make it gluten-free, you can use your favorite gluten-free flour blend or tapioca starch.
Beef stew is a great freezer-friendly meal! We like to keep it in a container or in a ziplock freezer bag (air removed) and laid flat. You can freeze beef stew for 2-3 months! When ready to defrost, thaw the package in cold water or at room temperature, before reheating in a pot on the stovetop.
What to Serve it With
Beef stew is quite a hearty meal all on its own. Because it’s so filling, you don’t need a lot of extra side dishes to pair it with. But there are a few things we like to serve it with to complete the meal. Such as…
Bread. This beef stew is almost always served in our house with homemade bread, whether Drew’s homemade sourdough or this rosemary garlic bread! You can also do a French baguette or Italian loaf.
Dutch Oven Beef Stew
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs chuck beef, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch size pieces
- 1 Tablespoon flour you can use all-purpose, white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, or gluten-free flour blend
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 carrots, stem removed and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 celery stalks, cut into chunks
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Worstceshire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely minced
- 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 4 cups beef broth
- salt & pepper
- 3-4 medium-sized red or yellow potatoes, cut into quarters
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Season the beef, then coat in flour: Season the beef pieces with a healthy pinch of salt. Then, toss them in the tablespoon of flour until each piece is evenly coated.
- Brown the beef: Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat with olive oil, and brown the meat on all sides for 2-3 minutes per side. Then transfer the beef onto a plate when finished.
- Sauté the vegetables: In the same pot you cooked the beef, add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until soft (about 4-5 minutes) with a pinch of salt. Then, add the minced garlic for 1 minute. If the bottom of the pan is dry, add a splash of beef broth to deglaze the bottom using your spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom.
- Add remaining ingredients. In the same pot as the sautéed vegetables, add the browned beef, cubed potatoes, thyme and rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth. Season with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and stir ingredients together.
- Cover and roast. Cover the pot with a fitted lid, and roast for 1 and 30 minutes at 375F. Peek at the stew at the 1-hour mark and add any extra broth if needed. When it's finished, add the chopped parsley, taste, and season with additional salt & black pepper until the flavor is just right. Then serve!