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Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes

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This classic French beef stew is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. After a few hours in the oven, the meat becomes meltingly tender and enveloped in a rich wine sauce.

This classic French beef stew, otherwise known as beef Bourguignon, is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. Chunks of well-marbled beef are seared in a hot pan and then gently braised with garlic and onions in a rich wine-based broth. After a few hours in the oven, the meat becomes meltingly tender and enveloped in a deeply-flavored sauce. The stew takes a few hours to make but the recipe is mostly hands-off. Go ahead and make it a day or two ahead of time; the flavor improves the longer it sits.

This stew is part of my classic French recipe collection, which includes similar slow-cooking comfort food recipes, like coq au vin and red wine braised short ribs, and impressive main courses, like steak au poivre or roast beef tenderloin with red wine sauce.

what you’ll need to make beef stew with carrots & potatoes

how to make beef stew

The most important thing is to start with the right cut of meat. You want to buy chuck roast that is well-marbled—that means it should have a good amount of white veins of fat running through it. Stay away from meat generically packaged as “stew meat,” especially if it looks lean (I can guarantee you it will not get tender, no matter how long you cook it).

For the wine, use any dry red (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.) that is inexpensive but still good enough to drink.

How To Make Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes

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Begin by removing any large chunks of fat that are easy to get to (like the one my knife is pointing to below), but don’t overdo it with the trimming, as the fat helps make the beef tender.

how to make beef stew

Next, season the meat generously with salt and pepper.

how to make beef stew

Heat a bit of oil in a Dutch oven or large pot and brown the meat in batches.

how to make beef stew

This step is a bit time-consuming but browning the meat adds depth and dimension to the stew. (Note: it’s important not to crowd the pan — if you try to brown all the meat at once, it will steam instead of sear and you won’t get all that lovely color and flavor.)

This step is a bit time-consuming  but browning the meat adds depth and dimension to the stew.

Remove the meat and add the onions, garlic, and balsamic vinegar to the pan. The vinegar will loosen all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and add flavor.

how to make beef stew

Cook until the vegetables are softened, then add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more.

how to make beef stew

Add the beef back into the pan and sprinkle with the flour.

how to make beef stew

Stir until the flour is dissolved.

how to make beef stew

Add the wine, broth, water, thyme, bay leaves, and sugar.

how to make beef stew

Bring to a boil, then cover and braise in the oven for 2 hours.

how to make beef stew

After 2 hours, add the carrots and potatoes.

how to make beef stew

Return to the oven and continue cooking for one hour, or until the meat is fork-tender, the broth is thickened, and the carrots and potatoes are tender.

how to make beef stew

Feel free to adapt the recipe to your liking. You can leave out the potatoes and serve it over buttered egg noodles, or toss in some frozen peas or sautéed mushrooms at the very end. Either way, it’s soul-satisfying comfort food for a cold night.

beef stew

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Video Tutorial

Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes

This classic French beef stew is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. After a few hours in the oven, the meat becomes meltingly tender and enveloped in a rich wine sauce.

Servings: 6
Total Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck (well-marbled), cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks on a diagonal
  • 1 pound small white boiling potatoes (baby yukons), cut in half
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and set a rack in the lower middle position.
  2. Pat the beef dry and season with the salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Brown the meat in 3 batches, turning with tongs, for about 5 minutes per batch; add one tablespoon more oil for each batch. (To sear the meat properly, do not crowd the pan and let the meat develop a nice brown crust before turning with tongs.) Transfer the meat to a large plate and set aside.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the brown bits from bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more. Add the beef with its juices back to the pan and sprinkle with the flour. Stir with wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, beef broth, water, bay leaf, thyme, and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, transfer to the preheated oven, and braise for 2 hours.
  4. Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and place back in oven for about an hour more, or until the vegetables are cooked, the broth is thickened, and the meat is tender. Fish out the bay leaf and discard, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve the stew warm -- or let it come to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve. This stew improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead. Reheat, covered, over medium heat or in a 350°F oven. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
  5. Note: If you don’t have a Dutch oven or covered pot that is appropriate for the oven, the stew can be cooked on the stove. The timing will be the same and it should be cooked over the lowest setting.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The stew can be frozen for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost the stew in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat until hot.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 539
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 54g
  • Sodium: 1189mg
  • Cholesterol: 143mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I have made this recipe twice now and I love it. The 2 cups of wine gives it such a rich flavour. It’s a favourite in our rotation now for sure. I’m excited to also try it with venison.

    • — Chloe on October 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • The taste is beautiful, but my stew did not thicken at all 🙁

    • — Kayla on September 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kayla, I’m sorry to hear it didn’t thicken for you. If you still have some left over, you can thicken it. While reheating it, make a paste with 1 tablespoon soft butter and 1 tablespoon flour; whisk it in and bring the stew to a simmer; it should thicken up. Another option when reheating, bring it to a gentle boil and simmer, uncovered, until the broth is thickened to your liking. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 27, 2022
      • Reply
      • This is my go to beef stew recipe. I have been told that it is better than any restaurant stew. It is pretty hands off as the recipe suggests. I will never go back to the crock pot recipes in the winter time.

        • — Kristi Vargas on September 27, 2022
        • Reply
  • The best beef bourguignon recipe out there. Love it so much I will not go back to my crockpot chuck pot roast recipe. I’ve made this recipe several times after my mother in law shared with me and it wins every time! Very complex and warm flavors!

    • — Leah on September 26, 2022
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  • This was delicious, 5 out 5 gave it two thumbs way up!

    • — Stephanie on September 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the best beef stew recipe…period. This freezes and reheats beautifully, but only if you can keep yourself from devouring all of it before you can get it into the freezer 🤣

    • — Christina on September 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • So delicious and easy to make! A big hit. Definitely will be making again and again. Thank you!

    • — Claudia on September 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi, Jen – I have some baby carrots I need to use up – would it be okay to substitute them into this recipe? Also, I see that you specify using a wooden spoon for scraping. Can you please tell me why a wooden spoon is your preference? I usually scrape frond with a stainless spatula because it’s faster to cover the bottom of a skillet or Dutch oven that way. Is that a big mistake? Thanks for another wonderful-sounding recipe!!

    • — Laura on September 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, Baby carrots should be fine. And I use a wooden spoon as that’s just my go-to with my Dutch oven. I would avoid stainless as it can scratch the surface of the enamel. I’d go with either wood or silicone. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the stew!

      • — Jenn on September 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is great, but it’s way too much wine for my family’s liking. I’d definitely recommend 1cup instead of 2

    • — Deyon on September 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Quick question….the store where I shop carries both boneless beef chuck under blade roast and boneless beef chuck shoulder roast. I’m confused as to which meat to purchase for this recip as they both say beef chuck. I tried googling….but it’s still unclear. Which would you go with?

    Thanks,

    Janine

    • — janine on September 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Janine, I’d go with the shoulder cut. Hope you enjoy the stew!

      • — Jenn on September 25, 2022
      • Reply
  • Jen, what size dutch oven is best used with this receipe?

    • — Anna B. on September 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Anna, I used a 5.5-quart Dutch oven and the size is perfect.

      • — Jenn on September 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Great base for a classic French beef stew, from which one can expand and modify to their own taste.

    I made the stew, as prescribed the first time to the delight of my children (rather bland for me)…

    The second time ’round, I marinated the chuck roast in a cola (355 ml Coca-Cola Classic), 3 bay leaf, garlic (6 cloves), soy sauce (2 tbsp), and 1 tbsp Worcester sauce (Lea & Perrins), along with 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice marinade. Refrigerated 18 hours.

    Drained marinade, browned beef in Dutch oven as prescribed (but used sunflower oil rather than olive for higher heat and smoke point), then followed recipe, but added 3x bay leaf, 2x garlic, 6 stems fresh thyme, 1 stem fresh rosemary, 1 red onion instead of yellow onion (kept 1 yellow onion). Used Cab Sauv first try, used Chianti for a dryer wine second go-round. Sauteed cremini mushrooms in clarified butter and then added along with carrots, and potatoes. Also added 2 stalks celery trimmed (discarded celery before serving).

    Absolute TOP!

    • — Maren on September 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was so yummy! I will definitely be making again.

    • — Jay on September 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • This beef stew is the very best I`ve ever had. You won`t be disappointed!! I followed the recipe to a T. Make sure you prepare well ahead of time such as early in the afternoon as it needs to bake for 3 hours.

    • — Dianne M on September 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    Thank you for this amazing recipe and easy-to-follow instructions! I made this yesterday, was my first time making beef stew and it was so good! Like, REALLY good. My eyes lit up when I tried it and I was transported to the quiet comfort of home when my mum would make this. I’m excited to try it again today now that it’s sat overnight, planning on making some biscuits today to go with it. Thanks again!

    • — Joshua on September 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’d like to double this recipe and am wondering if an 8qt dutch oven would be big enough? Thanks!

    • — Nicole on September 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Nicole, Unfortunately, I think that would be too small. Your best bet would be to divide it between 2 pots.

      • — Jenn on September 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have been a fan of your recipes for awhile. Can I use a crock pot for this? I am not used to cooking a roast, so I want to make the I get the right cut of meat. Thank you! Julia, NorCal

    • — Julia Crain on September 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Julia, You can use a crock pot but I’d still recommend searing the meat on the stovetop first. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was delicious. Will definitely be making again. Used less wine than it said but increased the beef stock a little instead. I thickened a little more at the end with Maggi rich gravy mix. It looked amazing was so flavoursome and the meat melted in your mouth. So glad I tried it..can’t wait to try some more of your recipes! Thank you

    • — Jill on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • Has anyone tried to freeze this stew? If so how did it turn out once thawed and reheated? I am concerened that the carrots & potatoes will be mushy.

    • — Sidney on September 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • I added the wine and thought it sounded like way too much. That much wine is too overpowering. What a waste of expensive meat. Wont be making this recipe again.

    • — RKB on September 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I absolutely love this recipe and so, I’ll be making this stew for 75 people from my church this fall! I’m wondering if you could please help me out with serving sizes as I’ve only ever doubled the recipe. I am wondering how much one serving is and how much you would multiply this recipe by for such a large group. I’m also hoping to serve it with mashed potatoes so I plan to leave out the potatoes in the stew and incorporate mushrooms and celery with the carrots. Additionally, I’m wondering if there was an alternative to red wine as trying to purchase red wine for the stew for such a large group might be quite expensive. I’m going to try campbell’s beef broth with red wine to see how it turns out but do you have any other suggestions? Thanks 🙂

    • — Sherl on September 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Wow, that’s a lot of stew! I’d guesstimate a serving is approximately 2 cups. To serve 75, you’d need to multiply everything by 11 or 12 (you’ll obviously need to make several batches of it). Adding celery and mushrooms in place of the potatoes sounds fine. (I’d saute the mushrooms first and then add them right at the end just to warm them up.) And feel free to replace the red wine with additional beef broth. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • The best ever

    • — Tom pearce on September 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe is the best beef stew recipe! Seriously, it’s not too complicated and it will taste like it was cooked by a 5 star chef! I love making this to impress my dinner guests! I would suggest not changing anything in this recipe. It’s perfect just as is!

    • — Sarah on September 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wanting to make this today. My beef is a little over 2 pounds would I still keep the amount of of ingredients the same?

    • — Donna on August 30, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Donna, To keep the ratios similar, I’d probably cut the other ingredients by 1/3. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 30, 2022
      • Reply
      • Would it still be fine if I didn’t?

        • — Donna on August 30, 2022
        • Reply
        • For the best results and to keep everything in proportion, I’d recommend it.

          • — Jenn on August 30, 2022
          • Reply
          • Oh ok. I had already started it before your first message so hopefully it’ll be good with what I put in. Next time I’ll have to cut back on some if it isn’t.

            • — Donna on August 30, 2022
          • Ok, if you have them on hand, you could always add more carrots and potatoes. It will still be tasty regardless — just a little more brothy.

            • — Jenn on August 30, 2022
  • My new favorite Beef Stew recipe! My family LOVED it! Amazing flavor.

    • — Sarah on August 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hello Jen

    Would I get the same results if I used all beef broth (minus red wine)?

    • — Nancy on August 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Nancy, the wine adds an extra layer of flavor, but it will still be delicious with all beef broth. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this a number of times, turns out beautifully every time, thank you Jenn!

    • — Christine on August 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • If I want to make double should I just double everything or make two batches. I need to serve 10 to 12 people. BTW this recipe is so delicious, I make a Hungarian Goulash (due to my heritage) but this is even better.

    • — Robert, California on August 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Robert, As long as you have a pot large enough to hold 2 times the ingredients, you can make one double batch. Glad you like it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 3, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’d like to make this stew for a group of elderly in a retirement home. I prefer not to use alcohol because it may affect their medications. Do you have a recommendation as to how I can do that? Will it alter the flavor of the stew greatly?

    • — Cindy on July 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Cindy, the wine adds some depth of flavor, but it’s perfectly fine to replace it with additional beef broth; it will still be delicious!

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2022
      • Reply

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