Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

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 comfort food. Chunks of well-marbled beef are seared in olive oil  and then gently braised with garlic and onions in a wine-based broth. After a few hours in the oven, the meat becomes meltingly tender and enveloped in a rich, deeply flavored sauce.

It takes some time to make but I promise it’s well worth the effort. Aside from being delicious — it is my all-time most popular recipe — it’s a one-pot meal that feeds a crowd. You can also make it a day ahead; in fact, you should because the flavor improves the longer it sits.

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 large soup 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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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 1-1/2-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
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 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

  • Hello, I am having trouble locating “Beef Broth” where I live, can I use Beef stock instead?

    Thank you.

    • — Mel on January 24, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on January 24, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this last night and it was SPECTACULAR! I made it with 2 lbs of chuck roast and I have to admit we hardly had leftovers (maybe .5 lbs left?) for only 2 people. I will make this for the next dinner party but will need to increase the meat to maybe 4-5 lbs for a party of 6 lol. Great recipe and highly recommend!

    • — Jeanette on January 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have recently retired and thought maybe I would try some cooking, my husband usually does most of it. I decided I wanted to make a beef stew and I use to cheat and just use the package mix and canned veggies but wanted to make from scratch and I found this recipe and thought it sounded really good and it did not disappoint !!!! My husband was so impressed and loved it and so did I. Since it is just the 2 of us we will probably get 3 meals each out of one batch. Amazing. I am going to buy your cookbook. 10+++

    • — Amanda Free on January 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Bonjour Jenn,
    Very tasty beef stew. I follow exactly all your instructions and came out so tender and full of flavour. Another recipe to keep and to enjoy with our family and friends on winter snowy nights 🙂 Merci !
    Martine

    • — Martine Belanger on January 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • My wife and I really enjoyed this with egg noodles. The only thing I did differently was I grilled the Chuck roast on a charcoal grill until medium rare. Then I cut it into 1″ cubes.👍👍👍

    • — Keith Maddox on January 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this stew tonight and it was great. I’m usually a tinkerer with recipes, but hewed quite closely to the original on this (departures: used a mix of saved bacon grease 50-50 with olive oil in the meat browning, and subbed a grip of fresh thyme from the garden instead of dried). The balsamic as acid for releasing the fond was a great touch I wouldn’t normally have thought to try, but it added a subtle tangy brightness to the finished product that worked really well with the savory richness. Used some recently-opened California Pinot Noir for the wine and it was perfectly Burgundian for a Bourgogne-like dish. A very well thought out and balanced recipe that yielded perfectly tender beef and a flavorful, thickened broth. I served it with warm crusty baguette and the family was well pleased, as was this chef. Well done! I’ll definitely be keeping this recipe for future stews. Kudos!

    • — Thracken McDougal on January 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious! Gravy just a tad thin but, family said who cares? This is fabulous! So tasty, tender, and comforting! This is a keeper!

    • — Colleen on January 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have made this recipe several times now, and it is fantastic. I add mushrooms, but other than that, it is awesome the way it is!! 5 stars!!

    • — Maggie on January 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thank you !!! Loved this !!!

    • — Alice on January 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’d give this 10 stars if I could! Amazing flavor. I’ve tried so many recipes for beef stew over the years and my husband always complains the meat is dried out. He actually went back for a second helping with this delicious stew.

    • — Alisa Novak on January 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • when do you add the olive oil? thanks J

    • — Jason H on January 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jason, you add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot before browning each batch of beef. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made this last Sunday and it was delicious! Even better the next day, just so yummy and comforting! I only had a small 2 lb roast to use in this recipe so I added a lb of beef finger ribs I had in the freezer, which I thawed. Seasoned and browned them whole, same as for the cut up beef roast pieces. Added one more carrot and three or four more baby potatoes to make up the difference in meat weight. I’ve made Julia’s Beef Bourguignon recipe a couple of times in the past and it is great, but I love Jenn’s recipe just as much! I want to buy a larger proper-sized beef roast next time to make this again!

    • — Sandra H on January 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this in my Dutch oven and it was fantastic! The wine I used was a Merlot and I added a little bit more sugar. Hubby loved it!

    • — Barbara on January 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made it tonight ( but used beef tenderloin and only made a quarter recipe( did not want leftovers!! we are a family of two) Great recipe.. we just prefer beef tenderloin and we omit he sugar!
    Thanks for this recipe. It is a keeper!

    • — Nancy on January 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe… it was no less than Amazing. My family gobbled it up until there wasn’t a soup spoon left. I cannot wait to make it again. Thank you for such a flavorful, and colorful recipe.
    Denise

    • — Denise on January 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi there! I’m planning on making this Thursday night and I’d really like to add some pearl onions. When do you recommend I throw those in the dutch oven? I was planning on buying them already jarred 🙂

    • — Emily on January 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Emily, I’d sauté them in a little butter and add them at the end. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • Absolutely the best beef stew I’ve ever made! Dark, rich, flavorful gravy, all veggies cooked perfectly. First time I have cooked stew in an oven. I totally understand why. LOVED IT and will share with friends.

    • — Susan on January 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent recipe! Everyone in my family loved this dish. I will add this to my rotation. Thanks for teaching us an excellent way to make stew!! A true winner.

    • — Jude on January 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is so yummy! Best beef stew ever! We’ve made it twice this month for ourselves and twice for friends and family recuperating from being sick. Everyone raves. Dish takes a bit of prep and time but well worth it. Thank you

    • — Leslie on January 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this as written, even sauteed some fresh mushrooms and added them at the end. The wine flavor really added some depth. This recipe is a keeper.

    • — Debra on January 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! I doubled the broth and wine to create more of a soupy stew. My Mom is a food snob and said it was the best Bourguignon she has ever tasted!

    • — Suzi_03 on January 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • I discovered this recipe just a few months ago, but have already made it 3 times. I have tried several others over the years. I love this one the most – – tastes out of this world! Thank you!

    • — Kat on January 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Tried this tonight! I rarely leave comments or reviews because I often look at recipes mainly for inspiration and change it up a little or a bit. I would say I followed it very closely this time. Well it came out awesome! Im not great with beef but if you follow the recipe it will be a success! It was a perfect night for it too even though I’m in Florida. I used fresh thyme instead. And I added a little more tomato paste mainly because I don’t go through it fast and didn’t want to waste too much of I don’t finish the tube. And the carton of beef broth was 16.9 oz and I used the whole thing since it was close. My family loved it and even sent a sampling home for my parents who called to tell me they loved it too! Rich, flavorful and delicious!! Thank you!

    • — Rebecca Reid on January 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • This hands down is the best beef stew ever, I was watching Julia Child as I was preparing this. My Husband came in and I didn’t even realize he was in the kitchen. Cooking is my happy place! Thank you for the recipe!

    • — Michelle on January 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Fabulous stew! We loved it. Perfect for a casual dinner party. Thanks to @onceuponachef

    • — LouAnn C on January 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Just a word of warning, you really need to make sure you use the right kind of meat. I sent my husband to a pricey butcher and somehow he came home with very lean stew meat. I made the recipe anyways and it was a failure. The meat was so dry and beyond tough. And weirdly, the vegetables weren’t cooked at all after an hour in the often as the recipe dictated. At least the broth was delicious, but using the wrong kind of meat with no fat ruined it. And the raw vegetables was like rubbing salt in the wound. So sad I spent all the time and money on this dish and it was inedible.

      • — Katie on January 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • I am not a cook!! Boredom meant I decided to try a couple of easy recipes. Beef stew from my childhood was one. Good recipe, I tweaked it a bit and all attempts were ok, 4th attempt is just right!! Thanks

    • — Dennis on January 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • I couldn’t believe how delicious this was. I’ve made it three times in two weeks… making it again tonight!
    I use about half cup good red wine and substitute the rest with beef broth… only because I like my glass filled!
    I love the process of cooking this and the wonderful aromas it fills the house with. I’ve attempted to put into containers for freezing but it gets eaten up so fast. My new favorite recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • — Abby A on January 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this tonight to use up four steaks. Had to do a substitute for balsamic (cider vinegar & sugar) and don’t drink so used cooking wine, and didn’t have tomato paste so used the equivalent I googled using tomato sauce. It was absolutely fantastic! Great recipe and will make again with the called out ingredients but I can’t imagine it’d be better than this batch.

    • — Patty on January 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • I finally made a meal that my family liked. Thanks giving both the recipe and the the methodology behind the recipe. I ended up buying a Dutch Oven because I liked this so much.

    • — Christian J. Chuba on January 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the best beef stew I have ever tasted. Thanks so much for sharing it! I used unpeeled baby organic red potatoes, cut in half and this helped to make it so easy with the side benefit of the potatoes holding together.

    • — KLR on January 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can I use a crockpot? If so what do you recommend for the cook process? Time and heat? Thank you so much 🔥😝

    • — Jacob Gal on January 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jacob, I haven’t personally made it in a slow cooker, but a number of readers have. I’d sear the beef first as the recipe indicates and then cook it in the slow cooker for 4 – 5 hours on high (and you can put the carrots and the potatoes in with the meat– you don’t need to wait). Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 14, 2022
      • Reply
    • I do! It won’t thicken so you’ll need to make a roux. I always transfer it to a stock pot after 4 hours, add the roux, and let it simmer until thickened. Delicious!

      • — NYCEDU on January 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is a magnificent recipe. The use of balsamic to deglaze is an ingenious touch. It gives the finished dish a light zing that you won’t find in other beef stew recipes. Nicely done.

    • — Stephen Wood on January 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can I add 4 cups of beef broth instead of wine

    • — Ann on January 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep!

      • — Jenn on January 13, 2022
      • Reply
  • So this really is the best stew ever. I floured the meat prior to searing because that’s what I’m used to doing, used only 1 cup of red wine and 4 beef broth, no water. Besides those alterations i basically followed the recipe. So incredibly delicious. Enjoy with some crusty bread and the rest of the red wine!

    • — Anna on January 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious!! The stew comes out with an aomost velvety texture. It was 9 degrees tonight so I thought it would be the perfect dinner and I was absolutely correct. I will 100% be making this again. Thank you!!

    • — Erin on January 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe is delicious!!!!! Love that you don’t have to flour and cook the meat as it always seems to burn that way. The only one minor adjustment I will make next time is to use fresh thyme leaves. Perhaps mine were old which may have impacted the flavor.
    Thanks so much – this is a keeper. I have tried so many, many beef stew recipes and this is by far my favorite!!

    • — Sarah on January 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve made a lot of stews over my 65 years, but this is my favorite! I wasn’t in the mood for another chuck roast, then I found this recipe. Love the THICK broth that comes with adding flour after searing and prior to roasting in oven. Love the tomato-iness of the broth. I added fresh green beans that I had on hand the 2nd day we had this for dinner. This recipe is a keeper.

    • — Becky on January 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have a question. If what’s on hand is a drinkable white wine and a bottle of Holland house red cooking wine, which would you opt for?

    • — Joy Marie on January 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Joy, I’d go with the white wine. The stew may taste a bit different and be a little lighter in color, but it will still be good. 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2022
      • Reply
      • I need to cook for 9 people. Can I multiply ingredients by 1.5 and cook in a 7.5 qt Dutch oven? And could I use unpeeled small red potatoes?

        • — Katrina Dewrell on January 13, 2022
        • Reply
        • I think it will just fit, but it should work and, yes, the red potatoes should work. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on January 14, 2022
          • Reply
      • Thank you, Jenn. I did give it a shot the next day with white and everyone still loved it. I think I’ll start making sure we have some red in the house just for this winter favorite!

        • — Joy Marie on January 23, 2022
        • Reply
  • I do not generally comment on recipes but this one deserves it. I have been making it for years now, after looking for a beef stew that would meet the standards of the one made for me as a child 🙂 I have tried several variations with the liquids, one cup wine/3 broth, etc but I have come back to the original recipe. It’s perfect. I do have to cook the carrots and potatoes a little longer than suggested sometimes but that may just be preference. It is cooking now and I cannot wait to eat it. I am thankful every year that I have found it.

    • — Erin on January 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent

    • — Leslie climenhaga on January 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious. I appreciate the depth of flavor. Certainly not my mother’s beef stew. I’ve never been much of a fan of beef stew so never made it myself and I cook a lot. Well, this recipe is a game changer! Loved it!

    • — Kristen on January 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Would flap steak work well with this recipe?

    • — Rich on January 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend it here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • What size (number quarts) soup pot should I use?

    • — Julie Wahl on January 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, I use a 5-1/2 quart pot and it fits perfectly. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’m hosting a gourmet themed dinner and would like to serve this as an entree. What would you suggest for a “french theme” potato?

    • — Dolly on January 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • I finished making this beef stew and removed it from the oven after cooking 3 hours, it smells delicious! I just realized that I forgot to add the balsamic vinegar. I am planning on serving it tomorrow night. Can I add the balsamic vinegar now or is it to late? Thanks Jenn!

    • — Rose on January 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Rose, that should be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 9, 2022
      • Reply

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