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 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. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The stew can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just omit the potatoes because they don’t freeze well. If you’d like, boil some potatoes separately when you defrost the stew and either add them into the stew or serve them on the side. 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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Reviews & Comments

  • I made this yesterday and it was definitely the best beef stew I’ve ever made. I swapped the water for 2 more cups of broth ( only because I saw other reviewers suggest it) and I was a little short on wine so added about 3/4 cup of water. Served it with crusty bread. It was a huge hit. Recipe was shared! I love using the Dutch over the slow cooker.

    • — Julie M on January 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this a few times just amazing, especially the broth. I am curious if it’s possible to cook this recipe in a pressure cooker. If so, what kind of advice or tips you could offer

    • — Michael on January 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you’ve enjoyed it! I’ve never made this in a pressure cooker, but a number of readers have commented that they have and have been happy with the results. One recent comment indicated: “I cooked at high pressure for 35 min, although next time I will add 5 more min, then depressurized, added the potatoes and carrots, and cooked for another 10 min. Also added a bit less liquid, since you lose none in the pressure cooker.” Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2021
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  • I’ve made this 2 times now. I think that the amount of liquid is too much to give the final dish a rich sauce. I use 1 cup wine, 2 cups broth and 1 cup water. When you do this it turns out to have a thick rich broth as the carrots and potatoes will add to the liquid in the dish. I also do not add the full amount of thyme…but this is a preference. So as written I will rate it as a 3 Star.

    • — pjo on January 23, 2021
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  • I was searching about for a new stew recipe and this came up. It was yummy and I really liked the braising – typically my stews are stove top in the dutch oven. I added celery as well. Next time I will add a bit more flour to help it thicken. Anyway, it worked well and we all enjoyed it. I’d make it again.

    • — darcy winch on January 23, 2021
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  • I think I have this recipe memorized… it’s a go to staple in my house in the cooler months. I usually add rosemary if I have fresh on hand, and omit water and use extra beef stock instead. Also, I am generous with tomato paste. True story, it’s in my oven now with 30 minutes to go and it’s the third time I’ve made it this month! So delicious!!!

    • — Cary Joy Hans on January 21, 2021
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  • Hi Jenn! Is there an alternative to the wine?

    • — Jess on January 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Jess, you can use more broth in place of the wine. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 21, 2021
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      • Hello! Thanks so much for helping me to impress my sweetie. This recipe knocked our socks off, it was so good! I marinated the meat w/ salt, pepper, garlic salt & a few dashes of tapatillo hot sauce for a few hours prior to cooking. Instead of sugar, I used agave syrup.
        The meat was so tender, it fell apart, & the broth was thick & flavorful. The veggies were cooked to perfection! Can’t wait to have more today! It should be even better than last night!

        • — Nikki Quintanar on January 23, 2021
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  • I made the following modifications: I added a pound of sauteed crimini mushrooms, subtituted 12 oz of Guinness Stout for water, and added 1Tbsp of Worcestershire. Lip smackin’ good was the opinion of all. Thanks so much for this keeper.

    • — Richard Antal on January 21, 2021
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  • There is no need for water in this recipe and I recommend using more meat than recommended. Followed the recipe and it was bland… very disappointing.

    • — Alexandra on January 20, 2021
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  • Just made this and it came out delicious! Definitely my new beef stew recipe!

    • — Michelle Unterborn on January 20, 2021
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  • Love this recipe with one little difference I don’t put h2o in it I use broth. I have used several recipes from Jen. Each and every one of them are wonderful. Jen is my go to recipe mentor. Thank you for your amazing creations.

    • — Sheila on January 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • Why give it 5 stars when you don’t follow the recipe? It is misleading to the people that want to try this recipe.

      • — Alexandra on January 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this 3 times and have just made it again…. it’s in the oven as I write this. We have it with mash so I don’t put the new potatoes in. I also put dumplings in mine. Absolutely delicious comfort food. Easy to prepare. One of our winter favourites now!

    • — Erica on January 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m making this for the fourth time and my young kids who are budding food snobs cheered when I announced the dinner menu! It’s perfect and delicious. Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Jasmine on January 18, 2021
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  • Hi there, I made the stew today as per the recipe, its now in the fridge and tomorrow Ill add sauteed button mushrooms along with the carrots.
    Haven’t decided yet if i should serve on mash potato with steamed green beans or on pasta.
    Did a taste test, it is gorgeous.
    Ellie.

    • — Ellie on January 18, 2021
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  • Can you simmer on stove top instead of in the oven?

    • — Cindy on January 17, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – just give it a stir periodically so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 18, 2021
      • Reply
    • Oh, my goodness! So delicious!

      • — Janet Lewis on January 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • My husband And I made this Stew and we love it!! followed the recipe to a T but we added more potatoes. I will make it again.👍👍👍👍👍

    • — Krissi on January 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I sadly don’t have a Dutch oven at this time. Could I get away with cooking this in a pot on the stove and then transferring it to a deep baking dish for the oven portions? Thank you!

    • — Alyssa on January 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Alyssa, You can actually cook it entirely on the stove over low heat. Just give it a stir every once in a while so the bottom doesn’t scorch. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 18, 2021
      • Reply
      • Well, personally I would have left the sugar out completely. Next time I’ll have to because none of us cared for the sweetness factor. It took mine longer to cook I think because my carrots were still cold but totally my fault I forgot to take them out of the fridge. I also thought it needed a bit more seasoning. At the end i added garlic powder (too late for more fresh only 5 minutes before serving lol), pepper, and a pretty hefty amount of salt along with the rest of the small can of tomato paste. I also used an extra cup of wine when first putting it together. When we tasted how sweet it was I thought maybe I accidentally used the sweet red blend but it was definitely the Chianti I used so I assume the sugar combined with the sweet carrots is what did it. It’s got plenty of potential it just is going to require some tweaking for our family tastes.

        • — Ariel on January 24, 2021
        • Reply
  • Jen, I’m a huge fan. You’re my go-to chef for dinner recipes, and I’ve even gifted your cookbook for holiday presents.

    What would be the temperature and cook time if I were to make this stew in a crock pot? Thank you!

    • — Matthew on January 15, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes and thanks for your support of the cookbook!! 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 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • Amazing!!!!!!!! Love this stew! Try it you will be pleasantly surprised!

    • — Mary on January 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank you for this delicious recipe! Wow! So good!

    • — Maggie on January 15, 2021
    • Reply
    • Oh my goodness! So delicious! Definitely a keeper.

      • — Janet Lewis on January 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I made this stew quite a few times already and we love it as with all the other recipes of yours we tried. My husband decided at age 66 he wants to start cooking (lord, give me patience) and today he would like to start off with your stew which even as a novice cook I really don’t think he can mess it up, even though he has problems with toast!!!!

    • — Deb on January 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • Your recipes are always easy to follow and I know they’ll turn out great. I made this for the first time this week. I didn’t get nervous when we suddenly had guests join us for dinner. I knew that it would be delicious. I was not expecting it to be even better the next day.

    • — My new go to beef stew on January 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen! I’m going to purchase my first Dutch oven to tackle this recipe. What size should I get? I saw you said to use a large pot but I’m seeing a ton of sizes for Dutch ovens …what would you consider large?
    Thanks so much! I can’t wait to give this a go! ☺️

    • — Kate on January 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kate, I use a 5.5-quart Dutch oven for this. Depending upon the number of people you’re cooking for (if it’s generally 4 or less), I think this is an ideal size. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the stew!

      • — Jenn on January 15, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you, Jenn!! I found a beautiful 5.5 quart and made my family wait until 8:00PM for dinner after getting a bit of a late start! 😆 Nobody minded! It was worth the wait! I cannot believe this came out of my kitchen! Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

        • — Kate on January 16, 2021
        • Reply
        • So glad it was a hit — thanks for the follow-up! 🙂

          • — Jenn on January 18, 2021
          • Reply
      • This is the best beef stew I have ever eaten, and easiest to make. I will be trying more of your recipe’s soon!!!!

        • — John C on January 16, 2021
        • Reply
  • This is the BEST beef stew I have ever eaten. I used mainly beef, but I had some venison on hand so I threw it in. I added peas at the end. Amazing! Delicious! Will def be making again.

    • — Leanna on January 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Question for you before I make this AMAZING stew again tomorrow. Do I really need to brown both sides of the meat? I’ve previously made your lovely Red Wine Braised Short Ribs recipe, which calls for browning on one side only because it’s faster and turns out just as good. Thank you!

    • — Listen Linda Listen on January 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, You can get away with browning one side here too. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 14, 2021
      • Reply
      • Awesome! Thanks so much, Jenn.

        • — Listen Linda Listen on January 14, 2021
        • Reply
  • Whole family loves this stew!! I always double recipes since there are 5 of us and big eaters, my husband is a big food snob(worked in 5 star hotels) and loves this stew, the sauce has a lot of depth…only change I make is adding peas at the end!

    • — Cathy Raposo on January 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe so much! It’s my go to for any beef or venison stew that I make and the entire pot is always eaten immediately!

    • — Sara Peterson on January 12, 2021
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  • I consider myself to be a good cook, not great, but I can improvise and cook well without a recipe.

    This Stew is unbelievably beautiful!
    It’s rich, soothing, healthy and the flavour is out of this world.
    It wins my husband over who is an amazing cook, so thank you for helping me out.
    We scraped the braising dish, no leftovers!!!!

    • — Jennifer on January 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Forgot to mention the veggies I had on hand were rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, peas and only a few baby potatoes. Added a sprig of fresh rosemary- What an amazing combination.
      Thank you.

      • — Jennifer Adam on January 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious!

    • — Linda Jacob on January 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • We had actual legitimate snow in Austin today. Stew seemed only so fitting. Found this recipe via Google, and it excelled all expectations. I added celery and mushrooms with the veggies since I didn’t have quite enough carrots. Served over buttered Mrs. Miller’s egg noodles, and we had five clean plates! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

    • — AWhitintheKitchen on January 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Don’t change a thing perfect every time

    • — Don on January 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • We made this last night and are enjoying it today: it’s simply wonderful–the flavours are delicious, the meat is very tender and the vegetables all hold their shape. One slight deviation from the recipe: we added parsnips to the veg mix………yum!

    We followed Jenn’s suggestion to pair this stew with Southern-style Buttermilk Biscuits. The biscuits are a snap to put together and they are perfect! What a great combination–highly recommended.

    Thank you.

    • — Elaine Brown on January 10, 2021
    • Reply

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