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. 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. 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 couldn’t believe the 5 star 3k+ reviews, but once I made it, I’ll never make another beef stew recipe. The combination of ingredients, and the balsamic make this a home run. No wonder everyone loves it.

    I cut the meat and veggies smaller than shown in the pics, and I add them at the beginning, rather than for the last hour. I like my potatoes cooked to death. Everything else I do exactly as the recipe. So happy I found this. Thanks very much!

    • — John on October 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have about a 3-4 lb whole beef tenderloin left over from a recent party. Since it won’t need to braise for a long time, what changes should I make? It has been previously marinated and grilled to about rare.

    • — Bonnie on October 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Bonnie, I wouldn’t recommend tenderloin for this recipe — I’m sorry!

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • If I make this with boneless short rib meat cut up does the cooking time remain the same? Ive made this recipe several times before with chuck and it is by far the best beef stew recipe ever. The balsamic takes it over the top.

    • — Debbie on October 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, I’ve never made this with short ribs, but a few readers have commented that they have and were happy with the results. I suspect the cooking time would be the same, but I’d check the meat for tenderness before serving. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi, I bought a whole beef tenderloin and butchered it to use the centre cut for your beef tenderloin roast with red wine sauce. Can I use the ends of the tenderloin for this stew? Thanks in advance!

    • — Jessica on October 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Jessica, I wouldn’t recommend tenderloin here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on October 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this beef stew with carrots and potatoes and it was fabulous! No leftovers! I did use stewing beef against your advice but I get my beef from a good source and it was all I had on hand. It was still very tender; braising is obviously the key. Thank you! Loved it!

    • — Wendy on October 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this recipe on two different occasions in the crockpot. One was beef the other pork. It turned out so good each time that I canned some of both types yesterday. I will be adding the flour when we open them up in the future. 😊

    • — Teri on October 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • The stew turned out excellent! I made one crockpot with the beef one day and with pork a couple of days later. Two days after that, I canned some of each to add to the pantry.
    P.S. To can it, I had to leave out the flour until we open it at a later date.

    • — Teri on October 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Grass fed beef stew is on sale at my local meat market. Do you think grass fed beef would be too lean for this recipe?

    • — Diane K on October 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Diane, I haven’t made this with grass-fed beef, but a few readers have commented that they have successfully. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2021
      • Reply
      • I made mine with grass fed stewing beef. It turned out great!

        • — Wendy on October 7, 2021
        • Reply
  • Making your fabulous stew for guests arriving next week. How many days after cooking can in stay in the refrigerator? Would rather add potatoes to original cooking as opposed to freezing and then boiling separately.
    Thanks Jen!

    • — Marion on October 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • If you’d like to freeze this, it actually freezes very nicely with the potatoes. If you’d prefer to make it ahead and refrigerate, I’d suggest up to 3 days ahead. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hello! If I make a day ahead, do you recommend leaving it in the dutch oven in the fridge and then reheating on the oven under a low flame… or would it be better to reheat in the oven? Thanks so much! I have made this 10 times and LOVE IT!

    • — Carrie on October 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Carrie, you can definitely leave it in the Dutch oven. I’d reheat it on the stove over the lowest heat. That way, you can assess when it’s heated through without opening the oven several times. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe tonight but finessed it a bit, because I like my soup a bit thicker and salter, so I added a tad bit of extra flour once it was in the crockpot, and a bit of chicken bouillon to give it a little bit of salt. It tastes amazing but at the end, I realized I forgot 1 ingredient; the sugar! Once I added that, although late in the game, it tied everything together beautifully! Paired it with some French bread to sop it all up.

    • — Lauren k on September 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Best I’ve ever had. Guests will sop-up every bit of the delicious gravy with a nice piece of crusty bread or a dinner roll. EXCELLENT!!

    • — Chris J Gorham on September 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was A-maz-ing, to the point that my husband and I were looking forward to seconds the next day like you would a meal at a favourite restaurant. I did wing it a little with liquid quantities, added some Marmite and mustard but nothing too crazy. Can’t wait to make it again, fabulous Autumn comfort food.

    • — Arlo on September 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can’t wait to make this one today…. Can I do it in the slow cooker? If so, how do I adapt it?

    • — Anna on September 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Anna, Yes, this should work in a slow cooker. 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 September 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • Great Boeuf Bourguignon. Have made it multiple times. It’s not too time consuming to make and it tastes amazing.

    • — Louis Cardon on September 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Forgot to mention it does get even better after sitting in the fridge for a day or two. It gives the potatoes time to absorb the flavor and for the flavors to blend better.

      • — Louis Cardon on September 25, 2021
      • Reply

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