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.

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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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

  • If i wanted to cook this on the stovetop instead of oven so that it will come out more like a soup, how long would you suggest cooking it for?

    • — Terri on June 9, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Terri, I’d suggest cooking it for the same amount of time as you need all that time for the beef to become tender. To make it more like a soup I’d cut the flour from 1/4 cup to 2 tablespoons. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 14, 2022
      • Reply
    • It was scrumptious and really enjoy the flavors (I used peas instead of potatoes cause of freezing leftovers). thank you very much.

      • — Andrea Solomon on June 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • Your food is standout good and this is no exception.
    Also a huge fan of your Caesar salad.
    Will be buying your book.

    • — Brian Robertson on June 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes (and thanks for your support of the cookbook)!

      • — Jenn on June 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • WOW!!!! What an amazing beef stew. I have made many stew recipes but have never reached this level of flavor. I add a few more veggies like parsnips, mushrooms, celery and I love adding a little splash of worcestershire sauce. A perfect Sunday dinner with plenty of leftovers. Flavor just gets better the next day! It has been made many times and shared the recipe with everyone who has had the pleasure of enjoying it at our dinner table.
    Certainly a must go. It will be in my top recipes to make forever!

    • — Lori Ann Bradley on June 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this with 2kg of beef and followed the recipe 1.5 times. I substituted the potatoes for celery as I served the stew with mashed potatoes. It turned out delicious however I had to cook in the oven for an extra 30m mins to an hour uncovered to reduce the liquid and even then it was still very runny so thickened with extra flour.

    • — Samar on June 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • It was absolutely delicious! Made it last night here in Sydney & did it on the stove in my big heavy frying pan with lid. I started to freak out after 3 hours as it was still liquid with meat/carrot/potatoes & it would never turn stew-like, then I turned it up high and blasted it for the last 30 mins. So I cooked it for 3 1/2 hours. Was soo nice – think the balsamic is the key ingredient. I realised I didn’t have tomato paste so used passata and it worked fine. Soo yum & yours is my favourite website. I make your pumpkin bread every winter 🙂

    • — Saskia on May 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thanks for this recipe, it was a beautiful dinner.

    • — Lindsay on May 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • So delicious! I changed up the cooking method and did it in the slow cooker. Our new favourite beef stew recipe.

    • — Mel on May 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have made this recipe for my husband and I, and it came out excellent!

    For a dinner party I am hosting (8 people), I want to make it again but add more meat and no potatoes. I will serve it on top of buttered noodles. I want to double the 3 lbs of meat to 6 lbs (for seconds). How much liquid do I need for this amount of meat? I see in your original recipe, you have 6 cups liquid (2 cups red wine, 2 cups beef broth, 2 cups water). What do you recommend for 6 lbs of meat with no potatoes? I have a large dutch oven so space is fine. Please advise. Thank you!!!

    • — Jeanette on May 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jeanette, So glad you liked this! For what you’d like to do, I’d increase all the other ingredients by 1.5. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on June 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • Jenn – what an awesome recipe – it is so full of flavor!!! Well worth the 3 hour cook time. One tip – meat sold as “stew meat” at Costco is actually good quality chuck. One of the butchers shared this with me. I have used this meat with great results both times I have made it!!! Kudos!

    • — BobM on May 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Incredible recipe. My first time properly making a stew. Didn’t have wine but it didn’t matter — frying the beef in the pan first made a huge difference. Genius recipe. One thing, I didn’t realize there were detailed instructions and a recipe list down below: I made the entire recipe based on the comments and pictures above. 😂 It still turned out amazing.

    • — Alex on May 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • What can I substitute for the wine and balsamic vinegar ? I don’t have any

    • — Naleenie on May 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • You can replace the wine with additional beef broth and the balsamic vinegar with red wine vinegar. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is by far the best beef stew I’ve ever made. I used black Angus boneless blade steak. The meat was so tender and delicious. The key is getting the right cut of meat and searing it in an uncluttered Dutch oven until it’s well browned. Loved it.

    • — Lucille on May 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious stew, I’ve made it a couple times, and the last time I got creative. I added rosemary, and I skipped the wine and dumped an entire can of Guiness in instead. I also substituted the water with additional beef broth, and threw in mushrooms and parsnips. I’m not sure it’s the same stew anymore, but I got there from here 😂

    • — Adam on May 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve made your beef stew once before and it is delicious!! I plan on making it again soon. I’ve tried a lot of your recipes and you are by far the best chef ever! Thank you Jenn for all your glorious recipes. You are my go to chef for when I want to find a terrific recipe and to impress my friends.

    • — Virginia Lehner on May 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on May 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is delicious such a quick easy recipe thank you 🙂

    • — Joanne Gow on May 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn,love your recipes,but above all have learned so much from you.And I am 90,HA,HA. I had always made the beef stew,but never did the second step,removing meet adding balsamic vinega to remove the flavor building finds from pan.Loved it,and made my beef stew the best in 65 yrs.The message is,it is no ever too late to learn!

    • — Rosemarie on May 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve been a private chef for 17 years and just recently have become a recruiter for chefs. And I can say that this is hands-down the very best essential beef stew recipe I’ve used! Just delicious and perfectly balanced flavor. And the best part is, the recipe works as stated. Many thanks!

    • — MBL on April 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • Great recipe. Very flavorful and meat was very tender. Only used 1 cup of wine and 3 cups of beef broth. Added a bit of water.

    • — makaroni on April 24, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sounds like a good adjustment! Thanks for the tip.

      • — Zoe on June 11, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is the best beef stew I’ve ever made. I do not add sugar- between the wine, onions, and carrots there is enough natural sweetness for my taste.

    • — Juliana on April 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is my go-to beef stew recipe. I’ve made it countless times and is just perfect. I use to bother making boeuf bourguignon, which is close to this, but much more complicated. This honestly does it for me. I only add some sautéed mushrooms right at the end, before serving and voilá! Love it, and the kids love it more. Served with homemade sourdough bread. Utter perfection, so thank you for such a lovely recipe.

    • — Catherine on April 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • THis is how I make mine without the vinegar. I love stew made with clove. Have you ever made it like that Jenn? Also I’m looking for a good stew/chili bowl. The one in this recipe is perfect. What size is it and can you say the brand? Thank you

    • — Rita Cenname on April 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Rita, I’ve never made stew with cloves – sounds interesting! And regarding the bowls, I don’t recall where I got those, and I’m out of state for the next several weeks so I’m not able to look at the brand to tell you what it is and I’m sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Too sweet. I knew I should have skipped the sugar. I’m gonna have to dump a can of anchovies in it to counter the cloying taste.

    • — Rusty Shakleford on April 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • The sugar isn’t really that much, is only there to balance the acidity, so I would not skip it. You can def pack on the salt if that is what you want. Anchovies? Hey, try it and tell us how it went!

      • — Catherine on April 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • You’ve put so many advertisments on your page that it won’t load 🙁

    • — Shannon on April 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Shannon, I am so sorry you’re seeing too many ads! I know how frustrating it is. Couple questions:

      -What type of device are you using? If it’s an iPad, the ads can move around depending on how you’re holding it.

      -If you’re using a computer, do you have it in full-screen mode? If not, depending upon how narrow the page is displayed, if the ads don’t have room to be alongside the content, they will display on top of it. This will resolve itself with the full-screen view.

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2022
      • Reply
      • Take a screen shot of the recipe, and just use the photo. Delicious stew, by the way.

        • — Elaine on May 4, 2022
        • Reply
    • I really dont get so many ads…I use the Brave browser. Try it.

      • — Catherine on April 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’m loving all the reviews and excited to try this. Wondering if I can make this in a slow cooker instead of stovetop/oven?

    Would you recommend low heat for 3 hours?

    Thanks,
    Amy

    • — amy on March 31, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Amy, 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 March 31, 2022
      • Reply
  • After blowing it twice with this recipe, I finally nailed it with a few changes and would like your comments…(Don’t try to double the recipe…I boiled the beef!)

    1. Selecting the right cut is key. Get a 3lb chuck roast from a good butcher, not two smaller ones. I cut mine into 1.5-2 inch squares. Don’t be shy with salt and pepper. (Kosher salt? You didn’t specify.) If you have it, use the side burner on your grill outside to brown the beef, to avoid a grease fog in the kitchen. (Wife was not amused…) Rather than use exclusively olive oil, I browned some of the fat that I trimmed to get the heat going. Do you have a favorite extra virgin olive oil?

    2. The recipe calls for 2 cups of wine, water, and beef broth. What does water bring to the party? Nothin’. I used 3 cups Cabernet Sauvignon and 3 cups beef broth.

    3. No celery? Any reason why not? I added it. I got my monster carrots from Sam’s Club. You suggest cooking mushrooms and adding them at the end. I threw them all in at once and wish I hadn’t. Used 2.5 bay leaves for no great reason. I’ll add peas next time too.

    4. Some nice French bread and a good Cabernet Sauvignon, you’re ready to go. Excellent winter meal. I agree that it’s a great meal to make a day ahead and serve it with fermented flavor.

    5. Since a like a thicker sauce, should I cook the last 30 minutes uncovered?

    Thanks Jenn!

    • — John Frericks on March 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi John, Glad you enjoyed it! Answers to your questions:
      -I used regular/table salt in the recipe but kosher is fine too. (When a recipe of mine says salt in the ingredient list, I am referring to regular/table salt. If it calls for something else like kosher salt, I will specify that.)
      -My favorite brand of EVOO are Colavita and Lucini.
      -There was no particular reason for omitting celery when I developed the recipe, but a lot of people have added it and have been happy with it.
      -For a thicker broth, you can definitely simmer it on the stove, uncovered, until it reaches your desired texture.
      Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on March 28, 2022
      • Reply
    • I add a bouquet garni with celery and parsley and all the usual suspects. Add it when I remember…other times I skip it.
      Cab is definitely the way to go, unless you want to try a Carmenère. Is what I use. Lovely stuff, less heavy than a cab. If you can get your hands on a bottle of it, give it a try. Treat it like a Merlot, but has way more body than a Merlot, yet a tad less of a cab. Beautiful wine in my opinion.

      • — Catherine on April 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • Honestly the best beef stew ever! Thank you so much for sharing this and all your recipes. Your recipes are literally feeding my family 5 days a week!

    • — Crystal on March 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have made this stew many times and I can’t thank you enough Chef Segal! It is perfect, I add sautéed mushrooms at the end and have also added sweet potatoes which were delicious. It is the best beef stew recipe! I serve it with your dinner rolls which I also adore.

    • — Sage on March 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • This really is an amazing recipe. I’m making it now for probably the 5th time. It’s perfect! Thanks for this.

    • — Joe Mcgowan on March 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is an amazing recipe! Followed exactly the first time; perfection! This has become a Fall / Winter staple. The whole house smells delicious….

    • — Dave K ~ Jersey Shore on March 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent and easy to follow recipe!! Have been looking around to try cooking beef stew and come across your recipe. I am using the pressure cooker to shorten the cooking time. The outcome of this beef stew taste was great!! Loving it and saved this recipe =)

    • — JY on March 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve been trying various stew recipes for the past few years including the highly rated New York Times stew recipe (which was bland). In all my searching for stew recipes, this stew recipe tastes the best even when I cook it on the stove. It is also easy to make.

    Jenn Segal’s once upon a chef recipes and cookbook consistently provide me with “gold standard” meals. By following her recipes, Jenn can make anyone into a cook!

    • — T Car on March 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Made this yesterday and didn’t serve it until today. Absolutely and without a doubt the BEST beef stew I ever made! Definitely company worthy!!

    • — Noreen R on March 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the one of first recipes that I followed and it actually turned out! I even added in sautéed baby bellas with the carrots and potatoes and the sauce still came out nice and thick.

    With a lot of recipes, something is usually amiss. Not this one, make it and you’ll love it.

    • — TSW on March 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • I just made this, delicious! Such a lovely smell in the house while cooking! Agree with many others, wine and balsamic vinegar is a game changer. The few minor tweaks- added celery, used a little more flour on the meat than called for, used 1.5 c red wine instead of 2, didn’t use water or sugar, added a little beef bone broth, then the rest beef broth, I didn’t measure, I just filled my 5qt till about 2 inches from the top. I did add carrots 30 minutes before potatoes. Will serve with biscuits.

    • — Marcia on March 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this for a small dinner gathering and it got rave reviews!!
    It is the perfect beef stew recipe with a nice loaf of crusty bread for dipping!!
    I will absolutely make again and again
    Kk

    • — Kathy on March 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • Loved the recipe! My only change was I continued to cook over a warmer on the stove for 6 hours (similar to a slow cooker). Added carrots and potatoes in after the first hour and tossed in some frozen peas and corn! Our kids loved it too!
    Regards,
    themediocrechef

    • — Mark on March 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this beef stew and it was the BEST I have ever eaten!!!! I followed the instructions and had no problems at all. I can’t say how important it is to sear that meat and take your time doing it so that the pot is not crowded. That made the best brown bits and gave this stew such fantastic flavor….along with cooking the tomato paste in those delicious bits!!!!!! Loved, loved, loved it!!! I highly recommend trying this recipe.

    • — Mary B on March 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have ambivalent feeling towards stew. Sometimes the beef turns out kind of dry or it’s too watery, too thick, too many tomatoes etc. but this was perfect! This was the best beef stew recipe I have ever used. I made it in the oven rather than the stovetop.
    I loved the combination of the broth, the wine and balsamic vinegar.
    I followed the recipe exactly except I only had sweet potatoes so used those.
    It’s a keeper!

    • — Nancy on March 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • So so good. Perfect in every way!

    • — Terri on March 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Favorite recipe for Beef Stew, LOVE ❤️! Making this again tomorrow 😋!
    Thank you for sharing!

    • — Cindi Shields on March 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • So delicious that even my 2 and 4 year olds couldn’t think of anything negative to say! I didn’t have balsamic so I substituted for red wine vinegar, and the stew was still fabulous (will definitely make sure I have the balsamic next time though!). Also so quick and easy that I prepared the entire thing during nap, with time to spare.

      Look forward to making it again!

      • — Lisa on April 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was delicious! You are my new favorite chef.

    • — Debra on March 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is incredibly delicious! It’s now my go to stew. nice with anchovy paste if I have it.
    Thanks for making me look good, Jenn (;

    • — Debra on March 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • Easy to follow, delicious and very satisfying. Even better the second day. Added peas when I reheated on the second day.

    • — Niki on March 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe knocked my socks off and I will never make another pot roast or beef stew recipe again. It is absolutely superb.

    • — Tracy on March 8, 2022
    • Reply

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