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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.

Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes

With over 4,000 5-star reviews, this classic French beef stew is the all-time most popular recipe on my website. It is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. Chunks of well-marbled beef are seared in a hot pan, 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 flavorful sauce. It 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


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


  • 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)


  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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  • This is the best beef stew I’ve ever had. So rich and delicious.

    • — Jeanne Johnson
    • Reply
  • My only stew recipe I use, I have been making this for a few years now. Changed adding the pototes to the stew instead make mash potatoes and ladeled the stew over the mash potatoes. This is my families favorite way to eat your stew recipe! Over the weekend made the stew after eating I had alot of gravy left, instead of throwing it out I made beef barley soup. Cooked the barley seperate in water, added onion soup mix with water and barley to the gravy. OMG delicious, my husband now decleared when I make stew, soup is to follow. Thanks Jenn for the recipes!

    • — Eileen Malejko
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’m glad that I found this recipe for beef stew. This is really very tasty and my family loved it so much, I have made this almost every other month since then, but I always forget to write a comment. I also make the southern biscuits to go with it, AWESOME!
    I was also gifted your first cookbook by my son when it came out for he knew I was using your recipes for cooking most of the time whenever he comes to visit, (which is most weekends).
    I can’t wait for your next cookbook to come out, so I can give my son a hint, hint for Mother’s Day gift?
    I do so enjoy and appreciate all the recipes I have made so far in your cookbook and website.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • — Charito Santos
    • Reply
  • The PERFECT rainy day meal for three teenage boys. They ask for this all the time now. 100 % comfort and really easy to put together. So happy sheltering in place helped me find your website.

  • I am married to a man who grew up eating beef bourguignon. This is so much better in that it has just the right amount of wine. The former is really too rich for us.
    I have made this over and over and it never fails. Follow the recipe exactly. Serve
    with very crusty french bread with butter and a salad. Perfection.

    • — Beth George Schulberg
    • Reply
  • This is the first recipe I made from onceuponachef. It is fabulous and a notch above other recipes I’ve tried. A little involved but well worth it! Great tips from a true pro!

  • No longer will I be intimidated by French cooking. This stew was rich with the flavor of France and it was so easy to achieve.
    It’s a great recipe!

  • Made this last Saturday in the slow cooker. Braised the meat first on the stove, substituted the water with more wine and broth (mostly wine), and left out the potatoes. I made mashed potatoes which the stew was served over. It was so filling and turned out very good. Super delicious over the mashed potatoes. Will make again.

  • Have made this many times. Just got the ingredients to make another double recipe for this cold weekend. I serve it over zoodles with a glass of good red wine.

    • — Ellen Bernstein
    • Reply
  • When I try a new recipe I stick with the steps and ingredients. I haven’t made any adjustments since the first time I made Jenn’s beef stew. Share it with the world as from the first to the last bite with eyes closed – it’s simply Yumalicious!

    • — Chrissy Milfeld
    • Reply
  • This is the BEST beef stew recipe! I’ve made this for people who said they didn’t like beef stew and they were amazed stew could be so good. This recipe is perfect as is but I add sautéed mushrooms.

  • This is the first recipe I made from this site, and it is 100% what hooked me to this site. I have a “foodie” family, which is often hard to please. High expectations and high standards. My family said this was the best stew they have ever had.

  • I love beef stew and this is delicious! Absolutely no changes needed here folks! I am over seventy years old and have cooked many a pots of beef stew but this is my new go to recipe. Can’t wait till I can have friends over again and share my new discovery! Thanks Jenn for your hard work and beautiful web site! Sooo many new foods to discover and you never disappoint.

  • So much more than just a stew. This recipe opened my eyes to the glory of succulent beef chunks and vegetables nesting in a rich, thick gravy. A comfort food classic that’s good anytime, and Jen’s recipe nails it.

  • Another winner Jen! I am always confident that whatever recipe I try if yours, it will be wonderful. My husband even went so far as to say he couldn’t pick fault with it – praise indeed! The only change I made was replacing one of the yellow onions with 5 shallots (I had to throw one of the onions away). I froze half the portion (without the potatoes as suggested) to have at the weekend as a treat with chips.

  • Among all the beef stew recipes out there, this recipe is my new favorite! Having said that, I did make some adjustments. I used about 2 cups of chunked shallots instead of the onions, I left out the carrots, added the wine to the beef & let it simmer about 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients. The browsing takes time but is so worth the effort. The shallots make the sauce velvety & yummy, I could just eat the sauce in a bowl!!

  • Absolutely delicious! I have made stews before but didn’t sear the meat: that step is crucial so don’t skip it! Served with quickly sautéed cabbage and cornbread. Family loved it!

    • — Nonie Caruthers
    • Reply
  • This is a great, classic recipe. The whole house smells wonderful as it cooks. My whole family enjoys this warm your belly dinner. Thanks, Jen!

  • Love, love, love.. the flavors are amazing and the house smells amazing when I cook this! This is definitely my go to recipe for Beef Stew. So hearty and comforting. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • First time I have posted a review of an on-line recipe I have tried. But I believe in giving credit where credit is due. This was an amazingly tasty meal. The flavours beautifully married while in the oven, the beef was wonderfully tender and moist, and the gravy rich and delicious. This will be a deserved mainstay in our household.

  • Fantastic stew recipe. I thought my own stew recipe was the best until I made this one. Jenn, your addition of balsamic vinegar was genious. I had never heard of that but will use it from now on! My family is not too keen on the red wine flavor so I cut that down to 1 cup and added an extra cup of beef broth. This will be my “go to” recipe for stew from now on. Thanks again for making me a better cook!

  • I received her cookbook for a gift after months of drooling over all recipes on this site. This was the first recipe I made, and it did not disappoint one bit. As a newly engaged couple, I wanted to learn staple recipes that were homey and comforting. My fiancé raved about this for days after I made it. The flavors in this are perfection, and a perfect dish for any cozy fall or winter night.

  • This beef stew recipe is simply amazing!! I use it time and time again. It is an all time favorite for both my family and my catering customers. It is very easy to make GF, as I just use GF flour instead of regular flour. I have never used the tomato paste. I’m not sure why! I think the first time I ever made this stew, I didn’t have any on hand and it was still so good without it that I never thought to use it! Anyway, this paired with Jen’s cornbread muffin recipe…holy cow! The best combo EVER!!!!
    Jen, thank you! You are me go-to and I so appreciate all you do!!!

  • Delicious! I made this stew with buttermilk biscuits based on your pairing recommendation. So good!!

  • This is one of my favorite recipes period. I love this beef stew so much I made it for Thanksgiving. The wine and balsamic vinegar give it a wonderful umami taste. I praised it so much my best friend made it and has made it several time since.

    • — Michelle L Davis
    • Reply
  • Another family favourite…the only things I changed was I only used 5 garlic cloves and only 1 large onion. I also made mine in the slow cooker. Great recipe.

  • Beef stew with carrots and potatoes…
    My “go to” recipe when family is coming. So tasty. Great tips for what cut of meat to buy and how to prepare. Thanks as always Jenn.

  • This is the perfect comfort food at the end of a cold winter day.

  • The PERFECT Comfort food/dish for winter! Chilly weather calls for this stew! All JEnn’s recipes are so easy to follow and honestly keep this one handy I’ve made it quite a few times and is great to throw in the freezer and whip out in a pinch!

  • This recipe is such a good base to make just about any adaptations you like to, and it will still come out as a good meal. Cooking for two, I usually do about half the meat, but increase the quantity of potatoes/carrots + celery (which I basically leave in the whole time), and add some peas at the very end. I don’t usually have wine on hand, and all stock works great! I will happily return to this recipe again and again for a hearty cold-weather dish that gives us several dinners’ worth!

  • I’ve made this twice. Both times excellent flavor. However, next time I will dredge the meat in the flour and then brown. Adding the flour according to the recipe led to a few lumps of unassimilated flour in the gravy. But I will make this again because the flavor was superior.

  • I have made this recipe a few times now and it became a favorite for my family. It is so tasty and comforting, a perfect winter meal.

    • — Dubé Hélène
    • Reply
  • The first time I use a recipe I stick with the steps/ingredients. For this Stew recipe nothing has been altered since the recipe showed up on Jenn’s site. Always a winner. It’s a definite share with the world because the first to the last bite you close your eyes and say Yumalicious.

    • — Chrissy Milfeld
    • Reply
  • My New Stew Recipe ! I’ve been making the same ole stew for 25 years and this is my new go to recipe. Thanks Jenn !

  • After making many beef stews, I have FINALLY found my favorite beef stew, right here. This recipe will make your house smell heavenly, and it’s delicious all around. If you want to make it gluten free, leave out the flour, and it makes for a more watery (and still delicious) stew. Family win in cooking here!

  • This recipe was very straightforward and easy to execute (though of course it did take a long time), and ended up tasting delicious and lasting my wife and I several days. I slightly regret adding the potatoes – perhaps I used the wrong variety, but they came out a bit dry, and I preferred eating the stew with bread anyway. Next time I would leave them out and add more carrots, which were delicious. After several re-heatings, the meat became a little dry and tough, though it was still quite good. I would re-heat in smaller portions next time.

  • I have made this recipie twice now and also the buttermilk buscuits. They are both absolutely delicious. The meat is so tender and the biscuits soak up the gravy a treat. Since moving from the UK I had been searching for good comfort food recipies and this is it.

  • My go to stew recipe. Simple and packed with flavor!

    • — Kristen Schwalenberg
    • Reply
  • Hands down the best beef stew I’ve ever made. I consider myself an experienced cook, but beef stew is always bland. Not this one. The flavor is incredible. I cut the carrots a bit thick and was pleased to find they still had a bit of bite and texture. This is now apart of my favorites!

  • This was easy and delicious. I was afraid that the one and only chuck roast at the grocery wasn’t marbled enough—it has some but certainly not like the beautiful roast in your photo. I shouldn’t have worried. The meat was tender and everything about the stew was delicious. My husband loved it too. Every recipe of yours that my husband or I have made ends up on our keeper list. Thank you!

  • This is the most amazing stew you will ever eat! The aromas while cooking are incredible you will feel like a professional while serving to your loved ones!

  • This stew is delicious. The prep was not difficult at all. The flavor that develops from the layers of ingredients is amazing. The meat was so tender. The gravy was so rich and velvety, I sopped it up with some French baguette. This is a classic Sunday supper. I’ll make this again soon!

  • Delicious! This recipe has become a family favourite. A perfect meal during the winter months!

  • We love all of Jenn’s recipe that we’ve made that we’ve shared them with foody friends who agree with the quality of flavors and variety of meals Jenn offers.

    This beef stew recipe is awesome just as written. In fact, I don’t think, of all the many recipes we make from Jenn, we change anything in any of them.
    We make this one all fall and winter long. Don’t forget that special bread, crusty, rustic bread is best.

  • You won’t love a beef stew until you’ve had this one! The prep is very easy and the instructors are simple to follow along. I buy my meat already cut up which cuts the prep time down a lot. This recipe feeds a lot and I’ve made it a few days a day ahead, and I have to say, it’s even tastier that way! Haven’t had the chance to freeze it yet as we’ve inhaled it each time but I plan on it in the future!

  • We make this every winter—it is my teenage daughter’s favorite comfort meal. A bit time consuming but worth it!

  • I made this Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes when it came up on the weekly recipes. With the exception of doubling the carrots, I followed the recipe and WOW! That’s the absolute best beef stew ever! Three generations of my family raved over it. Every recipe I’ve tried from Once Upon a Chef has been excellent! Thanks, Jenn!

  • I made this the other night and truly enjoyed it. I did add mushrooms to it as I feel they add a particular flavor that I enjoy. Served this over Rice and it was a huge hit.

    • — Audrey Carrick
    • Reply
  • Love this recipe! Who knew a stew could taste so good. Whole family loved it. The recommendation to have with Buttermilk Biscuits – which were amaaaazing!!- made the whole meal a delightful experience.

  • Made this for my husband who loves heart meals-easy to follow recipe and the taste unbelievable! He was so pleased! However, could not include potatoes with meat as my pot was too small so had to cook those separately. But the dish was still amazing and even better next day! Winning the casserole pot would be amazing for the next time I make this wonderful dish this winter!

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