My Favorite Beef Stew Recipe

It gets really hot and muggy in Mississippi.  By the time we have our 4 or 5 days of Fall weather, I am soooo ready to make beef stew.  It’s my favorite thing when it gets cold outside, and I love to make it the low and slow way, and let those delicious aromas permeate the house with the wonderful smell.  A box of fresh crackers, and my favorite beef stew recipe is perfection in a bowl.

Why is this “My Favorite Beef Stew Recipe”

First, it’s simple.  I don’t cotton to super prep-heavy meals or multi-step process cooking dishes, especially when I’m craving comfort food.  Secondly, this is comfort food at its’ best – warm, satisfying, and beefy-goodness delicious.  Third, and most importantly, it builds anticipation then delivers on flavor.

My Beef Stew Tips and Tricks

Ok, beef stew isn’t a terribly hard assignment.  However, there are a few tips and tricks that I use to help make sure the stew is really good.  First, make it beefier than any other recipe you’ve seen.  I like a strong beef flavor, and this recipe has it.  Next, I don’t use “stew meat” from the grocer, I buy sirloins.  the difference is the amount of waste.  With stew meat, you are getting their trimmings from cutting steaks.  Most of the time, you will get extra fatty pieces, or pieces with a lot of connective tissue or silverskin.  I just buy a bulk pack of sirloin and trim it down to the size I want.  I get less waste and, if I buy too much for one recipe, sirloin is certainly adaptable enough to make a different recipe in a day or two.  Last, and probably most importantly, is the timing of the vegetables.

The Right Time to add Carrots and Potatoes

The trick to beef stew is getting the beef succulent and tender without overcooking carrots, potatoes, and other vegetables you might add.  Now, in my recipe I add carrots, celery, bell peppers, and onion at the beginning, but they’re meant to cook until almost dissolved.  No, I’m talking about the veggies you want to have nice tender pieces of when the stew is ready.  So, my tip is this, when you can get a piece of beef with a wooden spoon, and break off a piece against the side of the dutch oven, it’s time to add the carrots.  This is about 40-50 minutes before the beef is ready.  When you can kind of break a piece of beef apart, but it’s not tender, then it’s time to add the potatoes.  This is about stew time minus 30 minutes.  Doing this, I can determine when I should generally add the veggies without having one thing or another turning to mush.

Thickening the Stew

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, Wondra Flour is one of the most important things I have in my pantry.  I use it all the time for soups, stews, sauces, and more.  It’s really amazing.  I’m not paid by Wondra or anything, I just use the product all the time, and it lets me gently thicken something to my liking instead of using regular flour or a roux.

Other than that, I hope you enjoy!

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My Favorite Beef Stew Recipe


This is my favorite stew recipe, and it’s with me from the first hint of Fall until Springtime roars into place.  It is the epitome of comfort food, and nothing pleases me more than a nice bowl of stew, a crisp, Mississippi evening, and a bunch of fresh crackers.



12 TBS canola oil

1 cup all purpose flour

2 TBS Melissa’s Garlic Blend Seasoning, divided

2 lbs sirloin or beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 3/4” cubes

2 quarts water

1 TBS concentrated beef stock paste

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced

1/2 cup finely diced carrots

2 stalks celery, finely diced

1 cup baby carrots

1.5 cups diced, peeled baking potatoes

1 TBS tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

23 bay leaves

1 cup red wine

1 tsp Hungarian Paprika

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (I like mine peppery!)

Wondra flour, as needed.


In a large dutch oven, heat 1 TBS canola oil.   In a resealable bag, add flour and 1 TBS Garlic Blend Seasoning.  Add stew meat pieces, a few at a time, and shake bag to coat.  After the oil is hot, add floured stew meat to pan, about 1/3 of the meat at a time.  Brown each batch and remove to another plate.  Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and diced carrots.  Cook until veggies are softened, then add garlic and tomato paste.  Cook 2 more minutes, stirring often.

Pour in red wine to deglaze pan.  Scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.  Allow wine to reduce by half, then add beef, water, and beef stock back in.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for a2 hours.  check the tenderness of the beef.  When you think the stew has about 40 minutes left, add the carrots.  When you think it has about 25 minutes left, add the potatoes.

As everything is finishing up, correct for salt and pepper.  If you want a thicker stew, lightly sprinkle in Wondra flour, or wait until the potatoes are fully cooked and stir to have them thicken the stew.


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