Perfect Simple Beef Stew

Perfect Simple Beef Stew

I’ve tried off and on for several days to write this post, trying to create the perfect sentiment about this recipe; about how amazing the beef stew tasted; about how every member of my family who ate it for dinner and again the next day for breakfast or lunch genuflected when I walked into the room; about how I stayed after work and sat relaxing in the break room with my container of hot stew shoveling spoonful after spoonful of it into my mouth before I walked out into the bitterly cold winter night to drive home all warmed up on the inside, happy and full; about how you really ought to make this stew for yourself and savor its perfection; about how you should convert from vegetarianism or veganism just to eat this stew; about how glad you are going to be to write ‘excellent’ across the top of your copy of this recipe.

Looks as if maybe I have finally succeeded in writing an opening paragraph, even if it is only 1 sentence long.  And there really don’t need to be any more sentences after this one except the ones in the recipe because if you are not convinced that this is a ‘must’ on your menu by now, there is nothing further that I can say to convince you otherwise.

Perfect Beef Stew
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
Serves 4 small-medium sized appetites with no left-overs–just saying
Printable Recipe

  • 1 pound stew beef chunks
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large bite-sized chunks
  • 4-6 carrots, peeled and cut into approximately 3/4-inch slices
  • 1 very large onion or 2 medium onions, large chunky dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 cups beef stock (more or less as needed)–I used a simple beef stock made from McCormick’s beef base
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • flour
  • cooking oil–I used canola


  1. Season the beef chunks with salt and pepper as desired.
  2. Put 1-2 cups of flour in a plastic food storage bag.
  3. Add the beef chunks to the bag of flour. Twist the bag closed and shake to coat beef with flour.
  4. Heat a 4-6 quart pot or dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. When hot, add 3 tablespoons oil to the pot.
  5. Working in batches if necessary, brown the beef chunks in the oil.  I brown one side of the beef, then turn it over to brown the opposite side.
  6. Remove the browned beef from the pot and set aside on a plate.
  7. The pot should have some nicely browned flour and oil in the bottom.  Add a little more oil, if necessary, to saute the vegetables.
  8. Continuing with a medium heat, add the vegetables to the pot and saute until the onions begin to soften.  This will take about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and to keep the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  Sauteing the vegetables allows the flavors to deepen.  Do not burn!
  9. When the onions have softened and the other vegetables are a little past crisp-tender, add the beef  chunks back to the pot with the vegetables.
  10. Add the beef stock and stir to combine all ingredients; bring to a simmer and cook for 2 hours over medium to medium-low heat.
  11. Just before serving, blend 2 tablespoons flour with 1 cup cool water until smooth.  Bring the stew to a low boil.  Slowly add the flour/water mixture to the stew, stirring gently to incorporate.  Cook for a few minutes until thickened.

Perfect Simple Beef StewSeason the beef chunks with salt and pepper.

Perfect Simple Beef StewAdd a cup of flour to a plastic food storage bag.

Perfect Simple Beef StewAdd the beef chunks to the flour.

Perfect Simple Beef StewTwist the bag closed and shake to coat the beef chunks with the flour.

Perfect Simple Beef Stew
Perfect Simple Beef Stew

Perfect Simple Beef StewBrown the beef in a little hot oil in the bottom of a 4-6 quart pot or Dutch oven.  Brown on one side first, then turn over and brown on the opposite side.  This may have to be done in batches.

Perfect Simple Beef Stew Remove the beef chunks to a plate and set aside.

Perfect Simple Beef Stew
Perfect Simple Beef Stew

Perfect Simple Beef Stew Add the vegetables to the pot and saute them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened.  Sauteeing the vegetables adds flavor depth to the stew because it enhances the natural sugars found in the vegetables.  This little trick works well in a variety of soups, stews, and casseroles.

Perfect Simple Beef Stew Add the beef chunks back into the pot with the vegetables.

Perfect Simple Beef Stew Stir in the beef broth.  As you can see…I’m a particularly messy cook when I am pressed for time (had to go to work).  Just wanted to give you a picture of true life.

Perfect Simple Beef Stew The amount of broth that you add is up to your personal preference.  Simmer for 2 hours over medium to medium-low heat.

Perfect Simple Beef Stew

 Just before serving, bring the stew to a boil and thicken with a flour/water mixture.  If the stew is too thick, add a little more water; if it is too thin, add a little more flour/water mixture.  Now eat a bowl of two of your perfect beef stew with your favorite crusty bread or even all by itself.

All content including photos copyright 2010 by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’


  1. says

    What I love about your blog, mom, is that all my favorite recipes from growing up are in one place so I don’t have to keep hounding you for them when I want to make something. 🙂

  2. says

    And what I love about you, Katie, is that you have left me this sweet note on my blog so that I can look at it whenever I want to. And I love that you are keeping ‘family’ recipes alive. And I like starting sentences with ‘and’. The end.

  3. Julie says

    Just thought you should know I “accidentally” came across your cooking blog and now it is my “go to” for meals…my family has given thumbs up to EVERYTHING (and empty stares when I say there are no left overs)… So in case no one else tells you, Thank You for keeping this cooking blog up and running for us desperate mommies that are just plum worn out from fixing the same ‘ol every week!!!! 🙂

    • says

      Ha-ha! I guess you had better double the recipes! Thanks, Julie, for your kind comments. I TOTALLY understand what you mean by being worn out from fixing the same thing every week. As a matter of fact, I just asked my daughter, who is living with us for a little while, what she would like for dinner tonight. I got the exact same response from her that I have gotten for about the last 20 years, “I don’t know. ‘Whatever’ is fine.” That translates into, “I really don’t want to make that decision. It would require me to plan and think, so I am going to leave that job entirely up to you, Mother Dear.”

      The only ones that I can count on to give me a straight answer are my two little grandsons and they will say something amazing like, “Umm, would you make your world famous chicken?” ….”Why of course my precious, darling angel!!!! I would be happy to make you my world famous chicken!”

  4. Karen says

    Found your family recipe quite by accident and am loving the simplicity of it for perfect beef stew. Will become one of my ‘go to comfort foods’. Karen

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