How to Make Stew

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


The word stew conjures up visions of friends and family gathered around the table on a chilly day enjoying each other’s company as they dip into bowls of thick broth with chunks of meat and vegetables cooked to perfection.


  • 2 lbs. chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters (optional)
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup red wine, beer, cider (optional)
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 and ½ cups red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 Tbsp. flour, for thickening if desired


  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil.
  2. Add the beef in a single layer and don’t overcrowd. You may need to do this in batches. Cook the pieces turning to brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate and continue until all of the meat has been seared.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot.
  4. Add the onion. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. If including mushrooms, add them now and cook until they have released their liquid.
  5. Add the carrots and celery. Cook until they are soft on the outside, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and garlic, cook until the garlic is fragrant and the paste has darkened, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme stir to combine with the vegetables.
  7. Add ½ cup red wine if using or ½ cup beef broth stirring to loosen the bits (aka fond) on the bottom of the pan.
  8. Return the meat to the pot. Add enough broth to cover the meat by 1/2-inch. Add the bay leaves.
  9. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  10. Add the potatoes and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.
  11. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the peas and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  12. If you would like to thicken the broth, place the flour in a medium bowl and add 1 cup of broth from the stew. Whisk until they are completely combined. Pour the flour slurry back into the stew slowly while stirring.  Continue stirring until the stew and thickened.


  • If thickening the stew with the flour slurry, add the peas after it has thickened.