Dutch Oven Beef Stew is the ultimate comfort food for when you want a cozy dinner on a cold day. This slow-simmered stew loaded with tender beef, carrots, potatoes, and onions is a hearty one-pot meal.
I don’t know about you but for me, Sundays are for cooking something that is going to simmer on the stove for a few hours. When you need something warm and satisfying on a cold winter day recipes like this beef stew, short rib ragu, or my Italian pot roast will hit the spot. And the incredible aroma wafting through the house while it cooks is just a sign of things to come. It is so hard to wait for that first bite!
Table of contents
This Dutch oven beef stew recipe is easy to make and uses simple ingredients. An inexpensive cut of beef, carrots, potatoes, and onions cook slowly in a rich and savory broth of beef stock and red wine. By the time the meat has turned tender, the broth thickness to a perfectly creamy consistency. Serve it with a loaf of crusty bread for a delicious and hearty meal.
I love using my Dutch oven to cook this classic beef stew because it is heavy and perfect for sealing in the heat during the long simmer. A Dutch oven is simply a heavy metal (usually cast iron) pan with a tight-fitting lid. Originally it was used for cooking over an open fire but today it is perfect for recipes that require long cooking times on the stove or in the oven.
Ingredients You Need to Make this Hearty Beef Stew
Stew Meat: You can buy stew meat that is already cut into small chunks or you can use a whole chuck roast and cut it up yourself. If you do opt for the chuck roast, make sure to cut the pieces about the same size so they cook evenly. I like to cut them into 2″- 3″ chunks. If you cut the meat into large pieces, it will take longer for the meat to become fork-tender.
Pan-Searing Brown Rice Flour: This is a gluten-free flour that I love for browning meats but you can also All-purpose flour.
Carrots: Peeled and cut into large chunks.
Onion: Cut into eight chunks.
Garlic: Peeled and diced.
Fresh Thyme: Removed from the stem and roughly chopped.
Red Wine: Cabernet sauvignon is a great choice but you can use any dry red wine you like.
Beef Broth: or Beef Stock. A store-bought product will work just fine if you don’t have homemade or you can substitute chicken broth or stock.
Dried Bay Leaves
Potatoes: Peeled and cut into large chunks. You can use any potatoes that you like. White or red potatoes work well. Russet potatoes tend to fall apart when they are cooked too long, but in this recipe, you are adding the potatoes during the last 30 minutes of cooking so they will work just fine.
Step by Step Instructions
- Brown the meat:
- Salt and pepper the meat generously.
- Add the beef and flour to a plastic storage bag. Shake the bag until the meat is evenly coated
- Set a large Dutch oven over medium heat and heat the olive oil until it glistens, add the beef and brown it on all sides. Work in batches and transfer the browned beef to a plate.
- Add the carrots, and onions to the pan and cook it until the onion starts to get tender. Add the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook a minute longer.
- Lower the heat, pour the wine into the pan, and cook it over medium-low heat until the liquid has thickened.
- Add the beef broth or stock, bay leaves, and Worcestershire sauce to the pan, stir, cover, and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
- Add the potatoes to the stew and cook covered for an additional 30 minutes or until the meat is fork-tender.
- Dry the beef off with paper towels before you season and dust them with flour. Extra liquid on the meat will cause the meat to steam rather than brown.
- Browning the beef produces fond (the brown bits on the bottom of the pan) which gives beef stew recipes their rich flavor. So don’t rush this step and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all those browned bits. You want all that flavor in your stew.
- The broth will reduce a bit while the stew cooks and the flavors will concentrate, so wait until you add the potatoes to adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- If the broth becomes too thick you can add a little water to loosen it up.
- Set the heat to low and leave it alone. Slow cooking the stew on low heat is necessary to break up the connective tissue and tenderize the meat. If you rush the cooking time your meat will be tough.
This easy beef stew is just as good if not better the next day! To store the stew, place the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate it for 3-4 days.
Leftovers can be frozen for up to 2 months if stored in a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag
This recipe can be made in the oven. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Follow the stove top directions and once you have added the beef stock, cover the pan and place it in the oven. After 1 1/2 hours, add the potatoes and return the covered pan to the oven for an additional 45 minutes or until the beef is tender.
Yes, you can overcook stew. Ideally, you want to cook it long enough so that the flavors meld and the meat is tender, about 2-3 hours depending on your recipe. But if you let it go too long the meat will dry up and the vegetables will get mushy.
Other hearty recipes to try:
I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Dutch Oven Beef Stew or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below. I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!
Dutch Oven Beef Stew
- 2 tbsp. Olive oil
- 2 lbs. Chuck Roast cut into 2-inch pieces or stew beef
- 1/2 cup Brown rice pan-searing flour or all-purpose flour
- 3 Carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 Onion cut into chunks
- 3 cloves Garlic rough chopped
- 1 tbsp Thyme chopped
- 1 cup Red wine
- 4 cups Beef Stock or broth
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cup Potatoes large, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 ½ tsp Salt
- ½ Black pepper
- Pat the beef dry with paper towels. sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Working in 3 batches, place ⅓ of the meat in a large storage bag ⅓ of the flour. Close the bag, sealing air in it, and shake it to coat the meat.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Work in small batches and add the meat to the oil when it starts to glisten. Brown the meat on all sides and transfer it to a plate.
- Add the carrots and onion to the pan and cook until the onions start to become tender about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, thyme, ½ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of black pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook for about 1 minute. Scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the red wine and cook over low heat until the wine reduces and is almost gone. Scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. The liquid will thicken a bit.
- Add the beef, stock, bay leaves, and Worcestershire sauce to the Dutch Oven. Raise the heat to medium. Cook uncovered until the stock starts to boil. Cover the pan and lower the heat to low. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.
- Taste for seasoning. Add the potatoes and cook uncovered for another 20 minutes.
- When the potatoes are tender, remove the pan from the heat, discard the bay leaves, and ladle the stew into serving bowls.
Cooking TipsDry the beef off with paper towels before you season and dust them with flour. Extra liquid on the meat will cause the meat to steam rather than brown. Browning the beef produces fond (the brown bits on the bottom of the pan) which gives beef stew recipes their rich flavor. So don’t rush this step and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all those browned bits. The broth in the stew will reduce while it cooks and concentrate the flavors, so wait until you add the potatoes to adjust the seasoning to your liking. If the broth becomes too thick as it cooks you can add a little water to loosen it up. Set the heat to low and leave it alone. Slow cooking the stew on low heat is necessary to break up the connective tissue and tenderize the meat. If you rush the cooking time your meat will be tough.