Nothing says comfort like beef stew, and this easy beef stew recipe is healthy and heart-warming!
‘Cockles of the heart’ is an expression that my dad used to say when I was a kid. I never really thought anything of it, it seemed like a totally normal expression to me, until I became an adult myself and realized that nobody else says it. The thing about expressions is that they are inherited culturally or traditionally and it turns out that this is exactly what this expression is; from my pops to me! The good news is that it actually makes sense. The cockles of the heart are its ventricles, named by some in Latin as “cochleae cordis”, from “cochlea”, alluding to their shape. (I googled this definition, don’t worry.) And what’s even more interesting is that it is thought that the expression is of Irish Gaelic Origin, so the fact that I’m using it to describe an Irish-inspired easy beef stew is even more fitting!
How to Make Beef Stew:
Beef stew is a traditional dish made with beef, potatoes, and vegetables simmered in a rich gravy. Although the specific ingredients for a beef stew can vary slightly from one recipe to the next, this easy beef stew recipe is my take on the classic dish.
- Season the meat. Add stewing beef to a cutting board and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Cook the meat. Heat oil in a large pot and cook the meat, in batches, until browned on all sides to help sear in the juices and flavor.
- Cook the vegetables. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the pot and cook until tender.
- Thicken the stew. Return the beef to the pot and add some flour to coat the vegetables and beef, this helps to thicken the stew.
- Cover with broth. Cover the beef and vegetables with beef broth.
- Add the potatoes. Add potatoes and bay leaf to the pot and stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer. Cover the pot and allow the stew to cook and simmer until the beef is tender and the broth is rich and thick.
- Season to taste. Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve. Spoon this easy beef stew recipe into bowls and serve with a sprinkle of parsley!
Once cooked, this easy beef stew can be served immediately, and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I’ve had many bowls of stew in my day, and this recipe is a staple in any kitchen. Stewing the tougher cuts of beef is a great way to cook with them because the low and slow cooking time helps to tenderize the beef into a delicious melt-in-your-mouth stew. I added carrots and potatoes to this stew, but you could also use parsnips and add green peas as well (I actually just forgot to do so). This recipe works as a Sunday family dinner, or it is a great make-ahead recipe for a week of winter lunches.
More Healthy Beef Stew Recipes:
Easy Beef Stew
The vegetables in this easy beef stew can be swapped out for whatever you might have on hand; parsnips would make a great alternative to potatoes, and the addition of green peas with give it a nice refreshing bite.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Stew
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Irish
- 2 pounds stewing beef
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a large Dutch oven or oven-proof pot on medium-high, heat the butter or olive oil.
- Season the beef with a generous pinch of salt and pepper on all sides.
- In batches, transfer the beef to the pot and brown the meat on all sides. Once browned, remove from the pot, transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium, add onion, celery and carrots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. If dry, add another small knob of butter or drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Add a small splash of stock to help deglaze the pot, and use the back of a spoon or spatula to help scrape up anything stuck to the bottom.
- Return beef to the pot and stir well to combine with the onion mixture. Add flour and stir well to coat the beef. Add tomato paste and stir again.
- Cover beef mixture with broth (add more as needed), add bay leaves and stir well to combine. Add in cubed potatoes and bring to a gentle boil.
- Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours until beef is tender.
- Remove from the oven, remove bay leaves, and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. This will help to thicken the sauce and bring the flavours together.
- Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 393 calories
- Sugar: 7 grams
- Fat: 11 grams
- Carbohydrates: 38 grams
- Fiber: 6 grams
- Protein: 37 grams
Keywords: easy, best, healthy