This beef stew without wine is loaded with simple ingredients like tender beef, potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery bathing in a luxurious seasoned broth. Best of all, you can make this one-pot meal on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.
My hearty beef stew is the perfect comfort food to serve a family on a chilly evening. Not only will this simple meal stick to your ribs (what does that even mean?), it contains the entree and sides all in one dish for a complete meal. Oh, and that broth! Is there anything better than sopping up the broth with freshly baked bread?
Ingredients & Substitutions
Any classic beef stew recipe needs to contain beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery, but many also call for a cup of red wine for a more gourmet flare. However, I stick to beef stock for this easy hearty stew. If you wish to add some acidity to the flavor profile without using wine, I recommend adding a dribble of balsamic vinegar or a dollop of tomato paste.
- Beef chuck roast - Chuck roast is the best beef stew meat. Not only is this cheaper cut of meat easier on your wallet, but it contains a little more fat than most other cuts. This fat melts out of the beef during the long cooking time and blends itself with the beef stock to create a luxurious broth. If you want to cut down on the calories, you can substitute rump roast or a round roast instead.
- Vegetable oil - Olive oil is great to use.
- Beef stock - Beef broth can also be used.
- Russet potatoes - Red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes can be substituted.
- Celery stalks
- Minced Garlic
- All purpose flour
- Worcestershire sauce
- Fresh herbs - Thyme & Bay leaf. However, fresh parsley and Italian seasoning can be substituted if needed.
- Salt and black pepper
How to make beef stew in the slow cooker
Making this beef stew recipe in a slow cooker the easiest way to prepare this dish. I recommend using a 5 or 6 quart crock pot for this easy recipe.
Chop the beef and vegetables into one inch size chunks, then everything gets added to the slow cooker and simmered on high for five hours. Alternatively, you can simmer on low for up to ten hours.
Prior to serving, taste for salt and adjust as needed. Then serve this delicious stew with dinner rolls or crusty bread for dipping.
How to make beef stew on the stovetop
Using the stove top is my preferred method because it contains extra flavor from properly searing the large chunks of beef, which will develop a nice brown crust. Browning beef adds a lot of great flavor and is well worth the effort.
When making beef stew on the stovetop I use a large Dutch oven, but any large pot you have on hand will work. You could use a large skillet to brown the beef, but that just creates more mess to clean up since the stew cannot be simmered in a skillet. Using a proper pot makes everything easier.
Once you have your meat and vegetables chopped into large pieces, swirl cooking oil in your Dutch oven and sear the beef over medium-high heat until well browned.
Once the meat is browned, reduce heat to medium-low and then the flour can be added and stirred in with a wooden spoon to coat the beef. This helps cook out the raw flour taste and spreads the flour out so clumping isn't an issue, allowing it to work as a thickening agent more easily.
Next, the beef stock and all remaining ingredients can be added. Make sure to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot so they incorporate into the stew. Let the stew simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours until you have deliciously tender chunks of beef.
Tip: If too much liquid evaporates from your pot while simmering you can add more. Water is the easiest liquid to add, but it dilutes the flavor of the stew because it doesn't actually add any flavor of its own. Adding more beef stock or broth is the best option. If you want a thicker stew, just let it simmer longer.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
This beef stew recipe without wine is perfect to make in advance because the flavors are even better the next day, as they will continue to meld while it sits in the refrigerator overnight. Leftover beef stew should be stored in an airtight container for up to one week. The leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop.
Beef Stew without Wine
- 2 pounds chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for searing beef on stovetop)
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1 ½ lbs russet potatoes (approx 3 medium potatoes)
- 5 carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (approx 1 ½ teaspoon of leaves)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Chop beef and vegetables into bite-sized pieces, roughly 1" cubes.
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours, or until beef is tender. Alternatively, you can cook on low 8-10 hours.
- Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
- Serve in bowls with rustic bread for dipping.
Stovetop Beef Stew
- Chop beef and vegetables into 1" cubes.
- Brown beef with oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium high heat.
- Once beef is browned reduce heat to medium low, sprinkle in flour and stir to coat beef.
- Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
- Simmered uncovered for 2-3 hours or until thickened to your liking and beef is tender. More liquid can be added if too much evaporates before the beef is adaquately tender.
- Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
- Serve with dinner rolls for dipping.
This recipe was originally published on September 11, 2017.
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