The 3 Best Beef Stew Meat Recipes

November 25, 2022

Beef stew is a classic, especially in winter when it's cold. My grandmother had a secret beef stew recipe, and she was kind enough to pass it on to me.

At culinary school, I also learned to add more variation to my beef stew game. I love doing it when there are many of us at the table, and it delights everyone! So, check out what I think are the best beef stew recipes. They're easy to make and delicious.

If you're unsure of which beef stew recipe to follow, check out the first recipe, which is quite detailed. However, if you're in a hurry, try out either the second or third beef stew meat recipe.

Beef Stew Meat Recipes

Beef Stew Meat with Vegetables Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds of beef stew meat (preferably chuck roast)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 to 4 celery stalks 
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
  • 3 to 4 carrots
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1 pound of small red potatoes
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon of roasted beef base
  • 3 cups of beef stock 
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh thyme and fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic, cayenne, and Italian seasoning
Beef Stew Meat with Vegetables

Preparation 

Step 1: Choose The Right STEWED Beef

I’ll start with the star of the show – the stew beef. I recommend a chuck roast beef stew meat. You can find this online, at your local grocery store, or chop a chuck roast. 

When shopping for this stew beef, you want to pick a piece with intramuscular fat (those white lines of fat you see throughout the stew meat).

By the way, this is called marbling. It indicates a nice fat content on the stew meat, and it will get nice and tender while you braise it in your stew. 

For this recipe, I'm using 2 pounds of chuck roast. You can go for this quantity too. If you're going to have a large family sitting at the table, you can buy a larger piece of meat.

However, you have to do the math and adjust the quantity for the rest of the ingredients accordingly. 

Step 2: Wash The Ingredients

After you have all the ingredients ready, you need to start by cleaning your produce before getting to work. 

Wash the stew meat pieces in a bowl under running water. Cut them (if you bought chuck roasts) into smaller square-like pieces. 

Step 3: Cut Your Vegetables 

Sharpen your knives and quarter the potatoes depending on the size. Make sure they're all about the same size. That way, they will cook at the same rate and get nice and tender in your stew over the slow cooker. 

Meanwhile, as for red potatoes, I suggest you leave the skin on. However, that's optional. If you want to remove it, go ahead. After quartering the potatoes, set them aside. 

Then, do the same thing with celery. I suggest you cut them into nice bite-sized pieces and set them aside.  

Do the same thing with the carrots. Just make sure you peel and clean them. Then, dice them up into bite-sized pieces also. Next, dice up one onion as always. 

Step 4: Salt The Beef

Continue by salting the beef stew meat. You're not supposed to add any seasoning to it at this point because we're going to sear it over high heat. When you do that, a lot of the seasonings like pepper or herbs burn up over high heat. 

I suggest that you only apply a little salt to begin flavoring the stew meat. Then, add all the seasonings a little later. 

Step 5: Brown The Stew Meat

Next, prepare your dutch oven. You can also use a skillet. Add a little avocado or olive oil to it over medium-high heat. 

When the oil gets hot, place the beef stew meat pieces down into the skillet. Give it a minute or two to develop some nice brown color or crust. 

Then, you need to flip them over. You want to ensure the stew meat is brown on all sides in about five to eight minutes. 

When that's done, leave all the delicious pieces of stew beef in the pan. You can get back to it later. 

Tips

Browning the stew meat at the beginning without letting the juices escape is important to flavor the stew. 

raw beef stew meat

Step 6: Add Other Ingredients 

Continue by adding the onions and carrots to a crock or instant pot. Add two tablespoons of garlic paste along with two tablespoons of tomato paste and one tablespoon of beef base.

I suggest getting the Better Than Bullion Beef Base. It's also available on Amazon right here. You can use regular old beef bouillon if you can't get that. 

Give everything a nice mix to allow those flavors to come together like a family reunion.

Your house is going to smell so good right now. Tell your wife or husband to thank me later.

Tip

Leave your celery out at this point because celery cooks quickly. You're going to add that at the end.

Step 7: Add A Thickening Agent 

After some moments, continue with a couple tablespoons of all-purpose flour. This is going to be a thickening agent for the stew.

Mix that in until the paste forms and the raw flour taste is cooked off. It usually takes about a minute or two. Reduce the heat to about medium when you're doing that.  

Step 8: Add The Beef Stock

Continue by adding three cups of stew beef stock. Once the beef stock hits the pot, increase the heat to get a nice simmer. As the flour absorbs, the liquid starts to thicken up.

Tip

Get everything off the sides of the instant pot just to make sure nothing burns. You don't want anything sticking. Let the stew simmer for a bit, as always.

Step 9: Add Some Herbs and Sauce 

Continue by adding some fresh herbs. You could try some rosemary thyme, two bay leaves, and the Worcestershire sauce. These will add a lot of flavor. 

Step 10: Add The Beef

Now it's time to let the stew beef make its grand entry. Add the stew beef pieces back in. Mix them with the stew and cover the instant pot.

Again, let the stew simmer on low to medium heat for about an hour and a half or until it tenderizes.

You can always give it the fork test to ensure it's nice and tender. 

Step 11: Add The Potatoes and Celery 

The last 30 minutes is when we'll add our potatoes and celery. After doing that, cover with the lid.  

After some minutes, test one of the potatoes with your fork. If the potatoes are tender, that's a good sign.

Check the stew beef with the fork too. The flesh should be tender, and the meat grains need to separate effortlessly.

beef stewed with potatoes

Step 12: Check For Seasoning

Towards the end of the cooking, add a little seasoning – salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder. A little cayenne pepper works well if you want to increase the spice factor a bit. 

Make sure you taste as you go and adjust accordingly.

By now, you'll see that things have thickened up a bit as you add more seasoning and as the water in the instant pot evaporates and vaporizes. 

Step 13: Consider Adding Some Peas

Add in some frozen peas in the last 10 minutes. If you don't like peas, you should simply grow up :). Jokes aside, if you don't like peas, you can feel free to leave them out—no big deal. I do enjoy the peas and think it adds a nice bit of color to the dish.

That, my friend, is a beautiful bowl of beef stew braise you have made yourself. All you need now is a spoon and some side dishes. It's up to you!

Serving and Tasting 

You have to serve it very hot at the table, with that rich gravy and delicious stew. It is a stew recipe that is great for resting, either for a few hours or before bed. 

If you prepare it with potatoes, they do not get along with the fridge's cold or the freezer (although if you have any leftovers, it can last 3 to 4 days in the fridge).

If you intend to freeze it, I encourage you to prepare the recipe the same way but without potatoes.

You can serve a hot beef stew with a piece of crusty homemade bread or mashed potatoes. Don't get too ashamed to dip your bread in it. It is fabulous…and worth it!

Related Reading

Beef Broth With Beef Bone and Noodles Recipe 

Ingredients 

  • 4 pounds beef bones
  • 2 beef marrow bone
  • 2 pounds stew beef chunks
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 big carrots
  • 1 medium-sized celery root
  • 1 leek vegetable
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • ¼ nutmeg
  • 100 g soup noodles
  • Some salt and pepper
  • Some herbs (e.g., chives or parsley)
Noodles Soup With Meat on Bowl

Preparation 

  • The first step is to fill a large pot with water and boil it. Put the bones in the bubbling water and let them boil briefly. When that's done, drain the water through a sieve and rinse the bones with cold water.
  • Place the bones and stew beef in the saucepan and fill with cold water to cover. Again, I recommend that you use beef chuck roasts. Why? When cooked in a slow cooker, beef chuck roasts get tender in soups. Also, they have a lot of connective tissues which store up fat for that flavor you need.  
  • Add the salt and slowly heat the water. Be sure to skim off the foam that forms (protein and cloudy matter) with a slotted spoon and skim off the film of fat with a ladle.
  • Simmer in low heat for at least 1.5 hours. Meanwhile, as the stew meat keeps simmering, use that time to wash the carrots and celery and cut them into pieces of approx. 2x2 cm. Then, you should wash the leek and cut it into rings. Peel and dice the onion. 
  • Add all the vegetables (sliced carrots, celery, leeks, onions) to the soup and let them simmer for about 1 hour more.
  • It's time to add the crushed spices such as the bay leaf, juniper, peppercorns, and a piece of nutmeg and simmer for about another half hour. 
  • Now, strain the soup through a cloth-lined sieve and collect it in a saucepan. Remove the stew meat, let cool and cut into small cubes.
  • Remove the desired amount of vegetables and add them to the soup bowls with the stew meat. 
  • Boil the noodles in lightly salted water and add to the plates. Meanwhile, boil the beef broth, season with salt and pepper, and pour into the hot soup bowl. Wash and chop the herbs and sprinkle on top.

Serving and Tips

  • You can serve and have this with no side dish. It's all-inclusive with the noodles. Again, you can serve with crusty bread or a warm baguette. There are so many ways to bell this cat. 
  • Make sure it's taken hot.  To make it even better, serve your dish on warmed plates. I often heat the plates at 150 to 180 degrees in the oven. 

Beef Leg Stew Recipe 

Ingredients 

  • 600 grams of soup greens (carrot, parsley root, celeriac, leek)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 beef leg slice (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 black peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon of flour 
  • Salt
  • 200-gram soup noodles (e.g., mussel noodles)
  • 1 bunch of chives
Cooked Meat on Plate

Preparation 

  • Start by washing the soup greens. You should also peel the carrot, parsley root, and celery. Once done, dice your vegetables into 1 cm cubes. You should cut the leek into halves lengthwise. Then, rinse them and dice into 1 cm cubes. 
  • Next, cover and set aside half of the soup greens and the leek. As for the onions, cut them into two halves. 
  • Continue by placing the leg shank, onions, the other half of the greens, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a large saucepan. Leg slice is excellent as soup meat. It is strong, aromatic, and so lean that almost everything ends up in the soup.
  • Next, you need to add about 65 ounces or 2 liters of cold water and boil it while covered. Add 1 heaped teaspoon of salt and cook over a slow cooker on low heat for 2 hours.
  • Remove the stew meat from the broth and set them aside. Pour the broth through a sieve into a saucepan. Add your reserved greens and leeks into it. 
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Continue by adding the pasta and cook in the broth. I need to mention that you should cook according to the package directions. To make the soup thicker, I suggest adding a tablespoon of flour to the mixture until it thickens. 
  • Continue by removing the meat from the bone. Remove all the tendons and fat and dice the meat into small cubes. 
  • Add the stew meat to the broth. Cut the chives into small rolls. When it's all nice and done, taste and season the soup if necessary and serve sprinkled with the chives. If you want, you can serve it over a base of egg noodles.

Related Reading

FAQs 

1. What Is Beef Stew Meat Used For?

You can use beef stew meat in any recipe where you need to chop up and braise the meat in low heat. They can be used in tacos, stews, and soups – I like to use them in my noodle soups. 

2. How Do You Cook Stew Meat So It's Tender?

Cook them in low heat with a slow cooker and in a broth for up to two hours. You should never rush stewing beef meat, or else it will get chewy and tough. Stew meat is a pretty tough cut of meat with a lot of muscle. So, the only way to get them tender is slow cooking, preferably in a stew. 

3. Is Stew Meat A Steak?

Sometimes you'll find various appellations for stew meat, such as beef chuck roasts, chuck steak, or braising steak. However, although stew meat and steak are taken from the sirloin and cow rump, stew meat is taken from older cows. 

4. How Do You Make Stew Meat Taste Better?

Adding sauce and seasoning to stew meat will make them taste better. You may add soy or Worcestershire sauce for that umami or savory flavor or some honey or brown sugar to make the stew beef sweet. Vinegar and lemon zest will make the stewed beef tenderize and get sweeter. For spice and depth, add some smoked paprika and chili powder.

Conclusion 

There you go! Your old-fashioned stewed beef is ready. The secret to having tender meat is cooking in a slow cooker.

If I had to choose for you, I'd suggest going with the first recipe. However, the second recipe is new to many. Trust me, these stew recipes are foolproof and taste even better when reheated.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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