This is an easy homemade beef stew recipe that's full of amazing flavors. It is made with tender beef and fresh vegetables. I've included instructions for slow cooker and instant pot versions as well.
I find soups and stews to be very comforting. Some of our favorite soups and stews are minestrone soup, chicken stew and lamb stew. This easy homemade beef stew is very easy to make and perfect for a cozy evening, served with some crusty bread.
Table Of Contents:
- Why you'll love this recipe
- Top 3 tips to tenderize stew beef
- Ingredients and substitutions
- What is best beef for stew?
- How to make homemade beef stew
- How to make beef stew in crock pot
- Beef stew in the instant pot
- How to thicken beef stew
- Serving suggestions
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Easy Stew Recipes
- Step-by-Step Recipe
Why you'll love this recipe
This rustic beef stew made with Italian flavors is a great fall dish. Here are a few reasons for you to try this recipe at home:
- It's packed with delicious flavors and every bit of beef is so tender that it feels like it melts in your mouth.
- Just like our ground beef stew, this is an easy recipe that's made with wholesome ingredients. It's healthy and is perfect for lunch or dinner.
- You can prepare a large batch of this homemade beef stew and enjoy it through the week. It also freezes very well.
Top 3 tips to tenderize stew beef
Nothing is worse than spending time to make the perfect beef stew and end up with rubbery meat that's not tender at all. To make sure you end up with tender beef stew, here are a few tips you should note:
- You should have the right cut of beef which is chuck in this case. The meat should not have a lot of fat.
- Sear the beef until it's fully brown on all sides. This will keep the moisture in and will also make the stew very flavorful. Whatever you do, don't skip the browning step.
- Give your stew enough time to cook. If cooking on a stove top, making beef stew could take anywhere between one to two hours. Cook the beef stew on medium low heat and let it simmer gently for maximum flavor and tender meat.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil: My preference is always extra virgin olive oil. In addition to tasting good, it also has a lot of health benefits.
- Onion and garlic: These would be the base of the soup, you can also add shallots if preferred.
- Beef: The cut we use in this recipe is chuck which consists parts of neck, shoulder blade and upper arm.
- Vegetables: You need carrots, potatoes and mushrooms for this recipe. If you're not a fan of carrots or mushrooms, you can leave them out. It's important to cut the vegetable into chunks so they don't get mushy when cooked.
- Spices: This recipe calls for dried rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper. If you like the beef stew spicy, add some cayenne pepper as well.
- Crushed tomatoes: I used Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes with Basil to make this easy beef stew. Organic Crushed Tomatoes have such bright and fresh taste and the basil adds a nice and light herbal flavor. Its rustic and chunky texture is the perfect base for this Italian beef stew.
- Vegetable stock: You can use homemade vegetable stock or even beef stock.
What is best beef for stew?
One of the questions that might come up when shopping for this beef stew recipe is that what kind of beef should you use to make homemade beef stew. It's important to know that the beef stew meat you want to use should contain enough fat to stay tender after cooking but not too much fat; otherwise your stew will be too greasy and unappetizing.
Many supermarkets offer pre-cut and packaged "beef stew meat" which work very well for this recipe. However, you can also buy your own meat and cut it yourself. If doing so, my suggestion is to get chuck or bottom round roast. These pieces would be tender after cooking and give so much flavor to the stew. For more information, please read this piece on The Kitchn about the best meat for beef stew and how to choose them.
How to make homemade beef stew
Making tomato beef stew at home is simple and doesn't require any specific skills. I have given all the details on how to make beef stew in three different ways: stove top, slow cooker and instant pot. Here is how to make a delicious beef stew on the stove top:
- Sauté the onion and garlic in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add in the beef and sear it until it's perfectly brown on all sides. This ensures that the beef will get juicy and tender.
- Add the carrots, spices and potatoes to the beef and stir well.
- Finally, add the mushrooms, Muir Glen crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Once you add the vegetable stock, scrape the bottom of the pot to mix the brown bits with the stock. Those brown bits contain so much flavor for the beef stew.
- Bring to a boil and let it simmer on medium low for about one hour or until the beef is fully cooked.
How to make beef stew in crock pot
To make slow cooker beef stew first you need to sauté onion and garlic in a pan. Add in the beef and sear it until it's brown on all sides.
Place the beef and onion in the slow cooker and add the carrots, spices, potatoes, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock to the slow cooker as well. Cook on high for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
Beef stew in the instant pot
If you're in a hurry, pressure cooker beef stew is the way to go:
- Press the "sauté" function and sauté the onion and garlic with some olive oil in the instant pot.
- Add in the beef and sauté until the beef is completely brown on all sides. Add in the carrots, spices and potatoes. Stir well and then add in the mushrooms and crushed tomatoes.
- Finally add the vegetable stock but make sure to add the amount or stock you want to have at the end of the cooking since it won't evaporate in the instant pot.
- Press "cancel" and then press "pressure cook". Set the time for 25 minutes and once the cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally for then minutes and then do a quick release.
How to thicken beef stew
Some like to have a thick beef stew where other like it more watery and light. If you like your homemade beef stew thick, then mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup water and add it to the beef stew about 30 minutes before serving and let it simmer until it thickens.
As for a slow cooker beef stew, add the cornstarch and water slurry after the stew is cooked for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Give it a nice stir, cover and cook on high for another 30 minutes for the stew to thicken.
If adding slurry to the instant pot beef stew, let the beef stew cook completely as instructed. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release. Open the lid and add the cornstarch and water slurry to the stew. Stir and press the "saute" function. The beef stew will start simmering. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes until the stew is thick enough.
Frequently Asked Questions
This easy beef stew freezes beautifully. Freeze the leftovers in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, you can either microwave the beef stew or place the frozen beef stew in a pot and heat it over medium low heat until fully heated through.
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. You can reheat the stew in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat.
If you would like to add more vegetables to this Italian beef stew, you can add bell peppers (red, yellow or orange), leeks, celery and peas.
More Easy Stew Recipes
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Italian Homemade Beef Stew
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb stew beef
- 1 cup carrot sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 russet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 cups white button mushrooms sliced
- 1 can Crushed Tomatoes 28 oz.
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or a heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
- Saute onion and garlic until golden.
- Add in the beef and let it sit untouched for a few minutes, until brown on one side.
- Flip and brown the beef on the other side. Repeat until all sides are brown.
- Add in carrots, dried rosemary, dried oregano and salt. Mix well.
- Add in potatoes, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir well and turn the heat to medium high.
- Once the stew starts simmering, turn the heat to medium low, cover and let it cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the beef is completely cooked.
- Top with chopped parsley and basil. Serve with crusty bread, rice or mashed potatoes.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To reheat, use a microwave or heat the stew in a saucepan over medium heat.
- To freeze, let the stew cool completely and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Freeze the stew for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan.
- You can add other vegetables such as leek, bell pepper, peas and celery.
This post has been sponsored by Muir Glen. All thoughts and opinions are my own.