Dutch Oven Beef Stew

This old-fashioned Dutch Oven Beef Stew is a staple in my kitchen. It is so hearty, comforting, and perfect for when winter rolls around. Filled with tender pieces of beef, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms, this beef stew is gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. 

I love using a Dutch oven to make my beef stew as they are made from cast iron, so they retain and evenly distribute the heat very well. It’s also the ultimate one-pot meal as everything is made in the Dutch oven so cleaning up is easy. I love how hearty, tender, and flavorful this stew is and your family will ask for it every day!

closeup beef stew in a pot

Don’t have any beef in your fridge but still want a hearty stew? Try my Easy Instant Pot Chicken StewCabbage and Sausage Stew, or my Brazilian Fish Stew instead!

How to make Beef Stew in the Dutch Oven

Ingredients

  • Boneless beef chuck — you want to make sure the beef is well-marbled and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces.
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil — or an oil of your choice.
  • Mushroom — you can use your mushroom of choice but brown or white button mushrooms are perfect for this.
  • Onion — I finely chopped a yellow onion. You can use a different onion if you prefer.
  • Garlic — the more garlic, the better!
  • Balsamic vinegar — balsamic vinegar in beef stew adds subtle acidity that balances the flavour of the stew out.
  • Worcestershire — this adds a ton of flavour so don’t skip out!
  • Tomato paste — this adds body and more meaty taste to your beef stew.
  • Dry red wine — the red wine brings out the flavour of the meat.
  • Beef broth — using beef broth adds more flavour than using just water in the beef stew.
  • Dry herbs — you’ll need bay leaves and thyme.
  • Arrowroot flour — this is a thickening agent and gluten-free flour. If you do not need this to be gluten-free, you can use another thickener.
  • Carrots — cut into bite-sized pieces, be sure to peel them first.
  • Baby potatoes — cut in half. You do not have to peel them, just get them a thorough washing beforehand.
  • Fresh parsley — chopped, for garnishing.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in the lower-middle position.

Prepare the Beef

  • Remove the beef from the fridge for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
  • Place the beef on a paper towel-lined cutting board and pat them dry.
  • Season all sides of the beef cubes with coarse salt and black pepper.
  • In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Sear the meat in 3 batches if necessary, turning with tongs, for about 3 to 5 minutes per batch; add one tablespoon oil for each batch. Transfer the meat to a large plate and set it aside.

Sear the Rest of the Ingredients

  • In the same pot, add more olive oil and add mushroom.
  • Saute mushroom for about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Add the onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more.

Add the Liquid and Braise the Stew

  • Bring back mushroom and the beef with its juices back to the pan.
  • Add the wine, beef broth, water, bay leaf, and thyme.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and then bring the pot to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, transfer to the preheated oven, and braise for 2 hours.

Add the Vegetables

  • Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and potatoes.
  • Cover and place the Dutch oven pot back in the oven for about an hour, or until the vegetables are cooked and the meat is tender. This keeps the vegetables from being overcooked and from falling apart in the stew.

Finish off the Stew

  • 5 minutes before removing the pot from the oven, add 2 tablespoons of arrow flour in a small pot with a little water. Mix all well to combine.
  • Remove the pot from the oven and add arrow flour mixture and mix well. This helps thicken the stew. Fish out the bay leaf and discard before garnishinh with fresh parsley, if desired.

Recipe tips

  • Brown the meat in batches so you don’t overcrowd it in the pan. Giving it space will ensure that all of the edges get the crisp texture you are looking for.
  • Don’t have a Dutch oven? Try my Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe, Slow Cooker Beef Stew, or Healthier Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe.
  • Leftover stew will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days as long as you store it in an airtight container.
  • To reheat the beef stew, cover and simmer over low heat until it’s warm throughout.
  • You can also freeze the stew in airtight containers for up to 3 months but the texture of the potatoes and carrots may not hold up very well.
  • Don’t be tempted to skip the bay leaf! The bay leaves add a lighter note to the beef stew and help the other flavours shine. It’s a small step and a single ingredient but it does a lot.

Overhead view of Dutch oven containing beef stew

What is beef chuck?

Beef chuck comes from the shoulder and upper foreleg of the cattle that has a rich, beefy flavor. These are tough cuts but will become tender and moist when they are simmered over a long period.

Should I brown stew meat first?

For the best tasting stew, you need to brown the beef first in the Dutch oven. When seared, it leads to a deep, rich, flavor for the stew. By browning, the edges of the meat need to caramelize before you take it off the heat. The process leads to building the build-up on the bottom of the pan that provides a ton of flavour once its been deglazed.

How do you add richness to beef stew?

If you don’t find the beef stew to be rich enough, be more generous with the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. They add umami flavour which contributes to the richness. Allowing the Dutch oven beef stew to cook a little longer will help as well.

Why is my stew meat tough?

Stew meat can become tough as if over-cook it. It may seem contradictory as the beef stew is braised for two hours, but it has to be cooked low and slow. If you are cooking the beef at a high temperature instead of a simmer, it can lead to the beef becoming rubbery and tough.

How do you make beef stew meat tender?

Cook it low and slow! Cooking the beef on low heat, slowly allows the collagen and fat to break down. If the beef is cooked at a high temperature, the protein in the stew meat will seize up and become tough.

beef stew in a white bowl

More beef stew recipes?

Overhead view of Dutch oven containing beef stew

Dutch Oven Beef Stew

5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and set a rack in the lower middle position. Remove the beef from the fridge about 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking. Place it on a paper towel-lined cutting board and pat them dry with paper towels. Season all sides of the beef cubes with coarse salt and black pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meat in 3 batches if necessary, turning with tongs, for about 3 to 5 minutes per batch; add one tablespoon oil for each batch. Please, do not crowd the pan otherwise it will steam. Transfer the meat to a large plate and set aside.
  • In the same pot, add more olive oil and add mushroom. Saute mushroom for about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Add the onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the brown bits from bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more.
  • Bring back mushroom and the beef with its juices back to the pan. Add the wine, beef broth, water, bay leaf and thyme. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, transfer to the preheated oven, and braise for 2 hours.
  • Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and place the Dutch oven pot back in oven for about an hour, or until the vegetables are cooked and the meat is tender.
  • 5 minutes before remove the pot from the oven, add 2 tablespoons of arrow flour in a small pot with a little water. Mix all well to combine.
  • Remove the pot from the oven. And add arrow flour mixture and mix well. Fish out the bay leaf and discard. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

*If your meat has a lot of fat, you probably will need to use only 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Serving: 16, Calories: 474kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 53g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 150mg, Sodium: 1076mg, Potassium: 767mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g

If you make this recipe, follow @primaverakitchen on Instagram, snap a photo and hashtag it #primaverakitchen. I'd love to see what you're making!

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titled photo collage (and shown): Dutch Oven Beef Stew