Hearty, flavorful, and healthy, this homemade beef stew recipe is a one-pot meal that's a classic comfort food. The stew follows the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) and is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and soy free. There is also a Paleo and Whole30 option.
Before the cold weather arrived, I started tinkering with this recipe and I'm happy to report that it is by far the best homemade beef stew recipe I've had!
Carrots, rutabaga, onions, beef, and mushrooms simmer in a mouthwatering sauce of red wine and stock until incredibly tender. Serve this healthy beef stew recipe on its own or alongside some roasted garlic mashed cauliflower.
Beef for stewing - 1 to 2 inch chunks of chuck roast, bottom round, or top round.
Red Wine - This ingredient adds so much flavor to the stew! I've written more on the use of red wine below.
Beef Stock - As always, homemade is best!
Mushrooms - Cremini, shiitake, chanterelle, or white mushrooms can be used. I like using baby bella mushrooms since they're flavorful and pretty economical.
Peas - While optional, the peas do add a lovely pop of color.
Do I have to use wine?
This recipe calls for marinating the meat in wine overnight, which gives the most amazing flavor to the beef.
During cooking, the marinade liquid is added to the stew where the alcohol burns off, leaving behind a rich flavor.
If you're following Whole30, Paleo, or your stomach just can't handle it, then simply skip marinating the meat in wine and add an extra half cup of beef stock to the stew instead.
What type of wine should I use?
I suggest using your favorite dry red wine. I enjoy the occasional glass of Biltmore Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (make sure to let it breath!) and I love it in this stew.
Wine is naturally gluten free however, due to storage or the fining process, trace amounts can sometimes be found. If you have celiac or are sensitive to trace amounts of gluten, it's best to go with a wine labeled gluten-free.
What cut of beef is stew meat?
Chuck, which is from the front shoulder, makes a delicious stew and is typically the cut that's in those pre-packaged containers marked "stew meat" from the grocery store. It's also very affordable!
Meat from the rear muscle, called round, is also an option but try to get chuck if you can as it tends to be a bit more tender after cooking in the stew.
Homemade beef stew instructions:
Begin by seasoning the beef chunks with salt and pepper. Place them in a large bowl along with bay leaves and crushed garlic cloves. Pour enough wine into the bowl to just cover the beef (photo 1). Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator to marinate for 6 hours or overnight.
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. You'll know that the oil is hot enough when a little bit of water dropped into the pot sizzles.
Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the beef and place into the pot, making sure it's not crowded. The oil is hot and will spit, so I suggest wearing an apron during this step and try not to get hit with splattering oil.
Note: Discard the bay leaves and garlic cloves from the marinade but keep the liquid. It is added to the stew later.
Brown both sides of the beef for 5 to 7 minutes before transferring to a plate and setting aside (photos 2 & 3). Continue this process until all of the beef chunks are browned.
While the beef is browning, start chopping the onion, carrots, rutabaga, and celery into half inch pieces. Remove and discard the stems from the mushrooms and then slice (photo 4).
Once all of the beef is browned, drop the heat to medium and if needed, add a little more oil. Add all of the veggies you just prepped and saute for about 10 minutes or until slightly softened and fragrant (photo 5). Add the minced garlic and cook for just 2 minutes more.
Put the beef back into the pot, then pour in the reserved marinade and the beef stock (photos 6, 7, & 8). Season the stew with additional salt and pepper, and stir in the rosemary and thyme sprigs (photo 9).
Bring the stew to a simmer before putting the lid on the Dutch oven and placing on the middle rack of a 300F preheated oven.
The stew will cook for 2 hours until the beef and vegetables are tender.
Carefully remove the pot from the oven and dispose of the sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Stir in the frozen peas and garnish with fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs. Serve this homemade beef stew recipe hot and enjoy!
What if I don't have a Dutch oven?
If you don't have a Dutch oven, don't worry! You may use any oven safe 6 quart (or larger) pot with a lid.
Do I have to finish the stew in the oven?
No, the stew can continue cooking at a low simmer on the stove with the lid on. Just be sure to stir the mixture occasionally during cooking. The cook time will probably be a bit longer as well, so keep that in mind.
Alternatively, the stew can be transferred to a slow cooker and cooked on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 7 hours.
Here are some more easy winter soup recipes!
- Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup
- 10 Vegetable Soup
- Butternut Squash Apple Soup
- Tex-Mex Chicken Soup
- Easy Carrot Ginger Soup
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Parker's Beef Stew by Ina Garten was the inspiration behind this recipe.
Homemade Beef Stew Recipe
- 2 pounds beef for stew (in 1 to 2 inch chunks)
- 1 ½ cups dry red wine (optional)
- 3 whole garlic cloves plus 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 ½ Tablespoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, (cut into ½ inch pieces)
- 1 pound carrots, (washed, peeled, and cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 pound baby Bella mushrooms, (stems removed and mushrooms sliced)
- 1 pound rutabaga, (peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 3 stalks of celery, (washed and cut into ½ inch pieces)
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 large rosemary sprig
- 3 sprigs of thyme (optional)
- 10 ounces frozen peas (optional)
- Season beef with 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Place in a large bowl along with 3 garlic cloves that have been crushed and the bay leaves. Pour enough wine into the bowl to just cover the beef. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight to marinate.*If not using red wine, then skip this step and move on to the next. When it is time to add the beef stock, you will need to add an additional ½ cup.
- In a 6 quart Dutch oven or 6 quart pot with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. With a slotted spoon or tongs remove the beef from the marinade. Discard the garlic and bay leaves but reserve the marinade. In batches, brown the beef for 5 to 7 minutes on both sides. Remove beef and set aside. Continue the process until all of the beef has been browned, making sure not to crowd the beef.
- If needed, add a bit more oil and saute the onions, celery, carrots, rutabaga, and mushrooms for 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened slightly. Add the tablespoon of minced garlic and saute for 2 more minutes.
- Add the browned beef back into the pot before pouring in 2 cups of beef stock along with the reserved marinade. If you prefer a stew with more liquid, add 1 more cup of stock.
- Season with 1 tablespoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Stir in the sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Bring the stew mixture to a simmer on the stove over medium heat. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and transfer to the center rack of the oven. Bake for 2 hours until the beef and vegetables are tender.
- Remove the stew from the oven and stir in the frozen peas just prior to serving. If you'd like, garnish bowls with fresh sprigs of rosemary or thyme.
- For a Paleo and Whole30 option, omit the red wine marinade and the green peas.
- If you decide not to marinate the meat in the red wine, then simply skip that step. Instead pat the beef dry with a paper towel and season with 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper before browning.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.