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Hearty Beef Stew

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Beef stew is a rich and nourishing one-pot meal and the quintessential American comfort dish. Whether you make it in a CrockPot or Instant Pot, this recipe will keep you warm when it is chilly outside.

Bowl of hearty beef stew and slice of bread.

One of the most delicious and aromatic dishes, beef stew is a traditional comfort food that’s been loved by people around the world for centuries. There are as many different types of stews out there but today we’re going to talk about the American version made with peas, potatoes, and carrots.

American Beef Stew Ingredients

For this classic dish, you need the following ingredients:

  • Beef stew meat cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Olive oil for sauteing the meat
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Potatoes – either new potatoes, red, fingerling, or yellow will work
  • Carrots – I like to use baby carrots to cut out some prep work, but you can use regular carrots. Just cut carrots, baby or regular size, into 1 – 2″ pieces.
  • Petite diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Onion – this aromatic veggie adds a layer of flavor.
  • Cornstarch – this will be used along with vegetable broth to create a slurry that turns into a creamy sauce that envelope the stew.
  • Vegetable broth 
  • English peas – I like to use frozen peas in this recipe. There’s no need to thaw them before tossing them in the pot.

Instructions

First things first. The meat needs to be seared prior to cooking. You can do this in a skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop or you can do it in an Instant Pot using the Saute function.

Season the stew meat with a little salt and pepper and toss with 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour. Cook the meat until it is brown on all sides.

If you are making this in an Instant Pot using it as a slow cooker, hit cancel once the meat is no longer pink. Remove the meat from the Instant Pot and set it aside.

[If you are using an Instant Pot to cook it in a shorter amount of time, leave the meat. Instant Pot directions are at the bottom of this post and the bottom of the recipe card.]

Beef cubes cooking in an Instant Pot.

Next, place the carrots in the bottom of the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Then add a layer of potatoes that have been washed and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Cutting board with potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Place the beef on top of the veggies and add a can of petite diced fire-roasted tomatoes on top.

Vegetables and diced tomatoes in an Instant Pot.

Combine ¼ cup of cornstarch with 1 cup of vegetable broth and whisk until smooth.

Vegetable broth and cornstarch in a glass bowl with a whisk.

Take the mixture and pour it into the skillet with the beef drippings to make gravy. Then the slurry/gravy mixture goes into the slow cooker on top of the tomatoes. Cook the stew for 8 -10 hours.

About 10 minutes before serving, combine the remaining cornstarch with 1 cup of broth, whisk well, and add it to the slow cooker. At this point, I stir it all together, add peas, and let it cook for 5 – 10 minutes on high. Add salt and pepper to taste.

What meat is best for making beef stew?

Thanks to slow cooking, cheap cuts of beef work well in this recipe. The best meat for this recipe would be chuck. You can purchase stew meat already cut into cubes or buy a chuck roast and cut it into 1-inch pieces.

Bowl of hearty beef stew and slice of bread.

Hearty Beef Stew

Beef stew is one of the quintessential American comfort dishes.  Whether you make it in a CrockPot or Instant Pot, this recipe is sure to keep you warm when it is chilly outside.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 450kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds beef stew meat cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes washed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 pound baby carrots cut in half
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 14.5 ounces petite diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups English peas frozen
  • 3 cups vegetable broth divided
  • ½ cup cornstarch divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Place enough olive oil to lightly coat large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper to season; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally.
  • In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, layer potatoes and carrots. Add browned beef and top with tomatoes.
  • Combine ¼ cup cornstarch and 1 cup of vegetable broth and whisk until smooth. Add to beef drippings in skillet over medium heat and whisk until it begins to thicken. Add an additional cup of broth and continue to whisk until well blended. Pour gravy over tomatoes and beef in slow cooker.
  • Cover; cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Before serving, blend ¼ cup cornstarch with 1 cup of vegetable broth. Stir mixture and English peas into stew. Cook on HIGH, covered, 10 minutes or until thickened.

Notes

Instant Pot Directions

  1. Follow direction #1 in the recipe as written except use the Instant Pot saute feature to brown meat.
  2. Layer prepared veggies on top.  Pour 2 cups cup of broth over veggies and set Instant Pot to MANUAL HIGH PRESSURE for 30 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to release naturally for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth with cornstarch and mix until smooth. Pour slurry over stew in Instant Pot and stir.
  4. Set Instant Pot to Saute, add English peas, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 693mg | Potassium: 1390mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 11194IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 6mg
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When you make beef stew in the crock pot it not only tastes delicious but also fills your home with an amazing aroma.

How To Make Beef Stew In an Instant Pot

If you are pressed for time, you can make this recipe in the Instant Pot, shaving off hours of cooking time.

To make it in the Instant Pot:

  1. Follow direction #1 in the recipe as written except use the Instant Pot saute feature to brown meat.
  2. Layer prepared veggies on top. Whisk together 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of broth. Pour slurry over veggies, 1 cup of broth, and set Instant Pot to MANUAL HIGH PRESSURE for 30 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to release naturally for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove 1 cup of juices from Instant Pot and whisk together with the remaining cornstarch. Add 1 cup of broth and mix until smooth. Return the slurry back to Instant Pot.
  4. Set Instant Pot to Saute, add English peas, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Bowl of beef stew with carrots, peas, and potatoes.

Be sure to come back and tell us how your beef stew turned out!

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11 Comments

  1. Wow….I had low expectations, not because of your recipe, but the fact I had terrible beef stew experiences in childhood. I’m not so keen on stews and soups as my husband is. Especially during hot months. This was superb. Only variation was using beef broth vs vegetable because that’s what I had on hand. Salad and crusty bread….wine optional but recommended if you drink. This recipe is now in my special traditional recipe file. No spam here.

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