Old Time Beef Stew for Your Man is pure comfort that I crave all winter long, for dinner on Sundays all summer long, and pretty much every other day and season there is. When beef stew is done right, it just makes people happy, and this beef stew is done just right!
I have to laugh at this recipe title. It was absolutely necessary, but you do not have to be a man to love the heck out of it. It’s one of the very best stew recipes I’ve ever had. Our dear friend Kerri introduced us to it and a hilarious cookbook from waaaaay back when titled, Meals Men Like.
Yes, this is real life, folks.
This recipe has stood the test of time. The tender beef is perfection. It literally falls apart as you take bite after bite which is my biggest must have in a stew. I cannot express enough how much I despise when stew meat is chewy and hard to bite through. Not appetizing at all!
A good beef stew requires some TLC. It’s not labor intensive at all, but it needs time to simmer on the stove to make the beef tender and meld all the flavors. So if you’re looking for something you can throw together in 3o minutes, save this for another day. Try our Instant Pot Taco Soup instead or something you can throw into the crockpot in the morning and leave for the day like our Slow Cooker Potato Broccoli Corn Chowder with Bacon.
Getting tender meat starts by purchasing the correct type of beef. For this recipe, it has to be chuck…chuck roast to be exact. It gets so tender as it cooks. Once you have the right beef, the next thing you want to do is brown the meat. Getting a good sear on the beef is where you are going to get your deep rich flavor. From the cookbook, “it’s the browning that gives the stew the rich color and flavor men like”. Haha! Brown the beef chunks in batches so that each piece has room to brown evenly. All the little brown bits that are left in your pan after browning are your key to the best beef stew flavor.
It may seem strange, but we like to cut the onions into three different sizes…some sliced, some chopped, and some minced. No, we aren’t trying to be obnoxious! With the onions cut in different sizes, the minced onions melt and become part of the liquid giving it so much flavor. The chopped onions hold their shape a little more, but get so soft and delicious. The sliced onions become part of the chunkiness of the stew.
Have you ever bit into a whole clove of garlic that was accidentally left behind in a soup or stew? Boy howdy! I like garlic, but not that much! Some things should never be eaten, and whole clove of garlic is one of them! We have the best little hack for not losing your garlic. Stick a toothpick in it, and it will be a cinch to find and pull out when it’s time to serve. Don’t forget to grab the bay leaves while your at it too!
Did You Say Lemon Juice?
Yes, this recipe calls for lemon juice! Much like lemon juice in our authentic Bolognese, the little bit of lemon juice a secret weapon for rounding out the flavor of this stew. You won’t be able to taste it, but it is there doing its delectable but undetectable job.
Not All at Once
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to throw the beef and veggies all in at once. If you want mushy nearly nonexistent veggies, go ahead and do that. But if you want the kind of stew that’s going to make your man happy (I just couldn’t resist…hahaha!!), save the potatoes and carrots for later. Let the beef simmer for 2 hours, and then add the carrots and potatoes for another 30-45 minutes. They will be perfect!
Can Beef Stew be Overcooked?
It might be tempting to let the stew simmer all day thinking the meat will get extra tender. The exact opposite will happen. You will end up with tough, overcooked dry beef. There is a sweet spot with beef stew which is between 2-3 hours.
Once the veggies are tender, it is time to make the gravy that make this stew! The combination of flour whisked into cold water is going to thicken your stew right up! I like to push the meat, potatoes and carrots over to one side of the pot and pour the water/flour mixture in and whisk it vigorously. When the liquid thickens a little, let it simmer for 5-15 minutes and then stir everything together. Time to eat!
Can Beef Stew Be Frozen?
This beef stew freezes quite well. Let it cool completely and then store it in an airtight container (or better yet, in a Food Saver) in the freezer. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, let it thaw on the counter and then heat it on the stove in a pot. You may notice that the vegetables may be broken up a little, but thy will still taste great!
Needed: Crusty Bread
You can’t have beef stew without some crusty bread to sop up every last morsel of soup left in the bowl. Our Easy No Knead Artisan Bread is our go-to, or our Best Potato Rolls are also pretty much the best things ever! They will be just the things you need to make a meal that will put a smile on your man’s (or woman’s, or kids’, or grandma’s, or friends’) face!
Soup and Stew RECIPES
Looking for a few different comfort soup or stew? Here are just a few to of our favorites: One Pot Cauliflower Chowder, Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie Soup, Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, Taco Stew, Ham and Potato Corn Chowder, and our Award Winning Instant Pot Chili.
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Old Time Beef Stew for Your Man
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Pounds Beef Chuck Cubed
- 1 Large Yellow Onion Sliced
- 6 Ounces Pearl Onions or 1 Additional Onion- 1/2 Minced and 1/2 Chopped in bigger pieces
- 1 Large Clove Garlic peeled and on a toothpick
- 4 Cups Boiling Water
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika we use Smoked Paprika
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Dash of Allspice or cloves
- 6 Large Carrots chopped at a diagonal
- 6 Medium Russet Potatoes Peeled and Chopped
- 1/2 Cup Cold Water
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- Fresh parsley for garnishing optional
- Heat a dutch oven to medium heat and add the butter.
- Turn the heat to medium high and start to add the meat in batches, browning on each side and then removing to a plate.
- Add all of the meat back in and turn the heat back to medium. Add a drizzle of oil back in the pot if it appears to be dry.
- Add all of the onions into the pot along with the garlic on a toothpick for easy retrieval later.
- Continue to add the water, salt, lemon juice, sugar, worcestershire sauce, pepper, parika, bay leaf and allspice.
- Gently cook the mixture by covering with a lid once it has reached a simmer and turn the heat to medium low, or low depending on how hot your stove stays. Keep it at a low simmer for 2 hours.
- The meat should be tender now, add the carrots and potatoes. Remove the lid and simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes or until everything is soft.
- Discard the bay leaves and garlic.
- In a glass measuring cup, add the cold water and quickly whisk in the flour.
- Stir the mixture into the soup and cook gently for another 5-15 minutes to thicken.
- Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread or rolls!