How To Cook A Hearty Beef Stew

This beef stew recipe is perfect for a cold winter night. Learn how to make this hearty dish with simple ingredients and easy steps.

Many of the recipes that were highly fashionable years ago are now making a comeback. Years ago stewing beef was not expensive to buy and beef stew was regularly served as a budget meal. Today diced stewing beef is not a cheap option but it certainly makes a delicious warming winter meal.

Shin of beef makes a tasty casserole or stew but beef shin or stewing steak should be cooked for hours to get the full favor from the meat. It is far easier to prepare all of the ingredients for the dish before starting to cook it. A hearty stew deserves the best ingredients and a traditional beef stew would contain diced beef, carrots, onions, swede and parsnip. Naturally every cook would make a stew that contains vegetables that their family enjoy to eat.

Ingredients for a Warming Beef stew:

One pound of diced stewing steak or diced shin of beef
One large onion – peeled and finely sliced
Four large carrots – peeled and cut into rings
A small portion of swede – diced into very small chunks
One medium sized parsnip – peeled and cored and cut into small chunks
One litre of beef stock – fresh stock or made with stock cubes
A dash of oil
Plain flour
Seasoning to taste


Spoon two tablespoons of plain flour into a large dish. Lightly season the plain flour. Place the diced beef into the seasoned flour and coat the meat with the plain seasoned flour. Place a dash of oil into a large saucepan and heat the oil very gently. Put the finely sliced onion into the hot pan and add the flour-coated diced beef. Take a spatula and keep turning the diced beef and onion over in the pan until the meat is sealed. Sealing the diced beef in this way helps to retain the flavor of the meat.

Add the sliced carrots and the diced parsnip and swede to the meat and onion. Use the spatula to blend the meat and vegetables together. Cover the meat and vegetables with the beef stock. Bring the stock to the boil and when boiling turn the heat down quickly. Place the lid on the pan and allow the beef stew to simmer very gently.

Diced beef needs to be allowed to cook very gently and very slowly. As the meat cooks it tenderizes and the meat juices infuse the beef stock. The sweet carrots will add further flavor to the meaty stew and the diced swede and parsnips will add yet another dimension. Allow the beefy stew to simmer for an hour before testing the meat.

If the stewing steak is not properly cooked it will be tough so do test the meat a few times whilst it is cooking. This can be done by spooning out a chunk of beef and putting it onto a plate. When the meat is fully cooked the blade of the knife will slide through it with ease. In general diced beef takes between one and a half and two hours to cook until it is tender.

The tasty beef stock will need to be thickened to turn it into rich hearty gravy and this is very simple to do. Place a couple of dessert spoons of plain flour into a cup and add some cold water. The flour and water mixture should then be poured into the warm stock. As the stock is thickened with the plain flour and water mixture it should be stirred continuously.

The pan will be filled with an aromatic meaty beef stew and it can be served with mash potatoes, boiled potatoes or dumplings.