How to cook Beef stew

Updated April 17, 2017

Nothing spells comfort better than a pot of hearty beef stew simmering on the stove. Stew beef is inexpensive, and vegetables and potatoes round out this one-pot meal. Dumplings are easily made from scratch or your favourite baking mix. Be sure to make plenty as your family will want seconds.

Cooking beef stew

Cut the stew beef into pieces about 1.5cm (1/2-inch) square. Put about 1/2 cup of flour in a plastic bag and add a few shakes of your favourite seasoning salt. Add the beef and shake until the meat is coated with the flour mixture. Melt the the butter in a large pot. Empty the plastic bag into the pot and brown the beef in the butter. Add the liquid, cover the pot, and set heat to low. Let simmer about an hour, until the meat is tender.

Meanwhile, chop the vegetables. When the meat is tender, add the vegetables. Cover the pot and let simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

If desired, make dumplings following recipe from cookbook or baking mix. For an interesting flavour, add 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1 tsp oregano, or 1 tbsp minced horseradish to the dumplings before cooking. Cook the dumplings in the stew, following recipe directions.


Add more liquid and vegetables to make more stew. There is no need to measure. Just add enough liquid to cover the vegetables. For variety, try other vegetables. Fresh green beans, parsnips, frozen corn are all good choice. Be creative. You really can't damage stew. If you don't want dumplings, stew is wonderful served with biscuits or fresh bread.

Things You'll Need

  • 0.454kg. (1lb) stew meat, cut into small pieces
  • Flour for dredging
  • Seasoning salt
  • 4 cups beef stock, water, or a mix of both
  • 4 tbsp butter or margarine
  • One onion, cut in chunks
  • Four to five carrots, cut in chunks
  • Two to three stalks celery, cut in chunks
  • Two to three baking potatoes, cut in chunks
  • 0.227kg. (1/2 lb) mushrooms, whole or sliced
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About the Author

Susan Landis-Steward has been a print journalist and editor since 1985, writing for "The Reflector," "The Multnomah Village Post," "The Evergreen Messenger" and "The Oregonian." She has won numerous awards for her reporting and has been published in top academic journals. Landis-Steward has a Master of Science in writing from Portland State University.