The best beef for stew meat can be a bit confusing. With the word “stew” in there you might be led to believe that any old cut of beef will do. This doesn’t have to be true. It is true that certain cuts are better than others, but it’s not as complicated as you might think.
We have all had that moment where we opened the freezer for a seemingly simple task and stumbled upon a giant brick of meat. But what is the best beef for a classic beef stew recipe? Lucky for you, I’ve put together a list of quick recipes using beef stew meat to help you out. In this article you will learn how to make beef stew from scratch with the health benefits of beef.
Quick Recipes Using Beef Stew Meat
There are many ways to get creative with unique, crowd-pleasing recipes that use stew beef cubes. Sure, traditional stovetop beef stew is great, but it’s not the only meal you can make with cubed (or ground) chuck. Here are some beef stew alternatives to make with stew meat.
1. Mushroom and Bell Pepper Beef Kebabs
These kebabs have bell pepper for bright color.
- Calories: 203
- Protein: 26 grams
You wouldn’t expect it, but these beef kebabs are made from chuck roast, making it an affordable and simple option for summertime grilling and barbecues. This recipe uses bell peppers, which are full of antioxidants, but you can use a variety of vegetables to mix things up.
2. Boeuf Bourguignon
Pair this recipe with a side of cauliflower rice for some fiber.
- Calories: 413
- Protein: 57 grams
Make this delicious stew meat recipe in a dutch oven, and it’ll be ready in a little over 30 minutes. It’s relatively low in carbs, with just 20 net grams of carbs per serving, so it’s a good option for those on a low-carb diet.
3. Mississippi Roast
Cook this recipe overnight to save time, as it takes about eight hours.
- Calories: 430
- Protein: 45 grams
Beef pot roast uses chuck meat and it still comes out super tender and flavorful. This delicious stew meat recipe is low in carbs and high in protein. Pair it with a green salad or a side of quinoa with high-fiber vegetables, like broccoli or Brussels sprouts, for some filling fiber.
4. Sweet and Sour Sloppy Joes
These sloppy joes are easy to pick up with your hands and eat, utensil-free.
- Calories: 408
- Protein: 28 grams
Pull apart these tender strands of slow-cooked ground beef chuck in this comforting sloppy joe stew meat recipe. Your best to let it cook overnight or to prep in the morning before work, as it takes about seven hours. A bonus: It’s high in fiber thanks to quinoa and beans and has a nice Asian cuisine-inspired flair.
5. Healthy Crock-Pot Roast
Use a variety of bright veggies to get more antioxidants.
- Calories: 290
- Protein: 42 grams
Let this lovely piece of chuck roast simmer in a slow cooker for 20 minutes, which is speedy considering how long most chuck roast recipes take (hours!) — this one’s ready in 28 minutes total. Plus, it’s keto-approved, as there are 13 grams of net carbs per serving. To increase fiber but keep carbs low, add in greens, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale.
6. Crock-Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
This soup is best cooked overnight.
- Calories: 283
- Protein: 24 grams
A hearty, warming soup, this slow cooker beef stew recipe will hit the spot on a chilly evening. Let it cook slow and low for about eight hours. Feel free to add in green veggies or beans to increase the fiber content.
7. Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas
Make this meal higher in antioxidants by adding in more veggies, like carrots and zucchini.
Image Credit: One Lovely Life
- Calories: 216
- Protein: 28.7 grams
These tacos are an easy, high-protein weeknight meal. You can use the stew meat as a salad topper or in a grain bowl, so make a large batch to keep on hand for its versatility and flavor. If you go with the greens, it’ll be paleo-friendly! Let the meat simmer in the slow cooker for about four to five hours.
8. Classic Hamburger Recipe
This recipe allows for versatility in flavor, as you can top it however you like.
- Calories: 465
- Protein: 25 grams
A burger is an easy and quick high-protein meal, and you can save time in the kitchen by cooking a large batch at once as you meal prep for the week. What’s more, it requires only four ingredients and is ready in 30 minutes total. Burgers are hearty beef stew alternatives you wouldn’t think to make with stew meat, but you’ll be glad you did.
9. Beef Tips With Gravy
This recipe uses egg noodles instead of wheat noodles.
- Calories: 448
- Protein: 53 grams
The tips of chuck roast, known as “beef tips,” taste great when served with a beef bone broth-based gravy over noodles or mashed potatoes. The net carb count of this recipe with stew meat is low, at just 11 grams per serving.
10. Slow Cooker Cheesesteak Recipe
Make a large batch of the cheesesteak meat to have on hand for quick protein during the week.
- Calories: 350
- Protein: 31 grams
A Philly cheesesteak sandwich is a comforting, classic recipe with stew meat that’s fit for any outdoor summer barbecue or game day. This slow cooker recipe uses beef chuck, which is nice and tender when cooked overnight (it takes a little over eight hours!). Cut against the grain and brown the meat before putting it in the slow cooker to enhance its flavor.
Classic Beef Stew Recipe
Classic Beef Stew is a one pot comforting and hearty, made with beef, vegetables, tomato paste, and seasoning, PERFECT for cold winter days!
Beef Stew is the perfect thing to make to warm up in the winter, and with the cold weather comfort foods like Pot Roast, Sloppy Joes and Beef Chili are popular on the site right now.
CLASSIC BEEF STEW
One of the most popular slow cooker recipes on the site is Slow Cooker Beef Stew so we have been long overdue for this stovetop version. We’re looking to make a lot of our slow cooker recipes in classic stove top versions this year after seeing many of you looking for help in the comment sections of the posts.
Plus this stew recipe is perfect for the season because it is a great recipe to make-ahead and enjoy for days. In fact it tastes even better the following day.
With a simple recipe of beef, potatoes and carrots with a tomato paste and beef broth base you only need a chuck roast (or even just stew meat) and some pantry staples to have the perfect cold weather stick-to-your-ribs meal your family will love.
Psst, serve this stew with these delicious homemade rolls or honey cornbread, I promise you’ll crave this meal every time the temperature dips. Even more brownie points if you brush those rolls with a bit of melted garlic butter.
How much red wine in beef stew?
This is a classic beef stew recipe unlike the recent pot roast recipe I posted where I included red wine. You can certainly include red wine in this recipe by swapping 1 cup of the beef stock for 1 cup of red wine.
I would not add an additional cup of liquids to the recipe however, you want to control how much liquid you create or the soup will rapidly become a watery soup.
N.b. you can also add a touch of balsamic vinegar to your beef stew if you’d like the acidity of the red wine without the wine, I suggest just 1-2 tablespoons.
Classic Soups and Stews Best Practices:
Always brown your meat before adding it to the soup/stew. Browned meat intensifies the flavors and it is also much better presentation as meat that just “stews” in the beef stock tends to stay a more grey color and it doesn’t look as appetizing.
Always add broth/stock when possible instead of water, water does nothing for building flavors.
Making this in the slow cooker/crock pot is of course a no brainer as the slow cooker version is one of the most popular recipes on out site (see above).
If you want to add a bit of richness to your beef stew finish it with a bit of garlic butter with minced parsley spooned over your serving. One small spoonful goes a long way.
Other vegetables to add to beef stew:
- Celery: Celery can be added in one of two ways. Celery in general is known as a base vegetable that helps to build a good foundation of flavors with onions and carrots that are browned together with butter. Celery can also be added in 1″ or longer chunks if you’d like to have bites of celery in your meal.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet Potatoes are a natural fit for this beef stew and would make a great substitute for the carrots as they bring a similar amount of sweetness to the recipe. I’d avoid swapping the potatoes for sweet potatoes as the carrots and sweet potatoes would both add sweetness.
- Parsnips: One of the best vegetables for braised dishes because of its hearty texture, make sure you pick the largest parsnips you can find. The thicker they are the better for this long braising time. You will absolutely love this dish with parsnips, if I could I’d eat parsnips in place of carrots 100% of the time they’re so delicious.
- Pearl Onions: Make sure you take some time to cook these in some butter before adding them to the beef stew or they will cook and become slightly leathery. Cooked in butter on medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, before being added to the beef stew is a perfect amount before being added.
Best Meat for Beef Stew:
- Chuck Roast: This is the most old-fashioned and classic cut of meat for most pot roasts or beef stews. I use this as a replacement for most recipes that actually call for stew meat because I find chuck to be well-marbled.
- Stew Meat: This is the easiest way to go, not expensive cut of meat because it is pre-cut. I find it is generally not high quality though and usually extra cuts left over that the butcher is looking to sell off. I avoid this cut in the grocery store.
- Ribeye: If you want to impress your guests and you are cooking this during the holidays you may find a ribeye roast is on sale. I find during Christmas it usually sells for a VERY low price (comparable sometimes to chuck). When it does I get a 4″ thick cut and use it to make the best roasts and stews with it because to me almost nothing beats the ribeye.
Beef Stew with mashed potatoes is cozy to the max! Slow cooked on the stove and packed full of flavor, each bowl is like a food hug.
This weekend my main man Ben whipped up a batch of his famous Beef Stew with mashed potatoes and it was so dreamy that I immediately stole a bowl to photograph for you.
Ben’s beef stew is the epitome of winter warmth, and he’s been making it nearly every weekend for a month now. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share it! This hearty dish is cozy, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. We call it beef stew but what it really is, is gravy, which is why it’s so delicious draped over a bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes. The meat is so tender it melts in your mouth, and the sauce is packed with flavor.
Get your spoons ready!
Slow Cooked Beef Stew
Finely diced vegetables and dried herbs are sauteed with tender bits of stew meat before braising the afternoon away in beef broth thickened slightly with butter and flour. It is TO DIE FOR and just the thing to tuck into on a cold night. Add a class of cab and a roaring fire and you’ll have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming!
Best Beef For Stew
We buy “stew meat” for beef stew with mashed potatoes, which is usually cut from a chuck (shoulder) roast. That said, you can also use a top or bottom round roast or beef tips for beef stew. Many recipes call for leaving the meat in large chunks, but Ben cuts the beef into small, bite-sized pieces so melt in your mouth in the final dish.
Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup
Do I Have to Brown the Meat for Beef Stew?
Normally, if you were using large hunks of roast for beef stew, yes, you would want to brown them first before simmering/braising. Since the beef is cut so small in this recipe though, all you need to do is saute in a Dutch oven before braising. One less step, FTW!
Is Wine Needed for Beef Stew?
The short answer? No, it’s not. Wine can add a great depth of flavor to beef stew, and Ben has deglazed the pan with a big glug of red wine after sauting the vegetables in the past, but you can still get wonderful flavor without it.
Alright fam, fire up the stove and let’s get cooking!
How to Make Beef Stew from Scratch
Start by chopping all the vegetables – the smaller the better. That way they really melt into the sauce (which is important because I hate big hunks of cooked carrots!)
You’ll need carrots, celery, and shallots or onions, plus lots of garlic.
Once the prep work is done, heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat then add dried thyme and rosemary. Let the herbs saute for about 30 seconds.
Next add all the chopped vegetables to the pot, season with salt and pepper, then saute until very tender, about 10 minutes. Next add sliced mushrooms then saute until tender, another 5-7 minutes.
Now add stew meat cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with LOTS of salt and pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes then brown the meat, about 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together melted butter and gluten-free flour or all-purpose flour in a small dish. Add to the Dutch oven then stir to coat the meat and cook for 1 minute. This mixture will give the Beef Stew a bit of glossiness, richness, and thickness. It is a must-have for delicious, thick Beef Stew!
Finally, stream in gluten-free beef broth or stock then turn the heat to high and bring the stew to a boil.
Pop in 2 bay leaves then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
After two hours, take the lid off then simmer low and slow for another 1-1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender and the sauce is very thick. Again, we’re going for a gravy-ish consistency.
Last step for the Beef Stew is to add frozen peas then cook for 2 minutes.
About 45 minutes before the stew is done, make a batch of mashed potatoes, which is what Ben always serves his stew over (you could also serve it with egg noodles or gnocchi.) He whips his potatoes with milk, butter, salt, and a dollop of sour cream – a unique addition that I had never tasted before. It totally makes the mashed potatoes though – try it sometime!
Health Benefits of Beef
Meat has been a staple in human nutrition for at least two million years. In fact, research has suggested without the inclusion of meat, it is unlikely that early humans could have developed their brain size and complexity, pretty cool.
Today, meat continues to play an important role in our diets, providing us with essential amino acids and fatty acids, as well as an abundance of micronutrients vital for maintaining optimal health.
So, here’s a look at beef and 5 reasons why we need it in our diets.
1. Rich in B Vitamins
Red meat is a rich source of B vitamins which are essential for many of our body’s functions. Vitamin B12 is vital for proper functioning in nearly every system in our body, and being deficient in this nutrient has shown to play a role in ageing, cancer, neurological disorders and cardiovascular disease.
Vegetarians, vegans (or any diet excluding meat), pregnant women and breastfeeding women are at high risk of being deficient in B12, and may want to consider tracking this in their diets.
* A great source of B vitamins is any of our beef products – try our hand-prepared steaks, lean steak mince and any of our beef roasting joints.
2. It’s a complete protein source
Both red and white meat contain all the essential amino acids (proteins which are the building blocks of life), making meat a complete protein source! As humans are unable to produce these essential amino acids naturally, we must consume them through our diets. We need protein for growth, maintenance and repair of our bodies, and meat it a great source of this.
*Here’s a few of our protein packed products & their protein content per 100g:
Chicken breast 32g
Beef steak 29.2g
Pork steak 31.6g
Lamb chop 31g
3. Healthy fats & cardiovascular health
Fat is a vital macronutrient and essential for maintaining optimal health. However, for many years, fat was made the enemy. Misguided information from public health institutions led to people avoiding fat (particularly saturated fat) due to concerns about cholesterol and the link with heart disease. However, current research has now shown this is not the case and here’s a few reasons why:
Saturated fat is not the enemy!
Research has shown that cholesterol particles derived from fat do NOT increase risk of heart disease. In fact, studies have shown that natural saturated fats found in beef can actually reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol (bad) and improving the ratio of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Refined sugar & the so-called Western diet
Numerous studies have linked the Western diet to an increased risk of heart disease. Although the western diet is high in saturated fat, it’s also extremely high in refined sugar and carbohydrates (such as bread, biscuits and sweets) which studies have shown to be detrimental to your health. Furthermore, some of the latest research has shown that reducing saturated fat and increasing refined carbohydrates can promote heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Source of CLA
Beef is a great source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) fatty acid. Studies have shown CLA can assist with fat loss by improving insulin sensitivity and help prevent many conditions including heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. So, grab a steak and enjoy this nutrient dense food.
4. Vitamin D, iron & zinc
Red meat isn’t just rich in vital B vitamins, it’s packed full of other micronutrients required for our health and wellbeing.
For people who don’t have much time in the sun, red meat can significantly contribute to overall vitamin D intake and prevent degenerative bone disease such as rickets.
Iron is a vital nutrient and one we often don’t get enough of. It plays a role in immune function, haemoglobin production, eliminating fatigue, and is particularly important for pregnant women as iron is crucial for foetal brain development. The type of iron found in beef is heme iron, and studies have shown this is more easily absorbed compared to iron found in plant foods.
Zinc is another important mineral found in red meat and involved with many of our body’s functions such as regulating gene expression and the structure of certain proteins and enzymes. As with iron, zinc found in beef is more easily absorbed, and even a small amount of beef can prevent deficiency.
5. Weight loss
Meat in general is one of the most satiating foods you can eat. Why’s this important? It means you’ll be feeling fuller for longer in comparison to eating high-glycaemic carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread or anything sugary. Specifically, eating foods high in protein has shown reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin, and increase the satiety hormone leptin, which can lead to a reduction in calories.