classic beef stew

4.58 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast, fat trimmed, cut into 1 to 2-inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally in thick pieces
  • 6 carrots, sliced diagonally in thick pieces
  • 1 lb. baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • chopped Italian parsley, for serving


  • Add 2 lbs. cubed beef, 1 sliced onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 stalks sliced celery, 6 sliced carrots, 1 lb. quartered baby potatoes, 1 cup tomato sauce, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar; mix to combine. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours until tender and cooked through.
  • Make a slurry of 2 tablespoons cornstarch and ¼ cup water. Stir the slurry into the liquid in the slow cooker after it is cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper adding more liquid if desired. (I like my beef stew thick like a gravy.) Beef stew can be served at this point, or consider finishing it in the oven.
  • If finishing in the oven, transfer stew to a 400°F oven for 10-15 minutes, uncovered. The stew will thicken up and the meat will get nice and caramelized on top.
  • Finish with chopped Italian parsley on top, if desired.


  • Place all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot. (with the exception of the cornstarch and water) Select the stew/meat setting for 35 minutes, on high pressure, then let sit for 10 minutes before releasing the steam. Finish by making a slurry with the cornstarch and water and mixing it in. Serve topped with Italian parsley or finish with a quick browning session in the oven (see final steps above).


  • Serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread to complete this meal.


  • Vegetarian: Swap beef for mushrooms or additional root vegetables like celery root, parsnips and rutabaga.
  • Potatoes: Remove potatoes from recipe and serve over mashed potatoes instead.


  • Transfer all of the ingredients to a labeled freezer bag (with the exception of the cornstarch and water). Freeze flat for up to 3 months.
    To cook: thaw overnight in the fridge and cook as directed above. After cooking, add cornstarch slurry. Cook for a few minutes until slightly thickened.


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1140mg | Potassium: 1173mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 10395IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 4mg