Are you looking for an easy beef stew recipe that will please your family? Look no further because you just found it. You’re gonna love this perfectly hearty beef stew. Promise.
I’ve heard that during the fall we naturally begin eating more and choosing heartier foods. It stems from millennia of having limited ways to preserve food for the winter months. After all, human preservation is ingrained in us all.
Whatever the reason for the change, it’s true. As soon as that first cool spell hits, I get a craving for more robust dishes. This beef stew recipe is one of my go-to fall favorites. It’s easy to throw together, can be cooked quickly (1-1 1/2 hours), or cooked slowly in a crockpot. And best of all, the whole family loves it. It’s probably the addition of cooked bacon that wins them over. My kids think the only thing better than bacon is more bacon.
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I even prep this recipe as a freezer meal quite often. Recently, I made it as part of my 14 freezer meals in 2 hours. It makes it easy to cook. Just toss everything (minus the potatoes and bacon) into a freezer bag and when you’re ready to cook it, let the bag thaw in the fridge overnight, peel a few potatoes and cut them into large chunks, and then toss everything into a crockpot for 8-10 hours or a large stockpot for about an hour and a half minutes. Add the cooked bacon just before serving.
If cooked on the stove, the stew gets thick without needing any thickening agent. But, if you’re cooking it in the crockpot, you will need to add 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch about a half-hour before you’re ready to serve your stew. Ladle a small amount of broth into a cup and then add a little cold water to cool it down so that it doesn’t cook the cornstarch when you add it. Mix the cornstarch into the broth until there are no clumps, then pour the mixture into the stew and mix it in.
Bump your crockpot up to high and let it cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be nice and thick by the time you’re ready to eat.
Now that you know how to cook it, let’s get to the recipe.
Perfectly Hearty Beef Stew
This beef stew is the perfect dish for winter without all the work of some stew recipes.
- 2 lb stew meat ( cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 6 slices cooked bacon
- 3 cups mushrooms
- 1 cup onions
- 3 cups sliced carrots (about 6 medium
- 3-4 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup Italian dressing
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can beef broth
Place meat in a one-gallon storage bag and add Italian dressing. Close the bag and turn to evenly coat the meat with dressing. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Pour oil into a large stockpot over med-high heat. Add in mushrooms and onions and cook until tender. Toss in meat (discard excess marinade), carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and broth into pot and stir.
Bring to boil then cover and drop heat to low. Simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours or until meat is cooked through and sauce is thickened.
Just before serving cut bacon into bite-sized pieces and stir into stew. Enjoy!
I hope your family enjoys this stew as much as mine does. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.