Italian Beef Stew is made with a rich, silky red wine and tomato sauce, fork-tender beef, mushrooms, potatoes and aromatic herbs for a hearty, flavorful meal. It can be made on the stovetop or in a crockpot.
What is Italian Beef Stew?
Italian Beef Stew is similar to a beef stew made with beef carrots and potatoes. The difference is the addition of tomatoes, tomato sauce or marinara, and Italian herbs to give it more of an Italian flavor.
Stew of any kind can turn a cold winter day into one that feels cozy and warm with comforting smells that fill the house. My favorite thing to do on a Sunday is to stay indoors, grab some board games, light a fire and have something braising in the oven. A warm cocktail or two never hurts, either!
Italian Beef Stew doesn’t braise in the oven, rather it’s cooked slowly on the stovetop or in your slow-cooker so the sauce can reduce and get a gravy-like texture. You’ll love how amazing it smells and how tender it gets!
Tips for making Italian Beef Stew
- Be sure to sear your beef in batches if necessary. One layer with space around each piece of meat so they sear and don’t steam. You want them brown, not gray.
- Keep the heat on high and add the mushrooms after removing the seared beef. Allow your mushrooms to cook over high heat until very browned (this is where the flavor is)! It may take a little while but once all the water evaporates from the mushrooms they will really begin to brown and have a nice depth of flavor.
- Then reduce the heat to medium when adding the mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onions). Let them sweat for about 10 minutes.
- If using dried herbs, especially those that have been around a while, add them to the pan along with the mirepoix. This will release their essential oils and bring out their flavor.
- After the pan is deglazed with wine and there is little liquid left, add a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste and a couple of tablespoons of flour, then stir and cook it for a few minutes so no raw flour taste will remain. This will add a depth of flavor and thicken the stew a little.
- I forgo fresh tomatoes in the winter when I can’t get them freshly picked from the vine, so instead, I used two cans of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
- You can leave this simmering on the stove a few hours or just bring to a boil, cover and leave in a 300F oven.
- Don’t forget to season to taste once everything is tender and ready to go!
What’s the best cut of meat for making stew?
Chuck roast is your best bet when making stew. It’s what I always use for this popular Pot Roast with Balsamic & Dijon, too. Chuck is a rather tough cut from the shoulder and neck area, which means it needs a long, slow cooking time. As it cooks, the connective tissue will break down, making it fork-tender!
You don’t need any side dishes to serve with this stew since it already has potatoes and vegetables. If you still wish to serve a vegetable on the side, something simple like Green Beans Almondine, oven-roasted asparagus or even Garlic & Parmesan Portobellos are good choices.
A good loaf of crusty bread is perfect for sopping up the rich gravy, or you can serve it directly in a bread bowl!
- 2 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb crimini mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 2 large sweet onions, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large rounds
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tbs minced garlic
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 lb red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped or 2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (with juice)
- 4 cups low-sodium beef stock
- 2 cups marinara or tomato sauce
- 1 tsp coarse salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat a dutch oven over high heat. Add the oil and sear the beef in batches until browned on all sides. Remove the beef and set aside.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until their liquid has released then evaporated and the mushrooms have browned, about 6-7 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and herbs. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.
- Add the wine and deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Cook until most of the liquid has been reduced. Stir in the tomato paste and flour; cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the tomatoes, beef stock, and tomato sauce. Add the beef back to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours, then add the potatoes. Continue simmering the stew until the beef and potatoes tender and the sauce is thick. You can also transfer it to a slow cooker at this point and cook on high for 4 hours.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 554Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1084mgCarbohydrates: 43gNet Carbohydrates: 36gFiber: 7gSugar: 16gProtein: 37g