Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew

This is a rich, hearty, feed your soul type of beef-vegetable stew. It is packed with tender meat, turnips, carrots, and potatoes. You want to make sure you serve it with bread so that you can soak up every last drop.

Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew

I am freezing. All. The. Time. I wear scarves in the house.

Scarves, people! It’s tragic.

Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew

Being cold makes me want two things more than anything (barring Spring, of course): a fireplace with the prerequisite hot chocolate and stew. But it can’t be just any stew; to clarify, it has to be a put-meat-on-your-bones, rich-like-our-farming-ancestors-used-to-make-it stew. This heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew, to be sure, is both of those things.

Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew

To explain, this is a rich, hearty, feed your soul type of stew. It is packed with tender meat, turnips, carrots, and potatoes. You’ll want to make sure to serve it with bread so that you can soak up every last drop.

For serious.

Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew

I found a recipe for Beef-Vegetable Soup in my Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cookbook, which you will remember from my Beef Stroganoff post. They reprinted the original recipe from the hand-written Monroe Family Cook Book. I can only assume they mean President James Monroe.

Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew

But…I couldn’t resist adding just a little something. Hint: It’s the wine!  The American colonists didn’t really cook with wine in the 1700’s, but it really intensifies the flavors of the stew and allows you to get all the yummy browned-meat goodness from the bottom of the pan after deglazing.

Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew

My Husband abhors thin stews. He firmly believes that if you call it a stew then it needs to be thick, and I have to agree with him. I was in the kitchen trying to get this stew to cook down to an acceptable consistency when my Husband meanders in to check on dinner (i.e. find out when dinner would be ready).

Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew

I complain to him of my problem and say that my Mom would simply add potato flakes to thicken it, but I don’t have any of those. He looks at the thin stew and then at the loaf of Irish Soda Bread fresh from the oven and suggests thickening it with some bread. Sometimes the man is such a culinary genius!

 So he rips off a hunk and just tosses it in. It’s comical now but at the time I was horrified! “You couldn’t have crumbled it first?!” I admonished him. “It’ll be fine; you’ll see,” he smirks as he takes the spoon from my outstretched hand.”

 And he was right. Just like he was right here.

Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew

The Irish Soda Bread had currants in it, which I actually LOVED! Who knew?!

This hearty, heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew will hit the spot! It almost makes this weather enjoyable. Almost. Well, maybe if I had a fireplace too.

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Heritage Beef and Vegetable Stew

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x


This is a rich, hearty, feed your soul type of stew. It is packed with tender meat, turnips, carrots, and potatoes. You want to make sure you serve it with bread so that you can soak up every last drop.


  • 2 lbs beef (I used chuck shoulder – just make sure it is a lean, inexpensive cut)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh if you prefer)
  • ½ cup celery leaves
  • ½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 turnips, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 small red potatoes, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried currants (optional)
  • fist sized hunk of soda bread or potato flakes to thicken


  1. Dry beef cubes on paper towels and then place in a medium bowl. I like to cut my own meat for stew so that the pieces are uniform and cook evenly.
  2. Combine flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle half the mixture over the beef, toss to coat. Sprinkle the remaining over the meat, toss to coat evenly.
  3. Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until it is searing hot. Working in batches, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add about 1/3 of the flour-coated beef. Do not crowd the beef or it will steam instead of brown, and nobody wants that.
  4. Once you have browned all the meat, sauté the onions and the garlic until the onions are translucent and begin to brown. Pour in the wine. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot with a flat, wooden spoon making sure to get up any browned bits! Let the wine boil for about two minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Return the meat to the pot, stir in parsley, celery leaves, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook and stir mixture for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  6. Stir in 5 cups of water or enough to cover all meat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
  7. Add carrots, turnips, onion, potatoes, paprika, pepper and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer until meat and vegetables are tender and potatoes are beginning to fall apart, about 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. If your meat is not yet tender, continue to simmer in additional 15 minute increments until it falls apart.
  8. Remove bay leaves and add your soda bread or potato flakes, and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes.

You can head over to The Kitchn to read more about choosing the right cut of beef for your stew, because it will make all the difference in the world! Promise.

Heritage Beef-Vegetable Stew


  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    February 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

    *sob* this weeeeeather. Make it stooop.

    Good thing I love comfort food. This stew looks amazing, esp. those big gorgeous chunks of yummy beeeef! mmmmm

    • Lindsey
      February 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      I know, right? So over it. It does make for a good excuse to make warm comforting foods! Stay warm!

  • Miss Kim @ behgopa
    February 6, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Clever husband! I cant survive the cold months without warm comfort food. It’s almost my favorite part of winter, the food. For me, it’s mostly the spicy soupy stuff. Haven’t had hot chocolate in ages! I am drinking citrus tea right now and I was freezing a moment ago. Now I feel much warmer.

    At the restaurant, the inexpensive tougher meat is one of the two meats that is available for family meals and it’s what we consume like 80% of the time. We haven’t had stew lately though. Just been making other stuff with it. Your stew looks tempting. Maybe I’ll make that next time.

    • Lindsey
      February 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      He is clever! One of the many reasons why I love him! I try to limit the hot chocolate intake and stick with tea myself because otherwise I start to gain the Winter 15. No good.

      Let me know if you try it!

  • Jennifer
    February 11, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I just made this tonight and it is fantastic!!! It is seriously the best stew recipe I have ever made and I had pretty much given up on stew except the occasional beef burgundy recipe out. Not only that, but the picky eaters in my house not only tasted it, but LOVED it! The bread is brilliant!!!

  • Jennifer
    February 11, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    I made this tonight and it was just fantastic! I had pretty much given up on stew recipes as they are often, thin, tasteless, and the meat is usually tough – no matter what. BUT THIS ONE is divine!!! Everyone in my house loved it – and we have some young picky eaters here! The wine to deglaze the pan and the bread to thicken it is brilliant! SOOOO delicious! I basically followed the recipe to the letter. Have you ever used red wine to deglaze the pan? I personally really liked the white, but I don’t always have it on hand. Thank you for sharing! I love the concept of your blog and can’t wait to make that sweet potato pie!

    • Lindsey
      February 11, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      Hi Jennifer! I am thrilled to hear that you loved it at much as we did! I, too, have had some really miserable, thin, tasteless stews. They are the worst!

      I do use red wine to deglaze my pan sometimes depending on the recipe. It really depends on the overall flavor profile of the dish I’m making. I think any number of red wines could be really yummy in this dish instead of the white. Next time I’ll have to try it! I have some really delicious recipes coming up that use red…I have a feeling that you and your family will love them too.

      Did you put the currants in? I bought some more today just to have on hand for my next stew. I couldn’t believe how much that tiny hint of sweetness added to the overall flavor.

      My Husband and I are still going crazy over the sweet potato pie. I was well and truly shocked by the flavor. You’ll have to let me know what you think (now that I have raised your expectations through the roof! Lol)

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