Italian Homemade Beef Stew

This is an easy homemade beef stew recipe that’s full of amazing flavors. It is made with tender beef and fresh vegetables. 

I find soups and stews to be very comforting. Some of our favorite soups and stews are chicken lentil soup and lamb stew. This easy homemade beef stew is very easy to make and perfect for a cozy evening, served with some crusty bread.  

Italian Homemade Beef Stew

This post has been sponsored by Muir Glen. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Easy beef stew recipe

This rustic beef stew made with Italian flavors is a great fall dish. It’s packed with delicious flavors and every bit of beef is so tender that it feels like it melts in your mouth. I used Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes with Basil to make this easy beef stew which I purchased at my local Safeway. Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes have such bright and fresh taste and the basil adds a nice and light herbal flavor. Its rustic and chunky texture is the perfect base for this Italian beef stew. 

It’s good to know that Muir Glen products are field-to-can in 8 hours or less. Every can is filled with chunky tomatoes with incredible flavors that will up your sauce game. They sure give so much flavor to our homemade beef stew! 

Italian Homemade Beef Stew

Tomato beef stew ingredients

To make this easy Italian beef stew you need the following ingredients: 

  • Olive oil 
  • Onion 
  • Garlic 
  • Beef 
  • Carrot 
  • Rosemary and oregano
  • Potatoes 
  • Mushrooms
  • Muir Glen crushed tomatoes 
  • Vegetable stock

This is such a comforting stew that would be perfect for chilly days. It comes together easily and doesn’t require much time to prepare. Of course, the longer it cooks the testier it will be. I prefer to cut the vegetables into larger chunks so they keep their shape while cooking and they don’t get mushy. 

Italian Homemade Beef Stew

What is best beef for stew?

One of the questions that might come up when shopping for this beef stew recipe is that what kind of beef should you use to make homemade beef stew. It’s important to know that the beef stew meat you want to use should contain enough fat to stay tender after cooking but not too much fat; otherwise your stew will be too greasy and unappetizing.

Many supermarkets offer pre-cut and packaged “beef stew meat” which work very well for this recipe. However, you can also buy your own meat and cut it yourself. If doing so, my suggestion is to get chuck or bottom round roast. These pieces would be tender after cooking and give so much flavor to the stew. For more information, please read this piece on The Kitchn about the best meat for beef stew and how to choose them. 

Italian Homemade Beef Stew

How to make beef stew with potatoes

Making tomato beef stew at home is simple and doesn’t require any specific skills. I have given all the details on how to make beef stew in three different ways: stove top, slow cooker and instant pot. 

  • Stove top: Saute onion and garlic in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add in beef and sear it until it’s perfectly brown on all sides. Add carrots, spices and potatoes to the beef and stir well. Finally, add the mushrooms, Muir Glen crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and let it simmer on medium low for about 45 minutes or until the beef is fully cooked. 
  • Slow cooker: To make slow cooker beef stew first you need to saute onion and garlic in a pan. Add in the beef and sear it until it’s brown on all sides. Place the beef and onion in the slow cooker and add the carrots, spices, potatoes, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock to the slow cooker as well. Cook on high for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. 
  • Pressure cooker: If you’re in a hurry, pressure cooker beef stew is the way to go. Press the “saute” function and saute the onion and garlic with some olive oil in the instant pot. Add in the beef and saute until the beef is completely brown on all sides. Add in the carrots, spices and potatoes. Stir well and then add in the mushrooms and crushed tomatoes. Finally add the vegetable stock but make sure to add the amount or stock you want to have at the end of the cooking since it won’t evaporate in the instant pot. Press “cancel” and then press “pressure cook”. Set the time for 25 minutes and once the cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally for then minutes and then do a quick release. 

Italian Homemade Beef Stew

How to tenderize stew beef

Nothing is worse than spending time to make the perfect beef stew and end up with rubbery meat that’s not tender at all. To make sure you end up with tender beef stew, here are a few tips you should note:

  • First, you should have the right cut of beef which is chuck in this case.
  • Second, sear the beef until it’s fully brown on all sides. This will keep the moisture in and will also make the stew very flavorful. Whatever you do, don’t skip the browning step. 
  • Third, give your stew enough time to cook. If cooking on a stove top, making beef stew could take anywhere between one to two hours. Cook the beef stew on medium low heat and let it simmer gently for maximum flavor and tender meat. 

How to thicken beef stew

Some like to have a thick beef stew where other like it more watery and light. If you like your homemade beef stew thick, then mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and add it to the beef stew about 30 minutes before serving and let it simmer until it thickens. 

As for a slow cooker beef stew, add the cornstarch and water slurry after the stew is cooked for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Give it a nice stir, cover and cook on high for another 30 minutes for the stew to thicken. 

If adding slurry to the instant pot beef stew, let the beef stew cook completely as instructed. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release. Open the lid and add the cornstarch and water slurry to the stew. Stir and press the “saute” function. The beef stew will start simmering. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes until the stew is thick enough. 

What to serve homemade beef stew with 

As comforting and filling tomato beef stew is, I suggest you never serve it solo. You can serve homemade beef stew with egg noodles, some bread such as baguette or sourdough or some homemade polenta. 

Italian Homemade Beef Stew

Can I freeze beef stew?

This easy beef stew freezes beautifully. Freeze the leftovers in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, you can either microwave the beef stew or place the frozen beef stew in a pot and heat it over medium low heat until fully heated through. 

Notes and tips to make Italian beef stew

  • Make sure that you’ve browned the beef on all sides before adding the remaining ingredients. Browning the beef will give it more flavor. 
  • Once you add the vegetable stock, scrape the bottom of the pot to mix the brown bits with the stock. Those brown bits contain so much flavor for the beef stew. 
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. 
  • If you would like to add more vegetables to this Italian beef stew, you can add bell peppers (red, yellow or orange), leeks, celery and peas. 

Italian Homemade Beef Stew

Looking for more soup recipes?

  • Mediterranean green lentil soup
  • Persian noodle soup
  • Curry lentil soup 

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