The Best Beef Stew Ever

No, really. I have tried to make beef stew for years and it always just tastes like liquified pot roast. I’m not a huge pot roast fan so obviously a stew that tastes like it isn’t going to work for me. I gave up for many years figuring that was just what beef stew tastes like. Then I stumbled upon a recipe that changed the beef stew game for me. I adapted it to suit our tastes and the result is pretty amazing if I do say so myself!

My whole family loves this beef stew and my husband, who has far more stew tasting experience than I do, also agrees that it’s the best stew he’s ever had. My teenaged son requests it often, too. 

The best beef stew #recipe ever

Assemble your ingredients

  • 1½ – 2 pounds London Broil, cut into half-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced parsnips
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 1½ cups sliced celery
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chopped potatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups red wine
  • 1½ cups beef broth
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup uncooked medium pearl barley
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

The best beef stew #recipe ever

You may have noticed that in the photo I have white wine instead of red. I was out of red and decided to wing it. If you only have white on hand then you can use it and it will still taste delicious but the flavor is deeper with the red wine. 

Cut the steak into chunks and dredge in flour.

The best beef stew #recipe ever

Once coated in flour brown the steak in a skillet. Be sure to add all of the flour to the pan as well since the flour will be a thickening agent for your stew. 

The best beef stew #recipe ever

Cut up all of your carrots, parsnip, celery, onion, and garlic. Add them in a warm pot coated in olive oil and cook until translucent. 

The best beef stew #recipe ever

Add your meat and potatoes and give them a stir. Then add all of your remaining ingredients except the barley and balsamic vinegar and simmer for at least an hour. 

The best beef stew #recipe ever After your stew has simmered then add the barley and balsamic vinegar (do not leave the vinegar out since this is what, I think, makes this the best beef stew ever!). Then simmer for another 45 minutes or until the barley has softened.

If you would like a thicker stew then add a spoonful of corn starch with water. 

The best beef stew #recipe ever

The Best Beef Stew Ever
Serves 8
Write a review
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
  1. 1½ - 2 pounds London Broil, cut into half inch pieces
  2. ¼ cup flour
  3. 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  4. 1 cup sliced carrots
  5. 1 cup sliced parsnips
  6. 1½ cups chopped onion
  7. 1½ cups sliced celery
  8. 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  9. 3 cups chopped potatoes
  10. 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  11. 1½ cups water
  12. 1½ cups sherry cooking wine
  13. 1½ cups beef broth
  14. 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  15. 3 bay leaves
  16. 1½ tsp salt
  17. 1 tsp dried thyme
  18. ¼ tsp pepper
  19. ½ cup uncooked medium pearl barley
  20. ½ cup cold water
  21. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. Add cubed meat and flour in a freezer bag and shake to coat
  2. In a Dutch oven, cook beef in oil until meat is no longer pink. Add the carrots, onion, celery, potatoes and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, water, sherry, broth, bay leaves, salt, thyme and pepper. Add Worcestershire sauce to taste.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add barley; cover and simmer 45 minutes longer or until barley and meat are tender.
  4. Remove from the heat. Discard bay leaves. Stir in balsamic vinegar just before serving. Sprinkle each serving with parsley if desired.
  1. Do not leave out the balsamic vinegar! That is what makes this stew the best I've ever had.
Adapted from
Adapted from
The Anti June Cleaver
Regan is a New England native now living in Colorado with her husband and two sons. She is committed to living greener and is an advocate of cloth diapers, babywearing, breastfeeding, and intuitive parenting. She loves to read, cook, bake, write, and explore her new mountain home.

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