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This easy beef stew recipe is a favorite at our house. Even more so now that I’ve converted it to Instant pot beef stew, but no worries, you can use your slow cooker if you haven’t joined the Instant pot craze. But I warn you, once you go Instant Pot, you’ll never go back.
One of the things my pioneer homesteading heart loves about stew is it’s a very frugal way to stretch a small amount of veggies and meat into a hearty meal. You can take cuts of meat that aren’t generally as tender or desirable and turn them into a delicious supper. Every homestead kitchen needs this simple beef stew recipe- so hit that print button at the bottom of the post!
Beef stew is a rustic farm dish that takes cheaper (holler, love me some frugal cooking) and odd and end vegetables to create a delicious hearty meal. Who doesn’t need more of that in their life?
My father grew up during the Great Depression and during my childhood, we never had extra money. But due to my dad’s homesteading roots and my mom’s from scratch cooking, our table always had food on it.
From necessity my mother learned how to stretch our food into delicious meals. Growing up, this simple beef stew was often cooked on top of the wood stove.
For more recipes and tips on old-fashioned cooking and frugal living, grab your copy of Hand Made: the Modern Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living.
1 pound stew meat
1 Tablespoon butter (may sub coconut oil or lard for dairy free)
1 cup onion, minced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/4 to 1/2 cup celery (optional)
2 to 3 medium sized potatoes, cubed
2 cups corn or green beans
2 cups peas
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups water or broth
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Stove top beef stew instructions:
In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter brown the meat, onions, garlic, and celery (if using celery). When meat is browned and vegetables partially cooked, add in the remaining ingredients. Allow beef stew to simmer on low for an hour or two, until potatoes are cooked all the way through.
Instant Pot Beef Stew instructions:
Use the Saute function and melt your butter. Brown the stew meat (let it get good and seared on all sides). Remove the seared stew meat and add in the onions, garlic and celery, saute for approximately 2 minutes. (You can skip the browning part if you’re in a hurry, but it does add flavor and is worth the few minutes it takes)
Turn off Saute function. Add in the browned stew meat and rest of all the ingredients. Place and lock the lid into place and select the soup setting. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. If you’re in a hurry to eat, use the manual release, not in a hurry, go natural release or let it say on the keep warm setting until ready to serve.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew instructions:
Option 1: dump everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Option 2 (best flavor, pick this one!): Preheat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Melt the butter and brown the meat, onions, garlic, and celery (if using celery). When meat is browned and vegetables partially cooked, transfer to your slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and cook on low for 6 to 8 ours or high for 4 hours.
Beef Stew Keto adaptations:
To keep this beef stew keto or low carb, use green beans and omit the peas. Replace the potatoes with 2 cups of radishes cut in half.
Get over 100+ old-fashioned from scratch recipes waiting for you in Hand Made: the Modern Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living.
This book was really wonderful. There are tons of recipes and lots of helpful information and tips on everything a modern homesteader would need. The biscuit recipe in this book makes the best biscuits I have ever tasted. Whether you are just starting out on the simpler living trail or you have been on your journey for years there is lots of information in this book to help you out.
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There you have it, from my homestead kitchen to yours our favorite beef stew recipe!
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.