Stewing Beef Know How - Canadian Beef | Canada Beef

Stewing Beef

Stewing/braising beef is a simple way to get supper to the table. Stewing starts off with less-tender but flavourful cuts of beef and turns them tender using slow moist heat for cooking. Here’s how…

Get Ready

Meat and veggies all together – a big batch of stew is great when you have the family gathered at the table. Slow-simmer on the stove top, in the oven or in a slow cooker.

  1. CUT meat from bone-into cubes if necessary. Coat beef with a mixture of flour, salt and pepper; shake off excess. In lightly oiled Dutch oven or stockpot, brown meat in batches.
  2. ADD onions and other seasoning, as desired, Add enough liquid, such as broth, tomato juice or red wine, to just cover beef.
  3. COVER AND SIMMER in 325°F (160°C) oven or on stove top for at least 1 hour or until fork-tender. Add chunks of vegetables and cook for 30 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.


Common Cut

Stewing Beef

Alternate Cuts

Shank Centre Cut Stewing Beef Boneless

Chuck Short Ribs

Myth Buster


You need to flour stew cubes before browning.


Flouring beef cubes prior to browning will reduce spattering but it does make the pan mucky. Pat stew cubes dry with paper towel, season all over and then brown the cubes. Sprinkle cubes all over with flour after browning.

Tips for Stewing

Cook’s Notes

  • Stews don’t require any fussing while they cook – once they’re in the oven you’re free – they cook by themselves so you can have the whole kitchen cleaned up when guests arrive – perfect for those of us who entertain in the kitchen.

  • Beef stews, are great for entertaining since they can be made the day ahead. Stew flavours meld together as it sits so it tastes better next day. Gently re-heat in the oven, microwave or slow cooker before serving.

  • Browning the beef before simmering gives beef stew a rich colour and flavour.

  • For a stew-like dinner that’s faster to prepare, you can use a Simmering Steak instead of stewing cubes; that way, you have only one piece of meat to brown. Simmer as you would for making a stew.

  • Overcrowding meat in the pan will cause meat to steam rather than brown.

  • You can dredge the beef cubes in seasoned flour before browning if you like – but sprinkling the flour over the browned cubes is easier and less messy.

  • Onions are cut into wedges lengthwise so they keep their shape in the stew. Onions that are cut crosswise tend to melt down into the background of a stew when they cook.

  • If flavourings start to scorch add a splash of water to the pot.

  • A tight fitting lid and a heavy pot are essential for best braising.

  • Keep beef cubes roughly the same size and trim them – this way beef will all cook at about the same time

  • Use the right pot – a Dutch oven made from enameled cast iron just can’t be beat – think Le Creuset for example.

  • For Stew, the secret is in the simmer. Go slow. Take your time. Use a 325ºF (160ºC) oven for a good even heat or a slow cooker will do the trick too.

Cuts used with Stewing Beef

Raw, Stewing Beef

Stewing Beef

Cut from the Chuck, stewing beef cubes have deep rich beef flavour. Best cooked by braising to make tender – slowly simmer in a seasoned brother in a covered container.

Shank Centre Cut Stewing Beef Boneless

Shank Centre Cut Stewing Beef Boneless

Perfect for stew, this cut has a deep rich beef flavour. Can be cut into cubes as stewing beef. Best cooked by braising to make tender – slowly simmer in a seasoned broth in a covered container.

Chuck Short Ribs

Chuck Short Ribs

Deep rich beef flavour is the hallmark of Short Ribs. Best cooked by braising to make them fall-off-the-bone tender – slowly simmer in a seasoned brother in a covered container, just like a stew.

Stewing Beef recipes

Beef Kare Kare with Garlic RiceChef Anna Olson: “I discovered Kare Kare on my very first trip to the Philippines. I loved the intense aroma and the richness of the sauce, and it inspired me to prepare it at home. If I’m looking for a more casual way to serve it, especially if I’ve made the dish the day before, I serve my Kare Kare beef as a burrito. Since this isn’t readily available here in Canada, I use paprika – it adds a nice colour and is very tasty without being spicy.”
Beef and Mushroom StewBeef stew is the perfect winter recipe. This delicious beef and mushroom stew will make the house smell inviting and cozy.  The combination of beef and vegetables with the perfect blend of seasonings will have people asking for seconds.
Braised Beef CurryThis mildly spiced curry is easy to pull together and takes advantage of less premium cuts of beef. This recipe came to us from Chef Clinton during his visit from China to our Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence.
Bulgogi-style Braised Short Ribs with Baby Bok ChoyShort Ribs are all the rage - amazing flavour and so tender. This Korean-inspired dish is way easier than making a stir-fry. Braising is one of the simplest ways to make a truly impressive meal. You can substitute Shank, Blade or Cross Rib for Short Ribs if you like - cuts from the Simmering Steak, Stew or Pot Roast categories.
Beef and Barley SoupYou can use Beef Simmering Steak instead of Stewing Cubes in this recipe, if you like. Trim the steak and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes.
Beef BourguignonWhat could be classier – or easier – than serving classic Beef Bourguignon when you host your next soirée? Serve this recipe with mashed potatoes, egg noodles or rice.
Slow-Cooker Beef GoulashServe this hearty dish with a dollop of sour cream if you like and steaming hot egg noodles or mashed potatoes. This recipe makes enough for casual entertaining or make the Small Batch Version (below) to serve a small family (serves 2 with leftovers).
Chunky Beef ChiliCook large batches of this chili recipe and freeze in family-sized portions for use within 2 or 3 months. For a quick meal, defrost and reheat on the stove or in the microwave for a hearty beef chili in minutes.
Curried Beef StewWarm up your taste buds with the exotic taste of this simple beef stew recipe.
Traditional Braised Beef StewWhat could be more satisfying than a big bowl of hearty stew? One Traditional Braised Beef Stew recipe makes a big batch so there is plenty for company or you can tuck some in the freezer for later.
Beef and Portobello StewServe this versatile beef stew recipe in edible bowls made of hollowed-out large crusty rolls, or bake it under a puff pastry crust for a quick and easy pot pie.
Hearty Beef and Maple StewWith a hint of maple this delicious heart-warming beef stew recipe is sure to become a family favourite. Served with crusty bread, it’s a complete meal in a bowl.
Korean Beef KabobsStewing Beef on the barbecue – who would have thought you could do that! You have to try this recipe to believe it!