Want to make a beef stew over creamy garlic mashed potatoes that is addictively delicious? You’ve come to the right place.
Beef stew is traditional cold-weather fare, loaded with tender chunks of savory beef, red wine, aromatics, carrots, fresh thyme, olives, and hearty broth.
Beef Stew Recipe
When you have a chilly weekend on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to make a big pot of beef stew. All the prep work is mostly up front and it’s so easy to make in your favorite Dutch oven, simmered low and slow.
After a few hours on the stove, the beef becomes fall-apart tender, nestled deep in the rich red wine sauce alongside baby carrots and black olives. To serve, just ladle it over a big bed of creamy mashed potatoes.
What to love about beef stew –
- Stew is a hearty and rich main dish, especially when it’s served over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.
- Stew meat is one of the most economical cuts of beef available from the meat case. I love that it’s already cut up for me.
- This recipe makes a big batch of stew. I like to make it on the weekend so we’ve got leftovers for lunches the following week.
Ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe
- Stew meat: Made from cuts of beef with a lot of connective tissue, stew meat is typically cut from chuck roast or round steak. When simmered low and slow in a flavorful liquid, stew meat gets deliciously tender.
- Olive oil: You can substitute vegetable oil or canola oil for browning the stew meat.
- Red wine: Wine doesn’t have to be expensive to use as a good marinade for the meat, just something you’d enjoy drinking when you serve the beef. Use a good red wine that’s a bit on the dry side, such as a cab, Syrah, or merlot.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion, garlic, zest of an orange, carrots, fresh thyme. These ingredients provide the flavor foundation of a dish. In this recipe the aromatics are used to flavor the marinade.
- Tomato paste: Browning the tomato paste in Step 6 adds great of depth of flavor to this beef stew – don’t skip this step.
- Black olives: I never would have guessed how delicious black olives are in beef stew until I gave it a try.
- Beef broth: I use a beef broth concentrate called Better Than Bouillon so that I can make a very hearty (strong) beef broth for this stew. This is a handy ingredient to keep in the fridge whether you need a small amount of broth or a larger amount.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Russet potatoes: I like russet potatoes because they make super fluffy mashed potatoes. You can substitute Yukon gold potatoes if preferred.
- Heavy cream: Substitute half-and-half if needed, but heavy cream (aka whipping cream) makes the potatoes very rich and luscious.
- Garlic: Steeping (simmering) the garlic in the warm cream infuses tons of flavor.
If desired, make this stew a day or two ahead of when you want to serve it. This allows the flavors to meld and intensify and all you have to do is reheat it on low heat when you’re ready to enjoy it.
Brown the meat in the hot oil working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Leave enough room so that you can actually see the bottom of the pan when you’re browning the meat – this allows the heat to circulate around each piece of meat, giving it superior browning. More browning, more flavor!
You can substitute whole carrots cut into chunks for the baby carrots, if desired.
How to make Beef Stew Over Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Make the Beef Stew
Make the Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Serve the Stew
Place the warm creamy garlic potatoes into bowls creating a well in the center; add a generous helping of the stew; garnish with fresh Italian parsley, if desired. Enjoy at once!
Which tools are helpful for making beef stew?
I use my big, beautiful enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven for this recipe. It easily holds a big batch of stew and even off the burner it will keep foods nice and hot for quite a long time – thank you, cast iron.
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, a 6-quart stock pot also works just fine. And, if you’d like to make this stew in your slow cooker, that’s totally an option as well. You’ll just need to brown the stew meat in some hot oil first, then proceed with cooking the stew on low heat in the slow cooker.
When you’re browning the stew meat, a pair of long-handled tongs helps for turning it as you go.
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Beef Stew over Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 3 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1" chunks
- 1 bottle good dry red wine, approx. 3 cups
- 1 yellow or white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 lb. baby carrots
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- olive oil, for browning stew meat
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 4 oz. medium whole, pitted black olives
- 4 cups beef broth
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 6 large russett potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 - 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Make the Beef Stew
- The day prior to when you'd like to enjoy the stew, sort through the stew meat to make sure all the pieces are generally around 1-inch in size, cutting them as needed if they are too large.
- Place the beef into a large container or freezer bag; add wine, onion, garlic, orange zest, carrots, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Let beef marinate for 18-24 hours.
- When you want to cook the stew, remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels, reserving the marinade to make the stew. Liberally season the beef with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat; when the oil is nicely hot, add the seasoned meat, a few pieces at a time, browning off on all sides, working in batches. Remove the browned meat to a plate as you go.
- Once all the beef is browned and removed, deglaze the Dutch oven by adding a bit of wine or broth to the pan, bringing up all the browned bits that are attached to the bottom as you stir.
- Add the tomato paste to the pan at this time and cook, over low heat, until the tomato paste has turned from a bright, deep red to a nice brownish color. Add broth or wine, a little at a time, so the tomato paste doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan too much.
- Add the olives to the tomato paste, then pour in the reserved marinade and all it's ingredients along with the reserved stew meat; stir to combine.
- Bring the stew to a boil over medium high heat, skimming away any foam that comes to the top. Reduce the heat until stew is barely simmering; add the beef broth and cook, partially covered over low heat, for 2-3 hours, until the stew is nicely thickened.
Make the Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add peeled and quartered potatoes and cook until the potatoes are very fork-tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan over low heat, bring the cream and garlic to a low simmer, then remove from heat to allow the garlic to steep in the cream.
- Drain the potatoes well and place them into the bowl of a large food processor; add a bit of the warm cream and garlic and process potatoes, pulsing until very smooth, working in batches as needed. **If you don't have a food processor, you can use an electric mixer or even mash the potatoes by hand.
- Season the potatoes to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve the Stew
- Place the warm creamy garlic potatoes into bowls creating a well in the center; add a generous helping of the stew; garnish with fresh Italian parsley, if desired. Enjoy at once!