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Garlicky Beef Stew

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Serve this Garlicky Beef Stew with loads of onions and a whole head of garlic for your Halloween dinner. It'll keep the vampires away!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
A serving of Garlicky Beef Stew with brown rice in a blue bowl.

Serve this Garlicky Beef Stew with loads of onions and a whole head of garlic for your Halloween dinner. It’ll keep the vampires away!

The weather is cooling. The leaves are changing. This is the time of year when everyone starts craving comforting, hearty recipes to warm themselves from the inside out.

A serving of Garlicky Beef Stew with brown rice in a blue bowl.

Take today for instance. It’s chilly. The wind is blowing. And the last thing I want on my dinner plate is a salad. No, thank you. I want something substantial. Something that will stick with me for a while. Something like this Garlicky Beef Stew.

This is the perfect garlic lover’s beef stew. If you like onion and garlic flavors like I do, you’ll be crazy about this stew.

This recipe uses two big onions and a whole head (yes! a whole head) of garlic. Yum. And just in time for Halloween, too! Serve up brimming bowls of this delicious stew and you’ll ward off any sign of vampires :-)


  • One pot meal!
  • Prep quickly and leave it to simmer.
  • Full of delicious onion and garlic flavors.

Ingredient Notes

  • Stew Meat (See my notes below about stew meat and optional cuts.)
  • This recipe calls for standard pantry ingredients. You probably already have everything you need to make it right now.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Garlicky Beef Stew

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

About “Stew Meat”

Now, before you grab a packaged from your grocery’s meat case labeled “stew meat” just remember that those often contain odds and ends leftover from lots of different cuts of beef. You might get a bit of chuck, a bit of round, and some bits of who-knows-what. All those different cuts will have different cooking times and some will be tough, some chewy, and some tender.

Chuck roast on a cutting board with a chef's knife.

I prefer to buy a nice chuck roast and just cut it up myself. That way, I’ll know exactly what I have, what to expect for the cooking time, and I can cut out most of the gristle and other undesirable bits. Of course, a nice pot roast, rump roast, or round roast are also a good choices.

If you decide to use a roast, cut it into about 1-inch pieces. Then pat it dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Brown the Beef

Beef cubes sauteing in a heavy coated cast iron pan.

In a heavy bottomed pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the beef in batches and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the browned meat to a plate and set it aside.

COOK’S TIP 
When browning the beef, cook in batches and do not crowd the pan. Do add additional oil with each new batch if it’s needed.

Prep and Add the Onions and Garlic

Photo collage showing the onions and garlic being cut, added to the pan, and cooked.

While the meat is browning, you can prepare the onions and garlic. Peel the onions and slice them into rounds. Peel the garlic cloves and leave them whole.

COOK’S TIP 
To make peeling the garlic easy, cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root of the bulb. Then whack the individual cloves on a board with the flat side of a chef’s knife. It will crush the cloves a bit, but the skin will pop right off.

Add the butter to the pan. Add the onions and garlic and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have begun to wilt and brown.

Add Remaining Ingredients

Remaining ingredients added into the pan with the beef, onions, and garlic.

Stir the tomato paste into the onions and garlic. Cook the tomato paste for just a minute or two and then add the beef stock, diced tomatoes with their juice, diced celery, and fresh parsley. Return the browned stew meat to the pan and stir everything together.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook at a low simmer for about 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the beef is very tender.

How to Serve

Serve over brown or white rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with additional fresh parsley for garnish.

FAQs

What goes well with this stew?

Honestly, this stew is a meal just by itself. But, a little garlic bread or rolls on the side will go very well.

How do I store the leftovers?

Any leftovers can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to three days.

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

Sure! To make this stew in the slow cooker, brown the beef and saute the onions. Put the beef, onions, garlic, and remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.

My beef stew is more like soup. How can I thicken it?

My preferred method for thickening beef stew (or any similar recipe) is to use a cornstarch slurry. Mix two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons cold water. Slowly pour the slurry into the bubbling stew, stirring until mixed well. It should thicken on contact.

Can I freeze this stew?

You can freeze the stew in airtight containers for up to three months.

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Recipe

A serving of Garlicky Beef Stew with brown rice in a blue bowl.

Garlicky Beef Stew

Serve this Garlicky Beef Stew with loads of onions and a whole head of garlic for your Halloween dinner. It'll keep the vampires away!
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 313kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds stew meat or, preferably, chuck roast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large white or yellow onions
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Cut the chuck roast, if using, into about 1-inch pieces. Pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chuck in batches and cook until browned on all sides. Do not crowd the pan. Add additional oil with each new batch if needed. Remove browned meat to a plate and set aside.
  • While the meat is browning, prepare the onions and garlic. Peel the onions and slice into rounds. Peel the garlic.
  • Add the butter to the pan. Add the onions and garlic and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have begun to wilt and brown. Add the tomato paste and stir it into the onions and garlic. Cook the tomato paste for just a minute or two and then add the beef stock, diced tomatoes with their juice, diced celery, and fresh parsley. Return the browned stew meat to the pan and stir together.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook over a low simmer for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is very tender.
  • Serve over brown or white rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with additional fresh parsley for garnish.

Notes

  • Note about stew meat vs. chuck roast: Very often, the “stew meat” available in markets is simply odds and ends leftover from lots of different cuts of beef. All those different cuts may have different cooking times and some will be tough, some chewy, and some tender. My recommendation is to purchase a chuck roast and cut it into cubes yourself.
  • To make peeling the garlic easy, cut off the end of each clove where it was attached to the root of the bulb. Then whack the individual cloves on a board with the flat side of a chef’s knife. It will crush the cloves a bit, but the skin will pop right off.
  • Serve over brown or white rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with additional fresh parsley for garnish.
  • This stew is a meal just by itself. But, a little garlic bread or rolls on the side will go very well.
  • Any leftovers can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to three days.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 410mg | Potassium: 754mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 353IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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This post was originally published on 30 October 2012.

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7 Comments

  1. From the girls: Two Thumbs UP!! Great stew for Halloween. Neither of the kids seemed to notice that there were garlic and onions in the stew. They just said that it was yummy. :-)

  2. I absolutely LOVE beef stew! Robin has a go to recipe she got from Emeril, but I like your use of Garlic. I LOVE Garlic!
    I’ll have to make this, and pair it with some wines on A Good Time With Wine!

    Cheers
    Matt

    1. Thanks, Matt. If you’re a garlic lover, then this stew is definitely for you! No worries either about an after taste since the garlic literally melts into the stew and becomes very mild and sweet. I’d be very interested in seeing what wine you pair with this recipe.