No comfort food truly compares to classic beef stew. A winter dinner staple, this is the hearty meal to make when you need a bowl of stick-to-your-bones, warming goodness. Complete with baby potatoes, veggies, and tender beef, this is a recipe you want to keep up your sleeve, whether you’re serving guests or looking for a make-ahead meal that will get even better as the week goes on. There are many beef stew recipes out there, but this classic version makes it as easy as possible to ace a hearty, thick stew with very little effort.
In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add beef and cook, turning occasionally, until seared on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate.
Coat bottom of pot with oil, if needed, and heat over medium-high heat. Cook onion, carrots, and celery, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant and tomato paste has darkened, about 2 minutes. Return beef to pot. Add broth, wine, Worcestershire, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender, 30 to 45 minutes.
Add potatoes and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove bay leaves and thyme. Stir in peas and cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Divide stew among bowls. Top with parsley.
Serving ideas: While beef stew is a perfect meal all on its own, we also love beef stew served over some al dente egg noodles, or even ladled over some garlic mashed potatoes. If you’re looking for side ideas, try goat cheese-stuffed rolls, roasted baby carrots, crusty sourdough bread, or a simple arugula salad would all be perfect pairings hereStorage and freezing: This is a recipe that’s almost better the next day—make it the night before, and let the flavors meld together for an extra-flavorful meal the day after. If you have any leftovers (or want to make this meal ahead of time), let the stew cool to room temperature before refrigerating in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Before serving, reheat in a large pot over medium-low heat. If it’s particularly thick, loosen it up with some broth or water.This stew also freezes well. When transferring to airtight containers, be sure to leave about 1/2″ to 1″ air above the stew to allow it to expand while freezing. This beef stew can last up to 3 months in the freezer. Make sure it’s completely cooled before sealing and freezing.