Simple Beef Stew

beef stew 1
This beef stew recipe is so basic, it is part of the ABCs of cooking. It can be served on its own or combined with many other dishes.

When I started learning to cook, I used to find it very complicated and messy. But believe me, it gets easier with time. Now I make it with my eyes closed!

This recipe is also kid-friendly. You can prepare one big batch, divide them into smaller portions and store them in the freezer for later use. That will save you some cooking time the next time you’re in a rush – which often happens to moms with little kids!

Simple beef stew

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Recipe type: main course


  • 1 kg boneless stewing beef (chuck or side)
  • 2L boiling water
  • 2L cold water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 pepper grains (7 is for good luck)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cardamom grains
  • 1/2 lemon or 2 lemon peels
  • 2 onions, cut in half
  • 1 peeled carrot (optional)
  • 1 tbsp salt


  1. Dice the beef into 2 to 3 cm ( about 1 inch) cubes
  2. Combine beef and cold water in a boiling pot, and put them on high heat.
  3. Before the boiling point, you will notice a grey foam coming up on the surface. Wait for the first bubbles to show up to turn off the heat.
  4. Strain the meat and discard the foaming water. Watch out from the heat emanating from the pot!
  5. Wash the meat from any remaining foam with running hot water. It is important that the meat doesn’t touch cold water at this point, otherwise it may shrink and harden.
  6. Combine the meat with the 2L boiling water in a clean pot or a pressure cooker.
  7. Add all the seasonings (bay leaves, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon, onions and carrot) and let the meat stew.
  8. Cook until the meat is tender and well done. Cooking time varies depending on the pot you’re using: 15 mn for an electrical pressure cooker, 30 mn for a classic pressure cooker, 90 minutes for a classic boiling pot.
  9. Use the amount you need and freeze the rest for later. The meat should be frozen covered with stock so it won’t dry out.

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