Beef Stew: The Ultimate One-Pot Meal

If I write another cookbook, I think it will be called “Marie’s One Pot Meals.”  That’s what my life has come to lately, what with a new baby on my hip and a toddler running around.

The New Baby Girl

The Toddler

Now I understand why my mother (who raised four kids) has always been such a fan of what she calls “one-pot meals.”  It was by necessity. So naturally, I turned to her for guidance when I wanted to make her one-pot beef stew this winter.

She gave me instructions over the phone, and I took notes.  Later I typed up a recipe and sent it to her for review.  This is what it said:

Heat oil in a large Dutch Oven over medium heat. Brown beef in the hot oil. Remove pot from heat. Add the other ingredients; season with salt and pepper. Bake at 275 degrees, covered, for 3.5-4 hours, stirring half-way through. Serve immediately.

Pretty simple, right?  Well, leave it to my mother to find a way to make it more efficient! This was her response: “Do you really need to stir half-way through?” And she’s exactly right. Why make a recipe more difficult than it needs to be? Don’t.

Mama Hejl’s Beef Stew

Serves 4-6
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs. beef or lamb stew meat, cut into chunks
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole bay leaves
2 whole sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch Oven over medium heat.

Add the beef.  Brown the beef in the hot oil.  Remove pot from heat.

Add carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, red wine, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, and butter.  Season everything with salt and pepper; toss to combine.


Bake in the oven at 275 degrees, covered, for 3.5 to 4 hours.  (Don’t worry if the beef seems tough after 2-3 hours!  As the beef continues to cook, it will soften, eventually becoming soft enough to cut with a spoon.)

Serve finished stew as is, or over buttered noodles. Goes perfectly with crusty bread and a big glass of dry red wine!

, , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to Beef Stew: The Ultimate One-Pot Meal

  1. Michelle December 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Your new baby is adorable! Congratulations!

    Now…a few questions about the recipe. What cut of beef did you use? Any recommendations on wine? And…can I make this in a crock pot?

    Sorry for all of the questions. I am glad to “see” you back online!

    • Marie H. Saba December 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Hey Michelle!
      Thank you! She is a doll!!

      Cut of beef: I use the pre-cut “stew meat.” If you don’t see that at the grocery, I believe a boneless chuck roast would work (or ask your butcher to be sure!).

      Recommendations on wine: If you like cabs, I have enjoyed 337 and The Rock lately. Both are less than $20. Also Coppola Claret is always a fave (approx. $15-20).

      Crock pot: Yes!

  2. missblueberryblog December 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Congrats on that new baby, Marie! We love you, your family, your recipes and your blog, so glad to see you back here with that beautiful new baby girl. Looking forward to trying your recipe for one-pot beef stew even though my two baby girls are grown up and college bound. Happy Holidays!

    • Marie H. Saba January 1, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      What a sweet note!! I can’t imagine my two babies leaving for college, but I know that day will come … too quickly, is what most people tell me. I hope you do get to try the stew. We made it again after Christmas while all three brothers were in town. Served it with buttered egg noodles and topped with grated Parmesan. It was wonderful. Please keep posting on your blog! So enjoyed the Christmas of ’65 post. xoxo

  3. Rosari Birmingham December 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    This is a must recipe for this weekend! And, your children are precious!

    • Marie H. Saba January 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      Hello Rosari! Thanks for the note and I hope you had a chance to try the stew! It is a family favorite at our house. My son Jack especially loves the mushrooms :)

  4. Rosari Birmingham January 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Got your sweet thank you note! And, yes, we just made this recipe…easy…nutritious…a one-pot keeper! I always look forward to your tried and true recipes! Keep ’em coming!


  1. Ideas for Valentine’s Day Dinner « Cocina Marie - January 31, 2013

    […] Old-Fashioned Beef Stew: Serve over extra-wide egg noodles. Top with Parmesan. […]

  2. Maple Bacon Butternut Squash | Easy Mexican Recipes | Cocina Marie - September 19, 2013

    […] even though it’s hot as blazes outside, I’ll be dreaming of my mom’s classic Beef Stew, John’s favorite Double-Shot-of-Bourbon Pecan Pie, and some of my favorite fall sides, like […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: