This is hands down the absolute best Whole30 Beef Stew! Seared pieces of chuck roast are braised in a savory gravy with hearty vegetables to create an incredibly rich, thick stew that’s just as good as the classic – maybe even better. This one pot wonder is paleo, gluten and grain free – perfect for Sunday dinner, a special meal to share with friends, and meal prep, too (it’s even better the next day!).
Do you smell that aroma? That’s magic right there – magic that can only come from tender chunks of beef simmered low and slow with hearty vegetables and fresh herbs.
Few people will argue that beef stew is the ultimate winter comfort food. Who wouldn’t want to tuck into a bowl of tender shredded beef and colorful vegetables enveloped in a rich, savory gravy? I know many of you won’t pass it up based on the rave reviews we get for our Red Wine Braised Beef Stew.
Our Whole30 Beef Stew is everything you love about the classic, without grains, gluten, or wine. Balsamic vinegar and tomato paste create a deep flavor base punctuated with onions, leeks, plenty of garlic, and fresh thyme. A dash of arrowroot slurry towards the end transforms the beef stock into a luscious gravy. This is real, whole comfort food at it’s finest.
How to Make Whole30 Beef Stew
A proper beef stew should braise low and slow for hours, and this Whole30 version is no exception. You’ll create layers of deep flavor by simmering seared pieces of chuck roast with onions, leeks, and garlic in a seasoned broth. Add the vegetables in the last hour to ensure they’re perfectly bite-tender. This beef stew is perfect for Sunday supper or a special meal, and the leftovers are even better the next day.
- Divide the chuck roasted into 2″ pieces, removing any excessive fat deposits as you go. It’s not necessary to trim all the fat, as most of it will render and add both flavor and tenderness to the finished stew. Do remove any large pieces of sinew and gristle – those will not render no matter how long you simmer the stew.
- Brown the beef in batches. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add half the beef, ensuring the pieces are in a single layer. For best results, leave a little space in between each piece – this will help the beef brown, not steam. Leave the beef undisturbed for at least 5 minutes, or until a good crust forms. Remove the first batch, set aside on a plate, then add the second batch and repeat the searing process.
- For the sake of time, you can brown just one side of the beef – you’ll still create an exceptional flavor base while shaving 15 minutes or so off the prep time.
- Remove all browned beef to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onions and leeks. There should be rendered fat in the pot, but if there isn’t, add a splash of oil as well. Saute, stirring occasionally, until soft – about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the tomato paste and work into the vegetables.
- Add the balsamic vinegar – this will deglaze the pan (this means it will release all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot). Cook, stirring continuously, until all of the browned bits have been released. Continue cooking until the vinegar stops bubbling and is mostly absorbed.
- Return the beef to the dutch oven along with any juices accumulated on the plate. Add enough beef stock to barely cover the meat (about 3 cups). Add salt and pepper and give everything a good stir, then top with a bay leaf and thyme bundle. If fresh thyme isn’t available, substitute with a teaspoon dried thyme.
- Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the dutch oven, turn off the burner, then transfer the pot to a 350°F oven and braise for 2 hours.
- Remove the dutch oven from the oven and place on the stove.
- Whisk the remaining cup beef broth with the arrowroot powder, whisk until smooth, and pour into the stew.
- Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes, and give everything a good stir. Once again, bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover the pot and return to the oven.
- Simmer an additional 1-1.5 hours, or until the meat is falling apart and the vegetables are tender. Check on the stew at the one-hour mark.
- Remove the stew from the oven. Fish out the bay leaf and thyme stems.
- Portion into bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.
See how that beef is fall-apart tender? That right there is perfection. PER-FEC-TION.
The Best Cut for Beef Stew
The pre-cut beef labeled “stew meat” isn’t really the best choice for beef stew. Those pieces are typically cast-offs from various cuts, which makes the quality inconsistent. Some pieces will be super lean, while others are full of gristle. Variety might be the spice of life, but not so when making the very best beef stew possible.
The best choice is chuck roast. A well-marbled piece will have even ribbons of fat throughout. You’ll likely need to cut away some of the very large fat deposits and obvious gristle or sinew, but keep most of those ribbons of fat intact – they’ll render down to create a deeply flavorful and luxurious stew.
My Tips for Making The Best Dutch Oven Braised Beef Stew
- Use the right cut of meat, and trim with care. A well-marbled chuck roast is both economical and full of flavor. Remove any large obvious fat deposits and gristle, but keep the rest – the fat supplies both flavor and texture in the finished stew.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer before placing in the oven for a consistent braising experience.
- Braise in stages – meat first, then the hearty vegetables. This will ensure the meat simmers into fall-apart tender shreds and the vegetables are cooked through, but still bite tender. No one likes mushy vegetables.
- If your dutch oven doesn’t have a tight seal, lay a piece of foil over the pot before securing the lid to prevent excessive evaporation. Alternatively you can add an additional cup of stock (2 cups total) in the second stage of simmering to reach your desired consistency for the gravy.
More Paleo and Whole30 Dutch Oven Recipes
- Extra Veggie Whole30 Beef Chili
- Veggie Packed Whole30 Hamburger Soup
- Chili Con Carne
- Chicken Zoodle Soup
- Braised Pulled Pork
DID YOU MAKE THIS THIS WHOLE30 BEEF STEW?!? I’D LOVE TO KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT! LEAVE A COMMENT AND A RATING BELOW
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Braised Beef Stew (Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)
- 2 lb chuck roast, excessive fat deposits trimmed, cut into 2” pieces
- 1 tbsp avocado oil, or olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced to ½”
- 1 large leek, halved and sliced into ½” moons
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 quart beef stock, divided
- 1 tsp sea or kosher salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 12 oz yukon gold potatoes, chopped into 2” chunks
- 3 large carrots, skins peeled, cut into ½” coins
- 3 stalks celery, cut into ½” coins
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, bundled with kitchen twine
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Divide the beef into 2" pieces. Remove any thick fat deposits, sinew, and gristle.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add half the beef, ensuring pieces are in a single layer. Leave undisturbed for at least 5 minutes to sear until a good crust forms. Remove beef to a plate and repeat with the remaining chuck roast pieces. Set aside all browned beef on a plate.
- Add the onions and leeks to the dutch oven and toss to coat in the fat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add garlic; saute, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and work into the vegetables.
- Deglaze the pot with the balsamic vinegar, stirring up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot, until the vinegar stops bubbling and is mostly evaporated, 1-2 minutes.
- Return the browned beef to the dutch oven. Pour in enough broth to barely cover the beef (about 3 cups), as well as salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir, then add the bay leaf and thyme bundle. All the liquid to come to a simmer. Cover the pot, turn off the burner and transfer to the oven. Braise for 2 hours.
- Remove the pot from the oven and place onto the stove. Whisk together the arrowroot powder and remaining cup of beef broth, then pour into the stew. Add the chopped potatoes, carrots, and celery. Give the stew a good stir, and again heat over a medium-high flame until the liquid comes to a simmer. Cover and return the stew to the oven to continue braising. Braise an additional 1-1.5 hours, or until the beef is falling apart and the vegetables are tender. Test for doneness around the 1 hour mark.
- Remove the dutch oven from the stove. Fish out the bay leaf and thyme sprig using tongs. Stir in half to one cup of additional beef broth if the stew is too thick. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired. Serve immediately. This stew keeps in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days, and is even better the next day.
- Use the right cut of meat - chuck roast is both economical and flavorful. Avoid pre-cut stew meat if possible.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer before placing in the oven for a consistent braising experience.
- Braise in stages - meat first, then the hearty vegetables - to ensure the vegetables do not simmer to mush.
- If your dutch oven doesn't have a tight seal, lay a piece of foil over the pot before securing the lid to prevent excessive evaporation. Alternatively you can add an additional cup of stock (2 cups total) in the second stage of simmering to reach your desired consistency for the gravy.