At the first hint of an autumn chill, we make a beeline for the beef stew. First up, a classic American beef stew. Hearty, familiar, and comforting, it’s our safe-space stew, easing us into the season. Soon enough, though, we’re ready to experiment. And because world cooks have been making meat stews for as long as cooking vessels have hung over hot coals, there’s a whole universe of delicious recipes to explore. Join us, on our world tour of top-rated beef stew recipes, as we explore the savory stews of northern Italy and Chile, Guam and Poland, Cuba and Greece, and tasty points in between.
1. Cazuela de Vaca (Beef and Pumpkin Stew)
“This hearty Chilean stew of beef, corn, and pumpkin is a one-dish meal,” says damasio. “The main ingredients are stewed in serving-sized pieces, so that each person receives a large piece surrounded by a broth with the other vegetables.” Constanza Farfan raves, “Absolutely delicious!! One of my favourites Chilean dishes! And if you eat it with a chilean salad (tomato and onion) is one of the best things you can try!”
2. Northern Italian Beef Stew
“Quite the excellent recipe,” says fqpete. “I ordinarily adjust most recipes to suit my taste, but not this one. My maternal grandparents emigrated from northern Italy, and when I saw the ingredient list knew this was the real deal. GREAT flavor!”
3. Cuban Beef Stew
“The traditional dish uses a good amount of olive oil and meat with a lot of marbling,” says S. Shames. “This version is lower in fat, but is true to the spirit of the recipe. Although it does take a fair amount of time, it is not difficult to make.” FOOFISH gives this beefy stew 5 stars: “I’m amazed that this recipe for ‘carne con papas’ is EXACTLY how my Cuban grandmother made it. Even with the raisins!” Enjoy it with black beans, yellow rice, and fried plantains.
4. Beef Tinaktak
Ground beef simmers in coconut milk with fresh veggies and water chestnuts. “Tinaktak (pronounced tee-nack-tack) may have originated from the sound of chopping meat: tak! tak! tak!” explains Sheila Baker Shedd. “It is one of Guam’s favorite comfort foods and definitely a favorite of mine since it is so simple to make yet yields a tasty dish! Serve over hot steamed rice (white or brown).”
5. Bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew)
“This is a traditional recipe from Poland,” says Olenka, “almost a Polish national dish. Bigos is a rich flavorful stew with sauerkraut, Polish sausage, beef, pork, red wine, caraway seeds and more. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes.”
6. Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Herb Stew)
“Ghormeh sabzi is deliciously savory and loaded with the flavors of several different green herbs,” says marybakes. “It’s traditionally served atop white rice (polow). You can also serve it with lavash bread.”
7. Mexican Beef and Vegetable Stew
“Tender chunks of beef and zesty diced tomatoes take this beef stew on a trip south of the border,” says Baking Nana. “A pressure cooker produces a ‘simmered all day’ taste in less than an hour.” Lutzflcat gives it 5 stars: “This beef stew has deep, rich, and robust layers of flavor with Mexican tastes lingering in the background, and the beef almost melts in your mouth.”
8. Boeuf Bourguignon
A classic French beef stew with red wine, beef broth, mushrooms, and onions.
9. Bo Kho (Spicy Vietnamese Beef Stew)
Beef brisket stews in an aromatic ginger and lemongrass broth. “Bo Kho is the best beef stew I have ever eaten,” raves Lori Rowley-Sipple. “It takes a bit of prep work, but so very worth it in the end! I always double this recipe.”
10. Beef Stifado
A gorgeous Greek stew with beef, red wine, orange rind, and pearl onions. “It’s best made the day before,” says Lolly B.
11. Chef John’s Beef Goulash
This Hungarian classic features tender pieces of succulent beef chuck in a beautiful toasted caraway and paprika-based sauce. “This Hungarian-style goulash is a thick beef stew that is great served over buttered noodles and garnished with sour cream,” says Chef John.
12. Slow Cooker Spanish Beef Stew
“Love the deep flavors,” says loddiecheftress. “The sofrito is a must in my humble opinion, it adds a depth of flavors. I made it twice and used various exotic olives in the stew. Add the jar of sofrito to the pan and put about 1/2 cup water in the sofrito jar, shake it up and add to the pan, with the can of tomatoes. Very, very flavorful stew. Kind of exotic tasting.”
13. Caldereta (Filipino Beef and Chorizo Stew)
“Caldereta is a comforting beef stew popular in the Philippines,” says steve2464. It features beef chuck, chorizo, garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce, plus potatoes and peas in a tomato sauce. “Every family has its own version. Experiment with the ingredients and try different vegetables. Best served with white rice!”
14. Bistec Encebollao
“A staple in Puerto Rican cooking,” says HANZOtheRAZOR. “Use any cut of steak when making this easy beef stew. Marinated in oil, oregano, vinegar, and onions, this is a great meal for a busy weeknight. Serve with white rice and tostones.”