This is a hearty beef stew that is slow cooked in the oven. It is full of tender chunks of beef, perfectly cooked potatoes, carrots, and onions, in a rich tomato based sauce that is thickened with tapioca pearls.
This is a dish that my Mom always made, except we called it 5 Hour Beef Stew. It is a common “Midwestern” recipe, although the recipes do vary in the seasonings, vegetables, and liquid that are included.
It’s no secret that I love cooking in my Dutch Oven. Some of my favorites are my Dutch Oven Lasagna, Chicken Pot Roast, or Spinach Artichoke Lasagna! This recipe for Dutch Oven Beef Stew can definitely be added to this list.
What Beef to Use in Beef Stew
Stew meat is generally what I use for Beef Stew that will be cooked for a long time. Stew meat is chuck or round steak that is tenderized and cut into smaller 1 or 2 inch chunks. Since it is a cheaper or tougher cut of beef it is very inexpensive meat to buy.
If you have the time to simmer or slow cook it, it becomes super tender and flavorful. It is definitely not a cut of beef that you would want to buy for grilling or quick cooking (unless you are quick cooking in the Instant Pot, it’s perfect for the IP)
Most of my recipes are very straight forward with ingredients that are familiar and easy to find. This recipe has an ingredient that is a little different, tapioca pearls. They are made from the starch that is extracted from the cassava root. You have probably heard of or had large tapioca pearls in bubble tea (also known as boba).
In this Dutch Oven Beef Stew recipe the tapioca pearls are added to thicken the sauce, broth, or gravy (whatever you want to call it). After 5 hours in the oven the pearls “melt” into the tomato juice and thicken it to create a delicious tomato gravy for this beef stew.
You can find tapioca pearls in the grocery store either with the pudding or by the grains. Just make sure you do not buy tapioca pudding mix. You only want the tapioca pearls.
You can also order the tapioca pearls here from Amazon.
How to Make Dutch Oven Beef Stew
This is a super easy Beef Stew recipe. Just make sure you have 5 hours to let it stew in the oven.
Chop your carrots, onions, celery, and peeled potatoes into similar sized 1 1/2-2 inch chunks. I also usually will cut some of the stew meat into smaller chunks. Since it is a cheaper cut of beef they are not usually uniform size pieces of beef, and you want them all to be about 1 inch in size.
Toss all the ingredients into a dutch oven and pop it into a 250 degree oven for 5 hours.
Give it a stir at least once or twice during cooking. That’s it!
I like to serve this Beef Stew with saltine crackers or crusty warm bread and butter.
I hope you give this recipe for Dutch Oven Beef Stew a try in your kitchen.
Dutch Oven Beef Stew
- 1.5 lbs (1-1.5 lbs.) beef stew meat
- 2 cup russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1.5 inch chunks
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and cut
- 1 large onion, chopped into 1 inch chunks
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups tomato juice
- 2 tbsp tapioca pearls
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika optional**
- Mix all the ingredients together in a dutch oven and place in the oven, covered with the lid, at 250 degrees for 5 hours.Stir the pot 2 times during cooking.Remove the bay leaves before serving.