Simple, rich, and hearty, this Ground Beef Stew is an incredibly delicious complete meal made in your trusty Dutch oven. This hearty stew is bound to be one of your family favorite recipes just like it is one of ours.
I’m excited to partner with Smithey, a US-made cast iron company to bring this recipe to you.
Smithey sent me this beautiful, yes beautiful 7.5 quart Dutch oven to try out. And it came engraved with Dutch Oven Daddy on the bottom. How cool is that?!
Once I had my hands on this Dutch oven, I knew making a hearty beef stew was the perfect recipe to break this bad boy in! And I was right, it was perfect.
This is a workhorse of a pot! To celebrate my new partnership with Smithey, they’re offering all of you free engraving with your purchase of a cast iron piece (well, only ones that are engravable.) During checkout enter code DOD for your free engraving!
What is ground beef stew?
This hearty ground beef stew is incredibly easy to make, especially since you can use fresh, frozen, and/or canned vegetables. Typically beef stuff is made with beef chunks or stew meat, but by using ground beef, it doesn’t make it any less delicious.
Hamburger stew, poor man’s stew, old fashioned hamburger stew, and even grandma’s ground beef stew are all common names for this hearty stew recipe. Whatever you want to call it, it’s always going to be amazingly flavorful and super simple.
Our family loves this ground beef stew recipe with biscuits, but dinner rolls or crusty bread served warm with butter are equally delicious.
The recipe as it follows below is meant to feed a crowd. We recommend halving the recipe for typical family meal.
Recipe Ingredients for Ground Beef Stew
- Ground Beef — we recommend using lean ground beef to have less renderings.
- Produce — yellow onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, green beans, frozen peas, and parsley.
- Seasonings — garlic, thyme, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
- Broth — low sodium beef broth is the best option to not get too salty. You can also use beef stock.
- Tomato paste — this will not only help thicken the broth but increase the depth of flavor.
Step by Step Directions for Making Ground Beef Stew
Step 1 — Brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Once it’s about halfway done, drain any renderings or excess fat. If you’re using super lean ground beef, you may need to use a bit of olive oil while browning.
Step 2 — Stir in the onions, carrots, and celery into the meat. Then add all the seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Resume cooking on medium high heat until the ground beef has cooked through.
Step 3 — Toss in the potatoes and green beans. If you’re using canned or frozen green beans, don’t add them here, add them when you add the peas.
Step 4 — Pour in the beef broth, stirring well. Toss in a bay leaf or two and bring the stew up to a low simmer.
Step 5 — Put the tomato paste into a small bowl. Once the stew has begun to simmer, remove between a half and full cup of the now warmed broth to mix into the tomato paste. Whisk until smooth and set it aside while the stew boils. Stirring occasionally, let the stew boil for at least 10 minutes, allowing the seasonings to meld and the vegetables to cook.
Step 6 —Once the vegetables have softened, especially the potatoes, green beans, and carrots, reduce to medium heat and slowly stir in the tomato paste.
Step 7 — After the tomato paste has been fully incorporated to the stew, gently mix in the peas and parsley. Bring the stew back up to a low simmer and allow it to cook for about 10 minutes more or until all the vegetables are fork tender and the stew has reached the desired thickness.
Step 8 — Remove from heat and serve up with your favorite biscuits or rolls.
Adaptations and variations
While there is no one right way to make beef stew, there’s endless ways to make it.
- Vegetables — Omit anything you don’t like from our original recipe and swap in parsnips, turnips, corn, or mushrooms. We used all fresh vegetables except for the peas, those were frozen. However, use whatever is most convenient for you, fresh, canned, or frozen.
- Broth — Granulated beef bouillon and water is perfect if you don’t have broth or stock, but 2 packets of brown gravy mix, tomato sauce, or even condensed tomato soup make a delicious base for this stew.
- Tomatoes — We used tomato paste as our thickening agent but canned tomatoes (diced tomatoes or stewed tomatoes would be amazing in this recipe too.
Tips for Camping
- Skip step 5 above and after the stew has done it’s initial boil, simply add the tomato paste directly to the pot. Take care to make sure it has thoroughly been mixed in and is not clumped in the stew.
- Prepare any fresh vegetables ahead of time like dicing the carrots and onions, trimming the green beans. However, leave the potatoes whole so they don’t turn brown.
- Brown the meat before the trip and bring it cooked.
- Use water and granulated bullion instead of broth for less things to carry.
Absolutely. Any ground meat will work perfectly, but will just have a slightly different taste and or texture than traditional beef stew.
Make a roux or all purpose flour slurry and add it at the end or use cornstarch and cold water for a different thickening slurry.
Water and bouillon granules or cubes will work. Hold back adding any additional salt until all the other ingredients have been added and you’ve tasted the broth. You can always add more salt but it’s difficult to fix once it’s too salty.
Yes you can. It freezes well for up to 3 months in an airtight container. We recommend freezing it portioned out if there’s more than one serving being frozen.
Remember to enter the code DOD at checkout when ordering your new Smithey cast iron!
Ground Beef Stew
- 6 quart Dutch Oven or camp oven (or larger)
- 3 lbs ground beef lean
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup celery 3 ribs; diced
- 1 ½ cups carrots about 4; diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp granulated garlic 1 tbsp fresh; minced
- 1 ½ tsp thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 6 cups beef broth
- 4 russet potatoes large; cubed
- 1 lb green beans trimmed
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 cup peas
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- Heat the Dutch oven over medium high heat; once hot crumble in the ground beef.
- Once the beef is halfway cooked, add in the onions, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce; mix well and cook until the beef is done.
- Add in the potatoes, green beans, broth, and bay leaves. Stir to thoroughly mix everything together. Remove 1 cup of the broth and set aside.
- Bring to a boil for 10 minutes or until the vegetables, especially the potatoes are fork tender. The liquid will begin to reduce.
- While the stew is boiling, add the tomato paste to a medium bowl and whisk in the reserved broth until smooth.
- Once the vegetables are cooked through, reduce the heat to medium and completely stir in the smoothed tomato paste.
- Mix in the peas and parsley; allow to cook at a low simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy.
Dutch Oven Daddy is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.