Old-Fashioned Beef Stew Recipe in a Crock Pot

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew with Potatoes and Legumes

➡️ Are you searching for the best homemade beef stew recipes? You don’t have to look further because on this webpage you’ll discover how to make old-fashioned beef stew from scratch. However, despite its Hungarian style, this beef stew is NOT a goulash recipe! Many of you have probably heard of the famous goulash, but few of you know that not all Hungarian beef stew recipes are goulash!

➡️ Having Hungarian roots, I love beef goulash and cook it often, but sometimes I want to vary my diet and then I cook other delicious recipes with beef like the one I share on this page. My easy beef recipe helps you cook the traditional vegetable stew in a crock pot with simple and tasty ingredients such as beef, legumes, and more.

➡️ It’s no secret that cooking beef stews requires a lot of time to soften the meat, but despite this fact, the preparation of the recipe is very simple. Watch the cooking video below and learn how to make the best old-fashioned beef stew using a tasty and easy homemade stew recipe from scratch!

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How to Cook Homemade Beef Stew from Scratch

➡️ On this page, I share a recipe for old-fashioned beef stew from Hungary. Attention, this is NOT the famous goulash that has become popular around the globe, but it is a traditional recipe from the countryside that uses many vegetables available during the winter. It’s at least as tasty as the renowned goulash given that it offers many flavors from both vegetables and spices used.

➡️ The old-fashioned beef recipe is easy to cook even if you need some time to cook it. To get very tender beef you need to simmer it at a low temperature, hence you have to wait a couple of hours before serving this flavor-packed comfort food. However, don’t forget that while the old-fashioned beef stew is slowly bubbling on the stove you don’t have to stay in the kitchen but you can do anything else you want.

➡️ As a secret to getting the best results with this old-fashioned beef stew, frying meat is especially important before simmering, so give due importance to this stage. The process will partially cook the meat and it will begin to soften it and, in addition, closes inside the juice that helps to cook the meat. Another secret you probably know is to use low temperatures during simmering when preparing any old-fashioned beef stew recipe. Enjoy!

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew with Potatoes and Legumes

Old-Fashioned Beef Stew with Potatoes and Legumes

The Old-Fashioned Beef Stew recipe is a comforting and hearty dish that harks back to the traditions of wholesome, homestyle cooking. This stew is a perfect embodiment of the timeless appeal of simple, quality ingredients that come together to create a warm and satisfying meal.
At the heart of this stew is tender beef, slow-cooked to perfection. The beef is complemented by an array of root vegetables, including potatoes, carrots, celery root, and parsnip root, which provide earthy flavors and a delightful mix of textures. Onions add depth, while bay leaves, cumin powder, and paprika infuse the stew with a warm and aromatic essence.
The stew is simmered to allow the flavors to meld, resulting in a rich and savory broth that envelops the ingredients. Before serving, a garnish of fresh dill or parsley adds a burst of freshness and herbaceous complexity to the dish.
The Old-Fashioned Beef Stew recipe is a celebration of the culinary traditions that have warmed hearts and filled bellies for generations. It's a wholesome and timeless classic that brings comfort and nostalgia to your table with each delicious spoonful.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hungarian
Servings 12 servings


  • 100/3 (oz/kg) beef
  • 35/1 (oz/kg) onion, peeled
  • 17/500 (oz/g) carrots, peeled
  • 17/500 (oz/g) celery root, peeled
  • 35/1 (oz/kg) potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tbsp pork lard (it can be replaced with 100 ml/3.5 fl oz of vegetable oil)
  • some salt and black peppercorns to taste
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 bundle of fresh dill or parsley
  • sour cream for serving (optional)


  • cut the beef meat into medium pieces.
  • chop the peeled onions.
  • coarsely chop the peeled parsnip roots.
  • coarsely chop the peeled carrots.
  • coarsely chop the peeled celery roots.
  • cut potatoes into medium pieces
  • place lard or oil into the crockpot and wait to heat up.
  • add the beef and sear it over a high temperature until bleached.
  • add the onion and root vegetables, place the lid, and simmer them for 10 minutes.
  • season with salt and peppercorns to taste.
  • add the bay leaves, cumin powder, and sweet paprika.
  • reduce the temperature to medium-low and pour 1 l/35 fl oz of warmish water or beef stock.
  • add the potatoes and more water/stock if needed to cover the ingredients.
  • mix and place the lid on the pot.
  • simmer the ingredients for 60-90 minutes or until very tender, then add over chopped dill or parsley to taste.
  • serve the stew topped with sour cream (optional.)



1. Choose the Right Cut of Beef: Select a well-marbled, tough cut of beef such as chuck, neck, or stew meat. These cuts are ideal for slow cooking, as they become tender and flavorful during the stewing process.
2. Sear the Beef for Flavor: Before adding the beef to the stew, sear it in a hot pan with a small amount of oil. This step caramelizes the meat’s surface and adds depth of flavor to the stew.
3. Layer Your Ingredients: Layer the ingredients in the pot, starting with the beef at the bottom, followed by the root vegetables, onions, and seasonings. This layering helps distribute flavors evenly and ensures that the beef and vegetables cook to perfection.
4. Low and Slow Cooking: Simmer the stew on low heat for an extended period. Slow cooking allows the meat to become tender and the flavors to meld. This method also ensures a rich, flavorful broth.
5. Adjust Seasonings Gradually: When adding seasonings like cumin, paprika, and bay leaves, start with a conservative amount. You can always add more later, but it’s challenging to correct an overly seasoned stew. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed during the cooking process.

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FAQs for the Old-Fashioned Beef Stew Recipe

Can I use a different cut of beef for this stew?

While chuck, neck, or stew meat is recommended for its tenderness, you can use other tough cuts such as brisket or round. Just be aware that they may require longer cooking to become tender.

How do I prevent the vegetables from overcooking and becoming mushy?

To prevent overcooking, cut the root vegetables into uniform sizes. If you like a firmer consistency, add them to the stew about 30 minutes before the cooking time is complete, allowing them to soften without turning mushy.

Can I make this stew in a slow cooker or instant pot?

Absolutely. You can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker or instant pot by following the manufacturer’s guidelines for cooking times and settings. Generally, slow cookers can replicate the low and slow stovetop method, while the instant pot will significantly reduce cooking time.

Can I make this stew in advance and reheat it later?

Yes, this stew actually tastes better the next day as the flavors continue to meld. Store it in the refrigerator, and when reheating, add a bit of water or beef broth to maintain the desired consistency.

What side dishes pair well with Old-Fashioned Beef Stew?

Classic accompaniments include crusty bread or buttered rolls for soaking up the savory broth. Mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles are also excellent options to serve alongside the stew. A side salad with fresh greens provides a refreshing contrast to the hearty flavors of the stew.

Related Old-Fashioned Beef Stew Recipes and Culinary Articles

➡️ If you’ve ever tasted a Hungarian beef goulash recipe, I’m sure you’ve become a fan of this type of food. However, I recommend that you also cook this beef stew recipe – it will be just as tasty and filling! Enjoy cooking old-fashioned beef stew from scratch! For additional info, read more here.

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