How Long To Cook Stew Beef Until Tender

How Long Does it Take Stew Meat to Get Tender on the Stove?

Although traditional beef stew is braised in the oven, we prefer to be able to stir, watch, and manage the beef stew on the stovetop. I stick my tongue in my cheek and say “fuss” because beef stew is one of the least fussy foods there is.

Pouring a few glasses of wine and spending a lazy Sunday in the kitchen while stirring a pot of stew is just plain enjoyable.

With the lid on, we simmer the stew for two hours on the stovetop, stirring now and then. After that, we remove the lid and continue to simmer for an additional one and a half hours, or until the beef is very tender and the gravy has thickened nicely.

Maintaining a low simmer throughout is crucial for creating a tender beef stew because it allows the connective tissues in the meat to break down and become softer.

I always have the other ingredients for Stove Top Beef Stew on hand, save for the stew meat. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dried herbs: Before sautéing the veggies inside, a drizzle of oil is infused with dried thyme and rosemary.
  • Vegetables: celery, onion, or shallot, finely chopped, almost completely melt into the sauce
  • Mushrooms: button mushrooms are thinly sliced rather than left in larger pieces, giving them a nod to the quartered mushrooms that many traditional beef stew recipes call for.
  • Garlic: minced garlic brings lots of cozy flavor.
  • Butter: A combination of flour and softened butter gives the stovetop beef stew a luxuriously thick consistency. Feel free to use vegan butter for dairy allergies/intolerances.
  • Flour: If you don’t need to follow a gluten-free diet, you can use all-purpose flour instead of the blend we use to thicken the stew.
  • Stew meat is a cheap cut of beef from the chuck roast or shoulder.
  • Beef broth: if you’d rather, you can use beef stock.
  • Bay leaves: give the stew that is simmering slowly another layer of flavor. Remove before serving.
  • Add the frozen peas at the very end, right before serving, to warm them through.
  • Mashed potatoes that have been prepared: we enjoy ladling the Stove Top Beef Stew over a dish of creamy mashed potatoes. Though homemade is fantastic, for a quick and convenient alternative, we adore Simply Potatoes brand mashed potatoes!

Watch How to Make It!

Bite-sized chunks of stew meat are sautéed with finely chopped vegetables and dried herbs in Stove Top Beef Stew, which is then simmered for the entire afternoon in beef broth thickened with butter and flour. It’s absolutely delicious and the ideal comfort food for a chilly afternoon or night.

I credit my husband Ben with the brilliant idea of turning Beef Stew, traditionally made with big hunks of beef and large chunks of carrots and potatoes (which again, I just cannot) into this luscious, gravy-type dish. Longtime readers may recognize this recipe as Ben’s Beef Stew – it just got a photo upgrade!

Can you say UPGRADE?!

Choose the Right Cut

Not all cuts of stew meat are made equal when it comes to cooking. Choose cuts with a high collagen content if you want that melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. Tender meat is the result of the protein collagen breaking down during cooking. Ideal choices for stew meat include chuck, round, or brisket.