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Beef and Vegetable Stew in White Bowl with two biscuits on the side

Paula Deen's Old-Time Beef Stew

Paula Deen's Old-Time Beef Stew is an easy classic vegetable beef stew recipe that makes a comforting, delicious meal any time of the year.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 6


  • large pot with lid (at least 5 quarts)
  • measuring cup(s)
  • measuring spoons
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Cutting board


  • 2 lbs beef stew meat such as chuck roast cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water See Recipe Note
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Dash of ground allspice or ground cloves
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 4 red potatoes, quartered
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch


  • Brown meat in hot oil.  Add water, worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice.  Cover and simmer 1-1/2 hours. 
  • Remove bay leaves and garlic clove.  Add carrots, potatoes, and celery.  Cover and cook 30-40 minutes longer. 
  • To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid.  Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup of water and cornstarch until smooth.  Mix with hot liquid and return mixture to pot.  Taste test the stew and add additional seasonings, if desired.  Stir and cook until bubbly.


(A) After the beef has simmered for 1-1/2 hours, add more liquid if desired. (B) For a thicker stew, add an additional tablespoon of cornstarch to the water.  (C) Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.