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Nov 27, 2021

Make Ahead Beef Stew

This Make Ahead Beef Stew is so rich and flavorful. The beef is browned and then simmered on the first day, and then refrigerated over night to more fully tenderize the meat. 

Beef stew in bowls.

This make ahead beef stew is rich and flavorful. Plus, instead of chuck roast, the beef is boneless short ribs, my new obsession because they are so "beefy." 

I don't know what took me so long to discover short ribs, but now, every time I see them on a menu, I gravitate to them. The meat is wonderful when slow cooked and then stuffed in tacos and enchiladas. In fact, when I first tried short rib tacos, the heavens opened up and angels began singing right there in the restaurant. 

Short rib meat works wonderfully in this make ahead beef stew. It tenderizes pretty quickly, and doesn't require browning in batches. All of the meat is browned with the onions to develop a fond, which adds a lot of deep meaty flavor when the pan is deglazed. It also helps to develop the deep brown color of the sauce. 

Be sure to try the meat in any of your favorite beef stew recipes

Beef stew in bowls.

This is a wonderful dinner with rolls and a salad, and the leftovers, if you have some, are pretty tasty too.

Ingredients in this Make Ahead Beef Stew:

Boneless beef short ribs.

Veggies: Onions, Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, and peas.

Aromatics and berbs: Garlic, thyme, and parsley.

Ingredients to add umami: Tomato paste, soy sauce, and red wine. 

You also will need chicken broth, salt, and pepper. 

Beef stew in bowls.

How to Make the Beef Stew:

On the first day, you prepare the beef. 

First, you brown the beef with the onions in a Dutch oven. Next, you add the thyme, garlic, tomato paste, soy sauce, and a little flour, and continue to cook for a minute or two before adding the wine and some chicken broth. 

After that, you simmer the meat for about 30 minutes, and then let the mixture sit for an additional 45 minutes before refrigerating. 

On the second (or  third) day, you prepare the stew: 

First, you bring the soup to a simmer and add the potatoes and carrots and transfer the stew to the oven to continue cooking. 

Finally, you stir in the peas, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. So delicious and comforting! 

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Updated November, 2021. 

Beef stew in bowls.

Make Ahead Beef Stew

Make Ahead Beef Stew
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 2 HourInactive time: 10 HourTotal time: 12 H & 30 M
This Make Ahead Beef Stew is so rich and flavorful. The beef is browned and then simmered on the first day, and then refrigerated over night to more fully tenderize the meat.


  • 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 5 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablepoons minced fresh parsley


  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, combine the beef, onions, oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, until meat begins to brown, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and thyme, and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the flour, tomato paste, and soy sauce, and stir for about a minute.
  3. Carefully add the wine, and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up the fond from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add 2 cups of the broth, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Take the pot off the heat and let sit with the cover on it for 45 minutes. Add the other 3 cups of broth to the mixture. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
  6. When ready to finish making the stew, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Skim any hardened fat from the top of the cold meat mixture. Add the potatoes and carrots, and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly.
  8. Cover and transfer the pot to the oven, and cook for 45 to 50 minutes.
  9. Remove the stew from the oven, stir in the peas, and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts



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stew, beef
main course
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Recipe adapted from The Make Ahead Cook

Would you like to comment?

  1. Karen, you didn't. Karen, tell me you didn't.

    You did not recommend yet another book I don't own, right?

    You did.... not?

    I feel tremendously weak. I need comfort

    1. Lol. I'll provide a safe space for you.... not!!!

  2. It's stew season in these here parts! Thanks for adding to the already-growing list of things to put in our bellies...

    1. I so wish stew season would finally arrive here! It's freaking November and it's still in the 80s. xoxo

  3. Hi Karen, oh I bet this stew is delicious, I hardly ever cook with short ribs, will have to change that straight away.

    1. Thanks Cheri. I just discovered them and now I'm hooked!

  4. Excellent instructions Karen! Very practical if you're having people over and very rich and flavorful. Short ribs are a bit fatty aren't they? It's the part on the bottom of the beef(belly), right? We're asking because we haven't tried those in such a way before, we're mostly using neck and chuck (or sometimes rump) when cooking in this manner. We're really looking fwd to trying this one out!
    Thanx for the yummy idea! xoxoxo

    1. Perfect for when company's coming. Short ribs are quite fatty, but that overnight rest will help you skim the solid fat off the top of the gravy/broth. They are my new favorite cut of beef.

  5. I'd have to skip the peas but this looks amazing and I love the make-ahead idea

    1. Not a pea lover, eh? I'm sure it would be delicious either way =)

  6. I love soups and stews I can make on Sunday but then serve during the week!

    1. It really brings out the flavor of the meat.

  7. I just love how thick and rich this stew is. It's the comfort food that I crave this time of year.

  8. Stew is so good especially with cornbread or a fluffy roll. Can't wait to give this recipe a try.

  9. This recipe is so darn smart! Soup and stew always tastes better the second day! Perfection!

  10. Beef stew is a family favorite in winter and who doesn't need a few make ahead dinners now! Love the beautiful rich broth!

  11. With tons of flavors, this thick stew gives an amazing comfort. I love your step by step clear instructions! Great recipe!

  12. Beef stew is my favorite comfort soup-- reminds me of my childhood!

  13. I could use a bowl of this right now! It's so cool today and it would totally warm me up.

  14. I love beef stew and now to have a make ahead recipe is awesome!


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