Delicious Spanish Beef Stew – A Hearty Filling Meal To Try

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Spanish Beef Stew is a robust, soul-warming dish, brimming with tender chunks of beef simmered to perfection with a medley of vibrant vegetables and potatoes. Infused with the rich flavors of tomatoes, garlic, and traditional Spanish spices, this hearty stew is a testament to the rustic, deep-rooted culinary traditions of Spain, offering a comforting, flavorful embrace in every spoonful.

Like many beef stews, Spanish Beef Stew should be nourishing, cheap, and wholly comforting. This recipe is also one-pot (unless you use a slow or pressure cooker). That should make it an effortlessly simple dish if you want a hearty, filling meal to share with your family and friends.

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A Spanish version of beef stew can be known as carne en salsa, beef estofado, or carne guisada. However, its cooking method and ingredients can vary slightly depending on the region and the chef.

To make Spanish Beef Stew, you will need cheap beef cuts such as beef chuck. Use typical stewing vegetables like carrots, onion, diced potatoes, and bell peppers.

Garlic also helps bring in a lot of flavors, as do a range of herbs, though these are optional. Add the diced potatoes close to the end of the cooking time so they do not turn mushy.  

What Is Spanish Beef Stew?

Spanish Beef Stew, known locally as “Estofado de Ternera,” is a hearty dish deeply rooted in Spain’s culinary traditions. This stew combines tender beef chunks slow-cooked in a rich sauce of red wine, tomatoes, garlic, and onions.

Infused with aromatic herbs like rosemary and bay leaves and often adorned with olives or peppers, it’s a warm, comforting ensemble that embodies the rustic flavors of the Spanish countryside. Every bowl promises a rich, savory experience reminiscent of Spain’s vibrant culture and history.

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Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

  • Keto Swap potatoes with radishes or turnips, which are lower in carbs. Use a keto-friendly thickener like xanthan gum if needed.
  • Paleo Ensure the wine is paleo-approved, or use beef broth. Remove potatoes or replace them with sweet potatoes.
  • Gluten-Free Naturally, the basic recipe is gluten-free. Just ensure any added sauces or thickeners are gluten-free variants.
  • Whole30 Skip the wine and use compliant beef broth. Ensure all other ingredients are Whole30-approved.
  • Vegan Along with vegetarian modifications, ensure the wine or broth used is vegan-friendly.
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Recipe Directions

  • Cube the beef chuck season generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a Dutch oven, brown beef in olive oil; set aside.
  • Sauté bell peppers, onions, and garlic till tender.
  • Add carrots, peppercorns, and deglaze with wine until reduced by two-thirds.
  • Return beef, add bay leaves, and cover with water or broth. Simmer until beef is tender.
  • Add potatoes; cook till done.
  • Adjust seasoning. Serve hot or let rest for flavors to meld. Thicken with puréed veggies if desired.
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Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 


  • Saffron Stew: A pinch of saffron threads can transport the stew into an aromatic wonder.
  • Seafood Blend: Add prawns, mussels, or clams for a coastal touch.


  • Chorizo: Introduce sliced chorizo for smoky depth and richness.
  • Chickpeas: Incorporate pre-cooked chickpeas for added texture and protein.
  • Olives: Green or black olives can enhance the stew’s Mediterranean feel.


  • Fresh Herbs: A sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley or cilantro for vibrancy.
  • Lemon Zest: A grating of lemon zest for a citrusy punch.
  • Sliced Almonds: Toasted almonds provide a crunchy contrast.
  • Paprika Drizzle: A blend of smoked paprika and olive oil drizzled atop for warmth and smokiness.
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Can I Make Spanish Beef Stew In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Preparation: Transfer everything to the slow cooker after browning the beef and sautéing the vegetables on the stove.
  • Cooking: Set low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Add potatoes in the last two hours.
  • Finish: Adjust seasoning and thickness before serving.

Instant Pot

  • Sauté Mode: Use this function to brown the beef and sauté the vegetables directly in the Instant Pot.
  • Pressure Cook: After adding all ingredients, secure the lid and set to manual high pressure for 35-40 minutes.
  • Release: Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release.
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Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own? 

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: It’s quick and easy, ideal for those short on time.
  • Consistency: Brands often have a consistent flavor profile, ensuring predictable results.
  • Variety: They come in various flavors – beef, chicken, vegetable, and more.
  • Salt Content: Opt for low-sodium versions to control salt levels.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor Depth: Homemade broth, simmered for hours, can offer unparalleled richness.
  • Control: You decide the ingredients, ensuring no preservatives or additives.
  • Economical: Make use of kitchen scraps like bones and vegetable peels.
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How To Serve ?

This Spanish Beef Stew should be special but not all that different from typical stews. With that in mind, present the pot or Dutch oven on the table and dish out ladles into bowls.

A chopped-up baguette is ideal to represent how rustic the dish is, as it can be considered peasant food. The broth should not go to waste, and the pieces of bread can mop up any excess liquid.

There is always room for more vegetables, so add some variation. That can include roasted vegetables to add crunch, like asparagus spears or roasted root vegetables.

There are already several waxy potatoes in the stew, so mashed or roasted potatoes are a bit much. Alternatively, a salad can add a lightness to the meal, which goes well with the richness of the stew itself.

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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread: Ideal for sopping up the rich broth.
  • Spanish Rice: Fluffy and slightly seasoned, melds seamlessly with the stew’s flavors.
  • Green Salad: A crisp salad with a light vinaigrette can counterbalance the stew’s richness.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Especially asparagus or Brussels sprouts, drizzled with olive oil.
  • Patatas Bravas: A Spanish potato dish with a tangy tomato sauce.
  • Albondigas Soup: Spanish meatball soup, a lighter counter to the hearty stew.
  • Olives & Manchego Cheese: These tapas-style accompaniments add a touch of Spanish authenticity.
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Storage & Make Ahead

  • Storage: Cool the stew before transferring to airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Freezing: Portion the cooled stew into freezer-safe bags or containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the stew one or two days in advance. Flavors develop and meld, enhancing the overall taste. Store covered in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stove.
  • Reheating: Simmer on low heat until hot, adding a bit of water or broth if the stew has thickened too much during storage. Stir well to combine flavors.
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What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Stew Pie: Fill a pie crust with the stew, cover with another crust or mashed potatoes, and bake until golden.
  • Tacos: Shred the beef, simmer to reduce the broth, and serve in tortillas with desired toppings.
  • Pasta Sauce: Blend the stew to create a hearty sauce for pasta or lasagna layers.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Fill bell peppers with stew, top with cheese, and bake.
  • Empanadas: Use the beef and veggies as fillings for savory hand pies.
  • Sandwiches: Spread a baguette with stew, add cheese, and grill.
  • Stew Fried Rice: Mix stew with cooked rice and stir-fry for a flavorful combination.


  • Quality Meat: Choose well-marbled beef cuts for tenderness and flavor, such as chuck or brisket.
  • Browning: Sear the beef in batches to develop a rich, caramelized crust, adding depth to the stew.
  • Authentic Spices: Incorporate traditional Spanish spices like paprika, saffron, and bay leaves to achieve authentic flavors.
  • Slow Cook: Simmer the stew slowly and gently to allow the meat to become tender and flavors to meld.
  • Vegetable Timing: Add vegetables later in the cooking process to prevent them from becoming too soft.
  • Taste and Adjust: Season the stew carefully, adjusting spices and salt before serving to balance the flavors perfectly.
Delicious Spanish Beef Stew - A Hearty Filling Meal To Try

Delicious Spanish Beef Stew – A Hearty Filling Meal To Try

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Course: Stew


Prep time


Cooking time





Spanish Beef Stew combines tender beef chunks with aromatic vegetables in a rich, wine-infused broth. The flavors deepen as it simmers, delivering a comforting, hearty dish with authentic Spanish flair.


  • 1 ¼ Pounds 1 ¼ Beef Chuck

  • 4 4 Garlic Cloves (Minced)

  • 1 1 Large Onion (Diced)

  • 1 1 Bell Pepper (Green Or Red) (Diced)

  • 4 4 Medium-Sized Carrots, Peeled And Diced

  • 3 3 Medium-sized Waxy Potatoes (Cut Into Bite-Sized Chunks)

  • 2 2 Bay Leaves

  • Salt (To Taste)

  • Black Pepper (To Taste)

  • Whole Black Peppercorns, A few

  • ¾ Cup ¾ Wine, Either Red Or White

  • Water (Enough To cover The Beef)


  • A Spanish Beef Stew is not that different from most stews as it does not require much preparation. This is a meal you can set up and then leave to cook for hours while you get on doing something else.
  • It can take a few hours for all those flavors to develop fully, so give it time. Keep it low and slow, and you will not be disappointed, even though it will take longer to cook as it will need between four and five hours in the slow cooker.
  • Cut your beef chuck into large cubes. Your butcher can do this, yet they should be bigger than bite-sized pieces. Each cube will shrink during the cooking process, so keep the sizes of the chunks consistent.
  • Generously sprinkle salt and pepper over the beef chuck and ensure an even coating.
  • Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in your heavy pot. A Dutch oven is ideal for this recipe due to the volume of the stew and how it cooks.
  • Brown the chuck beef chunks on each side. Do this in batches so you do not overcrowd the pot. Set the beef chuck aside once fully browned, though you can add more olive oil if the pot dries up.
  • Add your diced bell peppers, onions, and minced garlic cloves into the same pot.
  • Leave the vegetables and garlic to sauté on medium heat for around ten minutes until they are soft and tender. They should also brown nicely but not caramelize and certainly not burn. You may want to add water to ensure the vegetables cook well.
  • Next, add your peeled carrot chunks with a full tablespoon of whole peppercorns for a burst of flavor.
  • Pour in your red wine, and make sure you stir the mixture well.
  • Allow the pot to come to a simmer for two minutes and leave to cook until the wine has reduced by around two-thirds.
  • Return the beef chuck to the pot, add your bay leaves, and add water to ensure that the beef chunks are fully covered. You can substitute the water with beef broth for even more flavor.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stir it, add the lid, and reduce the heat to a steady simmer.
  • Cook the mixture on the stove for around one and a half hours or until the beef has tenderized.
  • Lift the lid on the pot and add the bite-sized pieces of potatoes.
  • Leave the cover off the pot and let the mixture simmer for around 20 minutes to ensure the potatoes thoroughly cook through.
  • Use your wooden spoon to take a taste and add more seasoning if you feel that it needs it.
  • Serve while hot, though you can leave it to rest for a few hours, even overnight, so the flavors develop even more.
  • If you prefer a thicker stew, take a ladle of vegetables with broth and blitz them. Once finished in the blender, return the purée to the pot and mix it well.
  • Equipment List
  • Heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • Ladle
  • Strainer
  • Tongs
  • Thermometer
  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot


  • Browning the meat enhances the flavor.
  • Resting the stew overnight intensifies the taste.
  • Adjust wine type for varied depth: red for richer, white for lighter.
  • Keep a watchful eye during simmering to prevent sticking.
  • Fresh herbs can offer an added flavor layer.


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