Delicious Spanish Beef Stew – A Hearty Filling Meal To Try

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Quick Question: What Is The Flavor Of Spanish Beef Stew?

Spanish beef stew, or “Estofado de Carne,” offers a hearty and aromatic flavor. It’s savory from seared beef, aromatic with onions and garlic, and may have sweet undertones from vegetables. The addition of paprika imparts smokiness, while earthy root vegetables and spices create a rich and balanced taste, capturing Spanish culinary essence.

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.

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.

History Of Spanish Beef Stew 

Tracing its origins back to Spain’s rustic past, Spanish Beef Stew, or “Estofado de Ternera,” evolved as a peasant dish. Farmers and shepherds, making the most of available ingredients, combined beef with local produce, wine, and herbs, slow-cooking them to perfection. 

Over centuries, regional variations emerged, incorporating olives, peppers, and different spices. As Spain’s culinary footprint expanded, so did the stew’s prominence, turning from a humble meal to a beloved national dish, embodying Spain’s rich tapestry of history, culture, and gastronomy.

Interesting Facts About The Spanish Beef Stew  

  • Regional Varieties: From Andalusia to Galicia, each region boasts its unique twist on this classic, adding ingredients like almonds or saffron.
  • Historic Roots: The stew’s origins can be traced back to ancient Roman culinary practices in the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Cooking Vessels: Traditionally, it was prepared in clay pots, ensuring even heat distribution.
  • Wine Choices: The type of wine used can vary, with some regions preferring white over the common red.
  • Serving Accents: In certain areas, it’s served with a slice of lemon, believed to enhance the stew’s depth.
  • Celebration Dish: The stew is often prepared during local festivals and family gatherings, symbolizing unity and shared history.
  • Slow-Cook Champion: True authenticity requires slow cooking, sometimes over five hours, allowing flavors to meld perfectly.

What Makes The Spanish Beef Stew Special? 

  • Depth of Flavor: Slow-cooked to perfection, allowing every ingredient to infuse its essence.
  • Historic Lineage: A testament to Spain’s rich culinary heritage and regional diversities.
  • Versatility: Adaptable to season and local produce, making each preparation unique.
  • Simplicity: Rooted in humble beginnings, using accessible ingredients yet delivering complex flavors.
  • Wine Fusion: The use of wine, typically red, elevates the dish, adding richness and depth.
  • Cultural Reflection: Each bite encapsulates Spain’s blend of Moorish, Roman, and local influences.
  • Community Bond: Often shared in gatherings, fostering communal bonds and togetherness.
  • Regional Twists: From Andalusian olives to Galician peppers, regional ingredients add distinct flavors.

Ingredients List

Beef chuck1 ¼ pounds (600g)
Garlic cloves, minced4
Large onion, diced1
Bell pepper, diced1 (green or red)
Medium-sized carrots, peeled and diced4
Medium-sized waxy potatoes3 (cut into bite-sized chunks)
Bay leaves2
SaltTo taste
Black pepperTo taste
Whole black peppercornsA few
Wine¾ cup (180ml), either red or white
WaterEnough to cover the beef

Ingredient Tips 

  • Beef Quality: Opt for a fresh beef chuck for a tender stew.
  • Garlic: Use fresh over pre-minced for a richer flavor.
  • Onions: Yellow or white onions offer the best sweetness.
  • Bell Peppers: Red peppers are sweeter, while green adds slightly bitterness.
  • Carrots: Choose firm, bright-colored carrots; older ones can be woody.
  • Potatoes: Waxy varieties hold shape better during slow cooking.
  • Bay Leaves: Fresh bay leaves impart a more subtle, aromatic flavor.
  • Wine: Quality wines enhance the stew; Spanish varieties like Rioja are ideal.
  • Peppercorns: Crush slightly for a bolder flavor release.
  • Water: Use filtered or spring water to avoid any chlorine taste.

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.

Vegetarian Variations

  • Though the most crucial component of this Spanish Beef Stew is the meat, the vegetables are important, too. It’s not so crucial that you should not feel that you can mix them up.
  • That includes your favorite color of bell pepper and the waxy potatoes you prefer. 
  • One vegetable that you may feel implored to have is the humble mushroom. These can take on a lot of the beef’s flavor, so consider some oyster mushrooms or chop up some large portobello mushrooms instead.
  • If you add mushrooms, add them when you add the potatoes. They should take a similar amount of time to cook thoroughly.

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.

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.

Scaling The Recipe

  • Proportions: Maintain ingredient ratios. If doubling, use twice the ingredients. For halving, use half.
  • Cookware: Ensure your pot or slow cooker can accommodate the increased or decreased volume.
  • Cooking Time: More ingredients might require longer cooking to achieve the desired tenderness. Conversely, smaller portions might need less time.
  • Taste Test: As you scale, seasonings may not linearly align with the original measurements. Always taste and adjust.
  • Liquid Levels: Ensure meats and vegetables are adequately covered with liquids to ensure even cooking.
  • Browning: When scaling up, brown meat in batches ensures even searing.
  • Stirring: Larger batches need more frequent stirring to prevent sticking.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

  • Fresh Herbs: Sprigs of parsley, cilantro, or rosemary add color and aromatic freshness.
  • Lemon Zest: Bright, tangy lemon zest can provide a zingy contrast to the rich stew.
  • Sliced Almonds: Toasted almonds offer a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: A sprinkle can elevate the heat for those who enjoy a spicy kick.
  • Olive Drizzle: A drizzle of high-quality olive oil can boost the dish’s richness.
  • Shaved Manchego: This Spanish cheese can melt into the hot stew, adding creaminess.
  • Sliced Olives: For a Mediterranean touch and a briny contrast.

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.

Different Cooking Methods

  • Some truly enjoy the low and slow cooking method. Instead of using a Dutch oven or the stovetop, you can prepare the Spanish Beef Stew and cook it in a slow cooker.
  • That still means searing the beef chuck and reducing the red wine. However, most of the cooking time will be in the slow cooker.
  • Remember that there are four stages to create a Spanish Beef Stew. Whether you prepare the dish in one large pot, a Dutch oven, a slow cooker, or an electric pressure cooker. 
  • You begin by ensuring that the beef chuck is well-seared and browned. Next up, soften up the vegetables. Ensure the red wine is reduced, and the liquid covers the beef chuck. Finally, leave it to cook, and that’s it.

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.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Stew? 

You can provide some variation when sourcing the ingredients for Spanish Beef Stew. That includes the vegetables, the cuts of beef, and even the spices.

This is a relatively versatile dish, so feel free to change it as you see fit. If you like it spicy or tomato-based, you can do that too.

The Beef Cuts

  • This includes the cuts of beef that you use, as there are 20 to choose from in Spain. You should use chuck beef (aguja) for this stew, though you can also use topside (guiso de tapa).
  • When you select your beef chuck, try to make sure it is well-marbled, and you can use leaner cuts such as jarrete or aleta. 
  • You could also use more prized cuts of beef, though that might be expensive, especially for a stew. The most prized Spanish cuts of beef include tenderloin, known as solomillo, and large end or rib roast, called chuletón.
  • It would be recommended to use beef chuck as it tenderizes well and you can lose much of the beef’s flavor when you use those prize cuts.

Use Another Meat

  • If you do not want to use beef chuck, you can substitute that for another meat. Typically, that would mean pork, as it has a similar texture to beef and would require a similarly long cooking time.
  • If you use pork, chop the pieces into similarly-sized chunks, as these will shrink too.

The Vegetables

  • For the vegetables, the color of the bell pepper does not matter too much. You can do so if you prefer green to red or vice versa. You can also use chopped shallots instead of onions for a subtler flavor.
  • However, ensure that the substituted vegetables are the same volume for the recipe. It can be all about proportion to get the right balance.
  • The potatoes are vital as they are introduced late into the cooking process. They should be waxy so they will hold their shape in the stew. That should mean Yukon Golds, fingerling potatoes, or small red potatoes.

The Spices And Herbs

  • Looking at the list of ingredients, you may note that there are no spices or herbs. That’s largely because the beef is the dominant ingredient, though the tablespoon of whole peppercorns does give the dish a good kick.
  • You can throw in some of your favorite herbs, like parsley or oregano, as that can work well here. 

Spicy Spanish Beef Stew

  • There are spicy variations of Spanish Beef Stew. These recipes tend to use a can of diced tomatoes, halved green olives, and a jar of sofrito to bring in a lot of flavors.
  • Sofrito is a common tomato sauce in Spain, too. Spanish paprika goes well in a recipe if you use diced tomatoes for a rich sauce. 

The Liquid

  • You can use water for the liquid, though beef broth does bring another flavor variation to the dish. It also complements the beef incredibly well, which you may expect.
  • The choice of wine is essential as red wine is typically used, and Spain has some superb ones. White wine can be used, and even dry sherry wine if you want a bold flavor.

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup

Prepping Tips

  • Roasting: For a deeper flavor, roast bones or vegetables before simmering.
  • Size: Chop vegetables uniformly to ensure even extraction of flavors.
  • Cold Start: Begin with cold water, ensuring gradual flavor release.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Skimming: Regularly skim off impurities or foam that rise to the top for a clearer broth.
  • Simmer, Don’t Boil: A gentle simmer extracts flavors without clouding the broth.
  • Duration: Chicken bones can simmer for 3-4 hours; beef or pork bones, 6-12 hours for optimum depth.
  • Cooling: Allow broth to cool naturally before refrigerating, avoiding bacterial growth.

Nutritional Values 

Each bowl of delicious Spanish Beef Stew should amount to around 550 kcal. This recipe should be ideal for four people, each getting a decent serving.

It is a hearty stew, so you should expect 37.5g of carbohydrates (a lot of those from the potatoes) and 31.6g of protein from the beef. There will be around 27g of fat, with 8.7g of saturated fat and another gram of trans fats.

You can also expect around 97.8mg of cholesterol and 190 mg of sodium.

There should be around 1540 mg of potassium, 5.5g of fiber, and 7.2g of sugar. For vitamins, you can expect 10335 IU of vitamin A, 44mg of vitamin C, and 80mg of calcium with 4.8mg of iron. 

What Are The Total Calories In The Beef Stew? 

The calorie count in Spanish Beef Stew can vary based on specific ingredients, preparation methods, and portion sizes. Generally, a serving of Spanish Beef Stew might range between 350 to 600 calories. 

Factors influencing this range include the cut and quantity of beef used, the amount and type of oil or fats, and the inclusion of wine or other calorie-dense ingredients. 

Additionally, the more vegetables added, the higher the nutrient content, but not necessarily a significant calorie increase. Using a nutritional calculator or database is recommended for an accurate count tailored to your specific recipe.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Spanish Beef Stew

  • Meat Content: The traditional stew is unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans due to the beef content.
  • Gluten: While the stew is typically gluten-free, always check if any additives or thickeners containing gluten were used.
  • Wine: Some individuals might avoid alcohol for religious or personal reasons, even though it cooks off.
  • Low-carb/Keto: Potatoes contribute carbs, making it less ideal for strict keto followers.
  • Allergies: Ingredients like garlic and bell peppers might be allergenic to some.
  • FODMAP: Contains high FODMAP ingredients, potentially problematic for those with IBS.
  • Paleo: Mostly compliant, though wine and certain additives might not be paleo-friendly.

Health Benefits Of The Spanish Beef Stew

  • Protein-Packed: Beef provides essential amino acids, promoting muscle growth and repair.
  • Rich in Vitamins: Vegetables like bell peppers and carrots are sources of vitamins A, C, and E, aiding eye health and immunity.
  • Mineral Content: Beef is a source of iron and zinc, crucial for oxygen transport and immune function.
  • Collagen Source: Slow-cooking beef releases collagen, which supports joint and skin health.
  • Antioxidants: Red wine and colorful vegetables contribute antioxidants, combating free radicals.
  • Fiber Boost: Potatoes and vegetables offer dietary fiber, promoting digestive health.
  • Heart Health: Using olive oil provides monounsaturated fats, beneficial for heart health.

Nutrition Table 

How Can I Make Spanish Beef Stew Lower In Sodium? 

  • Homemade Broth: Use a homemade, unsalted broth, granting control over its salt content.
  • Limit Added Salt: Hold off on adding salt until the end, tasting and adjusting as needed.
  • No-Salt-Added Tomatoes: If using tomatoes, opt for no-salt-added varieties.
  • Herbs & Spices: Boost flavor with sodium-free seasonings like garlic, onions, bay leaves, and paprika.
  • Wine Choice: Ensure the wine used isn’t too high in sodium.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Rely on fresh vegetables and meat, avoiding processed variants that can contain hidden sodium.
  • Rinse Canned Goods: If using canned ingredients, rinse thoroughly to wash away excess salt.

How Can I Make Spanish Beef Stew Lower In Sugar? 

  • Natural Tomatoes: Use pure tomatoes without added sugars or opt for no-sugar-added canned versions.
  • Wine Selection: Choose dry wines that generally have a lower sugar content than sweet ones.
  • Watch Carrots: While nutritious, they contain natural sugars. Adjust quantity or use less sugary vegetables.
  • Avoid Processed Ingredients: Some processed ingredients may have hidden sugars. Always check labels.
  • Herbs and Spices: Enhance flavor with spices like smoked paprika, thyme, and rosemary instead of sweet additives.
  • Taste as You Go: Avoid adding sugar or sugary ingredients until tasting the nearly-finished product.

How To Serve The Spanish Beef Stew At Its Best?

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.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Spanish Beef Stew 

  • 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.

How Long Can We Store The Stew? 

  • Refrigeration: In an airtight container, broth can last 3-4 days in the fridge. Before reusing, please bring it to a full boil for at least a minute.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, broth can be frozen for up to 6 months. Use ice cube trays for portioned amounts or freeze larger quantities in freezer bags or containers.
  • Cooling Before Storing: Ensure the broth cools to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing to prevent bacterial growth and condensation.

Can I Make The Stew In Advance? 

  • Flavor Development: Letting stew sit for a day allows the flavors to meld and intensify.
  • Convenience: Preparing in advance is ideal for busy schedules or entertaining guests.
  • Reheating: Slowly reheat on a gentle simmer to retain the tenderness of the meat.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, portion the stew into freezer-safe containers, leaving room for expansion, and freeze for up to 3 months.

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.

Special Tools/Equipment Needed

  • Heavy-Bottomed Pot or Dutch Oven: Essential for even heat distribution and slow simmering without scorching.
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife: Ensures precise cuts for meats and vegetables.
  • Cutting Board: Preferably two – one for meats and another for vegetables to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Wooden Spoon: For stirring and preventing sticking.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: To accurately measure ingredients, especially liquids and spices.
  • Ladle: Useful for serving and ensuring a good mix of ingredients in each serving.
  • Strainer: If needed, separate solids from the broth.
  • Tongs: Helps in turning and browning meat pieces uniformly.
  • Thermometer: Ensures meat is cooked to safe temperatures.
  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: Alternatives for those who prefer hands-off or quicker methods.

Final Thoughts

A bowl of Spanish Beef Stew is ideal when the weather begins to turn around to fall. The thick and rich sauce should be enjoyed and savored with a piece of a chopped-up baguette.

It is a hearty dish that you can prepare in advance and then leave for hours to allow the flavors to develop. This recipe should also be enjoyed with others, so invite family and friends to enjoy a ladle each.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Should You Serve With Spanish Beef Stew?

You can serve a bowl of Spanish Beef Stew as it is, and it should prove filling enough. Chop up a baguette so guests can mop up some delicious broth.

To relieve the rich stew, you can prepare a green salad to go with it. The stew does contain hearty vegetables, yet you can roast some up, like asparagus spears, so they provide a crunch to the softness of the ingredients.

What Other Hearty Spanish Stews Are There?

If you enjoy a bowl of Spanish Beef Stew, there are other hearty Spanish stews to try, too. Fricandó is a Beef and Mushroom Stew that is traditionally eaten in Catalonia.

Try Tuna Stew, also known as Marmitako, from the Basque Country for a fish variation. There’s also a Spanish Chicken Stew, known as Chicken Chilindron or Spanish Bull Tail Stew called Rabo de Toro.

How Can I Make The Stew Thicker?

One method is to remove a portion of the cooked vegetables, blend them, and return the purée to the pot. Alternatively, stir a tablespoon of cornstarch with cold water into the simmering stew until thickened.

Can I Add Other Vegetables To The Stew?

Absolutely! Spanish Beef Stew is versatile. Feel free to add vegetables like green beans, peas, or even mushrooms. Just adjust the cooking time to ensure they’re tender.

Can You Use Red Wine In The Stew?

Yes, a Ribera del Duero or a typical Spanish Rioja would also work well for Spanish Beef Stew. If you can find it, use a bottle of Toro, as that also works exceptionally well in a beef stew. 

The wine with this Spanish Beef Stew does not have to end up all in the pot. Serve bowls of the stew with a glass of sherry wine, ideally an Oloroso sherry.

Delicious Spanish Beef Stew - A Hearty Filling Meal To Try

Delicious Spanish Beef Stew – A Hearty Filling Meal To Try

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Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Stew


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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.

Recipe Video


  • 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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