Amish Beef Stew is made with stew meat, carrots, potatoes, and onions. It’s simmered low-and-slow for two hours to make an incredibly tender beef stew recipe. This is a great dish when you have time to plan ahead for a delicious slow-cooked meal. Don’t forget to add some soft dinner rolls to the table too!
Amish Beef Stew
This pot roast stew is perfect for a fall or winter Sunday dinner. It’s the ultimate comfort food and will fill up your whole family. The beef cubes become fall-apart tender and the vegetables are soft and tender. The tomato juice and water become rich gravy when combined with the meat and vegetables. This recipe is a must-try!
This country stew is made by browning the beef, adding the onions, water, and tomato juice, and simmering for two hours. After the meat is tender, add the potatoes and carrots and cook for one more hour. Once the vegetables are prepped, this meal really is a piece of cake. It will become a family favorite in no time!
How to make Amish Beef Stew:
In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the cubed stew meat in the olive oil for 20 minutes over medium heat.
Add the chopped onion, 2 cups of water, V8 or tomato juice, lemon juice, salt, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and black pepper.
Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Once the stew begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and allow the simmer with the lid on for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and carrots and allow the stew to simmer over low heat for one hour, or until the potatoes and carrots are fork-tender.
Do not overcook as the potatoes could break down into the stew if overcooked.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup of water with the cornstarch.
Add some of the cornstarch mixture a little at a time to the stew, stirring well between each addition, until the stew reaches your desired thickness.
This beef stew slow cooks on the stove for hours until the meat is fall-apart tender. I grew up with this stew and it was one of my family’s favorite meals. My mom got the recipe during a visit to “Amish country” in Pennsylvania and she has adapted the recipe over the years.
I like to serve this stew with homemade bread, rolls, or biscuits. It would also be amazing with a dollop of sour cream. I also have heard it is good served over rice, which sounds awesome!
The original recipe called for tomato juice, but for some reason, my mom uses V8 juice and we (my family) all agree it’s our favorite way. I do recommend using low sodium V8 juice so the salt in the stew can be controlled. More salt can always be added according to taste.
For the meat, I buy beef “stew meat” at the grocery store and it works well. My mom likes to buy a 2-pound bottom round roast and she cuts it into 1-inch chunks for the stew. Either way is fine but may want to explain this to readers so they know what cuts of beef to look for.
The stew can be thickened at the end with a cornstarch and water mixture or served as is. If someone adds too much cornstarch mixture and the stew ends up too thick, it can be thinned with a little water or V8 juice, and then allow the stew to simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
Tips for success/variations:
- Here are some ideas and variations on how to make this hearty beef stew.
- Try using other vegetables depending on what you have on hand. Some ideas are celery, parsnips, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash.
- Use beef broth instead of tomato juice and water to make a meatier base.
- Add some red wine at the same time as the juice to add depth to the dish.
How to serve:
Of course, an Amish meal would not be complete without a delicious shoofly pie! It’s easy to make, and perfect for serving anytime of day!
How to store:
Store the Amish beef stew in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
You can also freeze it in quart-sized freezer bags with two cups of stew per bag. This will allow you to thaw only as much as you need and not the entire batch.
How do you make beef stew tender?
Beef cut into stew meat is generally a tougher cut of meat. In order to make it tender, you’ll need to cook it over low heat for a few hours. The time depends on the temperature you’re cooking it at. This recipe calls to cook it on the stove over medium heat for a total of 3 hours and 20 minutes.
What gives beef stew its flavor?
The beef, vegetables, and liquid or broth all impart flavor to the stew. The reason it becomes so rich is and delicious is the long cooking time. All the flavors have time to work together and mellow out.
Should beef stew be soupy?
In general, stew is a thick dish and soup is more liquidy. You can choose to leave your stew soupier if you want, however, you can thicken it up if necessary.
How do you thicken beef stew?
In order to thicken beef stew, you can add a mixture of water and cornstarch or a bit of the broth and flour. In either case, you want to mix the liquid and dry ingredients together before adding them to the stew. If you add the dry ingredient directly into the stew, it will clump up and will be difficult to make them smooth out.
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 1/4 cups water, divided
- 3 cups V8 or tomato juice (reduced-sodium V8 juice recommended)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3-4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large bite-sized chunks
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into large bite-sized chunks
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the cubed stew meat in the olive oil for 20 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion, 2 cups of water, V8 or tomato juice, lemon juice, salt, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and black pepper.
- Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Once the stew begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and allow the simmer with the lid on for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Add the potatoes and carrots and allow the stew to simmer over low heat for one hour, or until the potatoes and carrots are fork-tender.
- Do not overcook as the potatoes could break down into the stew if overcooked.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup of water with the cornstarch.
- Add some of the cornstarch mixture a little at a time to the stew, stirring well between each addition, until the stew reaches your desired thickness.
- Serve hot.