This gluten-free beef stew is made with an assortment of farmers market root vegetables and grass-fed beef, slow-simmered on the stovetop in red wine and beef broth.
Slow-simmering a fattier cut of beef, like the chuck roast, results in spoon-tender meat and a flavorful beef stew.
My beef stew recipe is also gluten-free because it’s made from scratch, with gluten-free beef broth and no flour.
Root vegetables are all in season right now in my neck of the country. It’s a great time of year to make a comforting pot of beef stew from scratch.
I make my beef stew with grass-fed chuck roast from a local cattle farm and root vegetables from the farmers market. Keep reading and I’ll show you how to make beef stewing meat that does not dry out!
– Grass-Fed Beef Chuck Roast
For this beef stew recipe you’ll need a pound of grass-fed beef chuck roast. Chuck roast has lots of fat and connective tissue that will break down when slow-simmered, resulting in tender pieces of beef that are not dried out.
Choosing the right cut of beef is especially important when making beef stew with grass-fed beef because it is inherently leaner than beef from cows that were fattened up on grains.
Don’t miss the FAQ section for more tips to make beef stew that isn’t dry.
– Low Sodium, Gluten-Free Beef Broth
Be sure to use a gluten-free beef broth that is labeled as low sodium or no sodium. Store-bought broths are often loaded with added salt and can result in a stew that is too salty.
I recommend tasting your broth once the simmering meat is no longer red, and dilute it with water if it’s too salty.
It’s also important to use a beef broth that you like the flavor of. The beef broth will form the base of the stew and if you don’t like the taste of the broth, you probably won’t like the taste of the stew you make with it.
– Red Wine
I use a dry red wine in my beef stew, usually Cabernet Sauvignon. If I have an open bottle already I’ll use that, otherwise I buy the least expensive bottle of red wine if I’m using it for cooking.
Red wine imparts a wonderful flavor in beef stew and acts as an acid that will help keep the beef from getting dry and firm.
Avoid using wine from the grocery store that’s labeled “cooking wine“. It’s not the same thing as the red wine you’d drink, has sugar added and I haven’t tested it with this recipe.
How to Make Gluten-Free Beef Stew on the Stovetop
1. Prepare and brown the beef
Start by patting the chuck roast dry and seasoning both sides with salt and pepper.
Cut the roast into 1-inch pieces.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat in a heavy-bottom pot (I use this one).
When the oil is hot (flick a drop of water in the pot and it should sizzle), add the beef pieces and brown them on both sides. You’ll probably need to brown them in two batches so they aren’t touching each other in the pot – they’ll brown better that way.
When browned, remove the beef to a plate and reduce the heat to medium.
2. Prepare the broth
Add just the red wine to the same pot and let it slowly simmer for 5 minutes with the lid off. Use a soft spoon or spatula to scrap the brown bits off the bottom and sides of the pot and into the wine.
Add your beef broth to the wine, as well as the bay leaves, thyme and crushed garlic.
Move the meat back into the pot with the broth and replace the lid.
3. Simmer for 3 hours
Bring the meat and seasonings to a low simmer with the lid on for 3 hours.
A low, slow simmer will give all that fat and connective tissue on your beef time to break down – which results in grass-fed beef that is tender and juicy.
4. Prepare the root vegetables
You’ll be adding the root vegetables to the pot at the 3 hour point, so start preparing them once the meat has been simmering for 2.5 hours.
Peel and cut the carrots into 1-inch pieces.
Use a paring knife to peel the rutabaga, then cut it into 1-inch pieces.
Dice the onion up into small bite-sizes pieces, but not finely.
Last, peel and dice up your potatoes.
5. Add the root vegetables and cook
Once the beef has been simmering for about 3 hours, add the carrots, rutabaga and onion to the pot. But not the potatoes yet. Increase the heat if needed to bring them to a lively simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, add the potatoes to the pot and simmer until all the vegetables are cooked. The potatoes will cook the fastest so they should be added last to avoid mushy potatoes.
Remove the thyme, garlic and bay leaves from the pot before serving.
Ladle the stew into soup bowls and enjoy on its own or with some crusty bread.
Beef stew reheats well on the stovetop.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make beef stew that isn’t dry?
I have a couple tips that have worked for me to consistently avoid dry stew meat.
1. Only use chuck roast when making beef stew. The chuck roast is a perfect cut of meat for recipes that are simmered low and slow. All the marbled fatty tissue breaks down under a long slow simmer and this results in gorgeous, spoon tender beef.
2. Do not use stewing meat packs to make beef stew. Stewing meat sounds like the choice to make for stew, but in my experience it can consist of leaner cuts of meat that do not have all the marbled tissue you want for a good stew that is not dry.
3. Do not use pre-cut beef stewing meat. Another tip for avoiding dried out beef stew is to cut your beef right before cooking, rather than buying meat that is already cut into pieces. When you cut into meat, it loses moisture. So a pack of pre-cut stewing meat will already be drier than a whole roast.
How do you thicken gluten-free beef stew?
Spoiler alert! I don’t thicken gluten-free beef stew.
Gasp! Is that even allowed? Is it still beef stew if the broth is not thickened??
Here’s the thing, if you read my about me page, you’ll discover that I value ease when it comes to cooking (and lots of things actually).
I used to thicken my stew with corn starch so it would be gluten-free. But I found the effort was not worth the result. Honestly, thickening the broth of a cooked stew was a pain in the butt, had mixed results and it did not add to the flavor.
So one day I decided to save myself the hassle, skip thickening my beef stew broth – and I haven’t looked back.
Can I omit the red wine when making beef stew?
For this beef stew recipe, red wine is required. The red wine adds tremendous flavor to the stew and it acts as an acid to help break down the beef so it doesn’t get tough and dry.
Beef stew recipes without red wine will substitute in another acid, as well as additional flavorings. For example, some beef stew recipes use Worcestershire sauce as an acid and to add flavoring.
If you’re worried about using red wine in beef stew because of the alcohol content, a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed that food simmered for two and a half hours only retained 5 percent of its alcohol.
Gluten-Free Beef Stew on the Stovetop
- 1 lb chuck roast ideally grass-fed
- 2 pinches salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 3/4 cups dry red wine not "cooking wine"
- 2.5 cups gluten-free beef broth low or no sodium
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 large sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic crushed with the side of large knife
- 1 3/4 cups carrots peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
- 1 3/4 cups rutabaga peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
- 1/4 cup yellow onion diced into small pieces
- 2 cups potatoes peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
- Pat the chuck roast dry and season both sides with the salt and pepper. Cut the roast into 1-inch pieces.
- Heat the olive oil over high heat in a heavy bottom pot. Brown both sides of the beef in two batches. Remove the meat from the pot.
- Add the red wine to the same pot and slowly simmer it for 5 minutes with the lid off. Scrape any brown bits off the bottom and sides of the pot and into the wine.
- Add the beef broth to the wine, as well as the bay leaves, thyme and crushed garlic. Also add the beef back to the pot and replace the lid.
- Bring to a low simmer for 3 hours with the lid on.
- At the 3 hour point, add the carrots, rutabaga and onion to the pot. Bring to a lively simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and simmer until all the vegetables are cooked.
- Remove the bay leaves, thyme and garlic before serving.