Beef stew

In this recipe, we’ll show you how you can make beef stew on the hob or in a slow cooker. We’ll also include information about a vegetarian alternative.

You can find out more information about using a slow cooker on the BBC Good Food and Which? websites.

If you'd like to try the Roast potatoes included in the video, you can find the recipe here.


1 small onion 

1 celery sticks 

1 tbsp rapeseed oil 

2 carrots 

1 bay leaf

1/4 pack fresh thyme 

1 tbsp tomato purée 

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 

1 low salt beef stock cube 

250g beef 

200g mushrooms 

1/4 small bunch of parsley 


Large saucepan with a lid or Slow cooker

Frying pan

Measuring spoons

Measuring jug

Knife and chopping board*

Vegetable peeler (optional)

Wooden spoon or alternative


1. Chop onions, celery and carrots.

2. Using a frying pan, fry the onion and celery in 1 tbsp oil over a low heat until they start to soften – about 5 mins.

3. Add the carrots and bay leaf, and fry for 2 mins.

4. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.

5. Tip all of this into your slow cooker or large pan.

6. Fry the beef and mushrooms in the remaining oil until they are well browned.

7. Stir in the tomato puree.

8. Add this to the slow cooker or large pan.

9. Add 300ml boiling water and stir.

10. Add your fresh thyme and crumble over the stock cube. Stir.

11. Cook in a slow cooker on low for 8-10 hrs, or on high for 4 hrs.

If you want to use the hob, cook on low for an hour. Stirring occasionally.

12. Once the time is up, stir in the parsley and enjoy.

* The chopping board and knife used in the video were both purchased from a well-known online retailer. Living made easy has information on a wide range of products, including food preparation utensils and other equipment that you may find useful.

Nutritional information

This recipe contains approximately 444kcal per 464g serving.

It contains 24% of your daily recommended intake of fat and 13% of your salt.

If you'd like to read more about the nutritional content of this recipe, you can download a full workup here.

Dysphagia guidance:

Stews are potentially suitable for someone who is recommended a IDDSI Level 6 Soft and Bite Sized consistency.

This particular stew, however, contains celery and bay leaf. Both are unsuitable for a Level 6 Soft and Bite Sized Diet. Celery is stringy and fibrous. And bay leaf can break off during the cooking process. If you do have swallowing difficulties, you may wish to cut both ingredients from the recipe.

For a Level 6 Soft and Bite Sized Diet pieces of meat must be cooked, tender and moist no bigger than 15mm = 1.5cm x 1.5 cm pieces. The liquid portion must be thick if the person's drinks need thickener - drain excess juice or thicken to appropriate consistency as advised by your speech and language therapist. No hard lumps. It is safest to test Soft & Bite-Sized food using the IDDSI Fork Pressure test.

For more information, see this IDDSI handout.

This recipe was adapted using this recipe from BBC Good Food.