Basic Beef Stew

This basic beef stew is a versatile recipe that can be cooked in a pressure cooker in no time at all, or in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid over several hours.

This recipe was originally published as “Stewed Steak” in “The Basic Basics Pressure Cooker Cook Book” by Marguerite Patten in 1977.


1 – 1/2 lbs or 500 – 750gms of stewing steak. You might know it as stewing beef. Gravy beef will also work well. Cut this into rough cubes, about an inch square.

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 medium sized onions, chopped

2 turnips, peeled and diced

40 gm or about 1 1/4 oz of dripping or other fat. I used vegetable shortening in the video.

420 ml or 14 1/2 fluid oz of beef stock. You’ll need an extra cup if cooking in a regular saucepan.

Your choice of herbs and spices.  Click here for great chart that shows you which spices goes with your choice of meat.

25 gm or 1 oz of plain or all purpose flour.


Heat the fat in your pressure cooker or saucepan.

Lightly cook the onion for a minute or so.

If cooking in a regular saucepan, coat your meat with the flour. Don’t do this if you’re using a pressure cooker

Add the meat and brown quickly.

Add the stock. If using a pressure cooker keep a few tablespoonfuls aside to mix with your flour.

Add the vegetables and seasonings and stir.

Put the lid on and cook on a low heat on the stove-top for 2 – 2 1/2 hours if using a regular saucepan and serve when done.

If using a pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 15 minutes if you have a 15 lb pressure cooker. Cook for 20 minutes if you have a 10 lb pressure cooker.

When cooked, reduce the pressure quickly by putting in a sink of cold water.

Mix the remaining stock with your flour. Put the open cooker back on the stove, add the flour/water mix and stir over a gentle heat until thickened.

This is a very tasty stew that you can change to suit whatever you have handy at the time.

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  1. Pingback: Basic Stew Dumplings | The Vintage Kitchen Basic Stew Dumplings | Recipes from 1800(ish) to 1979

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