2 bowls of beef stew with bread and butter.

Grandpa Henderson’s Beef Stew

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli (Adapted from Roy Henderson)
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


My grandpa made the BEST beef stew! This hearty recipe is perfect family comfort food. It tastes even better the next day and freezes beautifully.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 23 pounds beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 5 carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 (32-ounce) jar tomato juice (regular or low sodium)
  • 1 (32-ounce) box low sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup barley
  • 2 cups frozen sweet peas


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides.
  2. Add ingredients through parsley, lower heat, and simmer, covered for 2 hours.
  3. Add potatoes and barley and simmer, covered for 45 minutes. Add peas and cook for another 15 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.


I like to cut the veggies while the beef is browning.

If prepping in advance, cut all your veggies and put them in closed containers in the fridge until ready to cook. Make sure to cover cut potatoes with cold water, and drain the water out before adding them to your stew.

This beef stew tastes even better the next day. It also freezes really well, making it a great candidate for future comfort food meals without additional cooking!

Keywords: comfort food, beef stew, family recipes

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