Classic Beef Stew without wine (slow cooker or stovetop)

This hearty beef stew has been a favorite of my family’s this past winter. I prefer to cook this beef stew in the slow cooker to bring out the best flavor as the beef and veggies cook slowly and soften until they melt in your mouth. This recipe for beef stew in made without alcohol for personal and religious reasons, instead red wine vinegar is added which also has a double purpose of softening the beef with its acidity. You may also enjoy Amish chicken noodle soup, Cheeseburger soup or Crack chicken soup.

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Classic beef stew without wine.

This hearty beef stew is a classic comfort food that can be enjoyed by all with its soft veggies and seasoned beef that literally melts in your mouth!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Slow cooker time: 7 hours
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 7 quart slow cooker (linked below)
  • 7 quart stock pot (linked below)
  • Cutting board (linked below)
  • Non-stick skillet (linked below)


  • 1/4 cup flour all purpose
  • 1 1/2-2 pounds beef stewing meat *see note
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder optional
  • 3-4 medium sized potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups cubed carrots
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 5-6 cups chicken broth *see note
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Optional add ins:

  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 oz. package frozen peas


Slow cooker:

  • Combine the stewing beef with flour, garlic powder (optional) salt and onion powder, then fry in a non-stick skillet (coated with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil) for 1-2 minutes per side, or just until browned, but not cooked through.
  • Place the browned stewing beef mixture into a large 6-7 quart crockpot then add onions, carrots, potatoes and tomato paste. Pour 5 cups chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce (optional) and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar over the veggies and beef mixture.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. Once the beef and veggies are soft and cooked through, remove bay leaves and allow the soup to cool slightly before serving. If adding peas wait to add them until the last hour of slow cooking.

Stove top:

  • Combine the stewing beef with flour, garlic powder (optional), onion powder and salt. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large 7-8 quart stockpot, then add the stewing beef and diced onions and sear until browned on all sides.
  • Add the potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, 6 cups chicken broth, red wine vinegar, bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce (optional), then cover and bring to a slow simmer.
  • Cook the stew for 1 1/2 -2 hours at a slow simmer until the stewing beef and veggies have softened completely. If the beef is still tough after an hour and a half, keep cooking it for another 30 minutes (roughly) to break down the proteins in the beef. Add peas at the last 10 minutes of cooking (optional). Once the stew is cooked, remove bay leaves and allow to cool slightly before serving.


When I don’t have stewing beef on hand from a local farmer, I prefer to use cubed London broil, which produces a very tender stewing meat. 
For the slow cooker you will need less chicken broth than for the stove top method. Unless you prefer a thinner beef stew, then feel free to add additional broth as needed. 
More notes and step by step slow cooker photos below. 
Keyword Classic Beef stew, without wine, slow cooker, stovetop
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Equipment needed for this classic beef stew without alcohol:

  • 7 quart slow cooker If using the slow cooker method (which is definitely my personal favorite), you will need a large crockpot/slow cooker.
  • 7 quart stockpot If you prefer to do soups and stews on the stove top, you can use a large stockpot for this beef stew recipe.
  • Cutting board A cutting board and Chef’s knife makes the cubing and dicing process for the veggies and potatoes so much easier.
  • Non-stick skillet If using the slow cooker you will need a non-stick skillet to brown the stewing meat in.

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Ingredients needed: Chicken broth, Red wine vinegar, beef stewing meat, flour, carrots, salt, onion powder, tomato paste, bay leaves, potatoes, diced onions.

Optional add ins for this beef stew recipe:

My personal preference is to add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder for a deeper flavor in the beef stew. However, not everyone likes the taste of garlic or Worcestershire sauce in beef stew, so it is optional. I add peas if I have them on hand (which is rare), but we certainly enjoy this beef stew with peas as well.

Step 1 (slow cooker): Combine the stewing beef with flour and seasonings in a medium sized bowl, then sear in a large non-stick skillet until nicely browned, but not cooked through, because they will finish cooking in the slow cooker.

Step 2 (Slow cooker): Place the stewing beef mixture, veggies and tomato paste into a large slow cooker.

Step 2 continued: Add the chicken broth, Red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce (if adding) to the crockpot, then cover with a lid.

Which is better, beef broth or chicken broth?

My personal preference is to use store bought chicken broth over store bought beef broth. Store bought beef broth doesn’t have as rich of a flavor as bought chicken broth, but if you have a nice homemade beef broth, it can be added to this beef stew instead of the chicken broth.

Step 3: Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6. Add peas at the last hour of cooking (optional), then cool slightly and enjoy!


We enjoy our beef stew with fresh homemade whole wheat bread!

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1 thought on “Classic Beef Stew without wine (slow cooker or stovetop)”

  1. Cheryl Donnelly

    5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely perfect. I didn’t have chunk beef so I used ground and it was yummy, my 1 year old scarfed it down🥰

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