Bowls of beef stew with mushrooms, carrots and potatoes
Photography, Stephen Harris

Easy Beef Stew

An old-school recipe for a comfort food classic.

Hearty soups and stews are the ultimate winter comfort foods, and this classic beef stew is no exception. Adding bacon adds extra flavour to this traditional recipe. You only need an hour to simmer this delicious stick-to-your-ribs recipe.

Bowls of beef stew with mushrooms, carrots and potatoes

Traditional Beef Stew

The Farmers and Fishers of Prince Edward Island share their recipe for a traditional beef stew with bacon, mushrooms, potatoes and root vegetables.
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine British, Canadian, English
Servings 8


  • ½ lb bacon diced
  • 2 lbs stewing beef cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion sliced into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 stalks celery medium diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 medium white potatoes large dice
  • 2 cups quartered button mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced turnip
  • 2 large carrots peeled, large dice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups beef stock or water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup cold water


  • In a large pot over medium heat, add bacon; stir frequently. Once bacon has started to crisp, add beef to the pot and sear until brown on all sides. Remove bacon and beef from the pot, leaving any remaining fat.
  • Add oil, onions, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often until softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Add potatoes, mushrooms, turnip, carrot, and return meat back to the pot. Stir in the bay leaves, thyme, Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper. Add in the beef stock, and more water if beef and vegetables are not totally covered by liquid. Bring the stew to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid. Cook until the vegetables have softened and the meat is tender, 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the meat and vegetables have softened, whisk together cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl until dissolved. Remove lid and stir in cornstarch mixture, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

A cookbook cover in a light frame.

Excerpted from Canada’s Food Island: A Collection of Stories and Recipes from Prince Edward Island by Farmers and Fishers of Prince Edward Island. Photography by Stephen Harris. Stories and captions by Stuart Hickox. Copyright © 2022 by Lobster Fishers of PEI. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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