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Italian Beef & Potato Stew

A traditional Italian Recipe, this Italian Beef and Potato Stew is an easy comfort food recipe. Tender beef and potatoes simmered in a tasty spiced light tomato sauce. The perfect one pot dinner.

beef & potato stew in a large red and black potItalian Beef & Potato Stew

This is a Classic Italian recipe that you will find for lunch or dinner, at least a dozen times during the cooler weather in Italy. A true Comfort Food. Nothing like Beef Stew.

This was always a dish I looked forward to that my mother-in-law would make. Just the aroma while it is slow cooking on the stove, is enough to make your mouth water.

The combination of the pancetta and beef is perfect, then throw in chunks of potato. I like to serve Homemade Soup or Stew with some crusty Italian bread or how about a homemade Focaccia?

So dig in and enjoy every delicious mouthful!

How to make Beef & Potato Stew

  • In a large pot on medium heat, add the oil and chopped onion, cook until the onion is transparent.

sauteeing onion until transparent for beef stew

  • Then add the chopped pancetta, rosemary and garlic, cook for a few minutes.
  • Then add the beef chunks that have been dredged in flour, cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the beef has browned, stirring often so nothing burns.

cooking the pancetta and beef dredged in flour for the beef stew

  • Add the chunks of potato, tomato paste, spices, vegetable broth or bouillon cube and water.
  • Cook on low heat for about an hour or until tender and thickened.
  • Taste for salt once the stew has cooked, because the bouillon or broth and the pancetta can be salty enough without adding more. Remember you can always add salt but you can’t take it away.

adding all the ingredients in the pot for the beef stew and cooking on low heat

What is the best beef to use in a stew?

Your best choice is stewing beef which is trimmed and then cut into bite-size pieces. It is usually chuck or round tough cuts that become tender and flavourful when slowly simmered in a liquid.

The best cuts are either round cuts (bottom and eye) which are usually leaner than chuck (shoulder, leg and butt) and are perfect for a stew.

How to thicken a stew

Dredge your beef in flour before browning this will help to thicken the stew while it is cooking. This is what I always do, or if you prefer, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of water to form a paste.

Then add the paste to the stew. Stir until it is fully combined. Cook on medium heat for about two minutes to allow the stew to thicken.

beef and potato stew in a white bowl

How to store stew?

Make sure to place the stew in an airtight container when it is completely cool. It will keep for up to three or four days in the fridge.

It can also be frozen, be sure to freeze in a freezer safe container. It will keep for up to three months in the freezer. Thaw the stew overnight in the fridge before reheating.

So if the cooler weather has started to come your way, I hope you give this hearty Beef and Potato Stew a try and let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!

beef and potato stew in a white bowl

beef & potato stew in a large red and black pot

Italian Beef & Potato Stew

Rosemary Molloy
This Italian Beef and Potato Stew is an easy comfort food recipe. Tender beef and potatoes simmered in a tasty spiced light tomato sauce. The perfect one pot dinner.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 336 kcal


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (minced)
  • 1/4 cup pancetta (cubed)
  • 1-2 stems rosemary (fresh)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 pound Boneless beef chuck steak cut into chunks
  • 4-5 medium potatoes (peeled and cut into large chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1-2 dashes pepper or hot pepper flakes
  • 2-3 cups water or low sodium vegetable broth*

*If using water then add a low sodium bouillon cube.


    • In a large pot add the olive oil and minced onion, cook on medium heat until transparent (2-3 minutes). Add the pancetta, rosemary and garlic, sautee 2-3 minutues.
    • Add the beef (toss the beef with about 3-4 tablespoons of flour before adding) and cook on low heat for about 5-8 minutes, turning often so the meat browns and nothing burns.
    • Add the potatoes, tomato paste, oregano, hot pepper flakes and broth (or water and bouillon cube). Cook on low covered for about one hour or until tender and thickened. Taste for salt before serving.* Enjoy!

    *Don't salt the stew before because the bouillon or broth can be salty.


      Calories: 336kcal
      Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!


      1. 5 stars
        Just made it tonight and it is absolutely delicious! Followed the recipe word by word and cooked it on the top stove for 1h and the meat and potatoes are soft and yummy!
        Definitely recommend it 👌

      2. Wow, seems such a delish recipe! Would be great for winter evening I think. Just a small question, I don’t eat pork, can I substitute pancetta with something else? 🙂

      3. I’ve made this before and the flavor is delicious, however, since stewing beef is being used, it should really be made in a slow cooker or the beef will be fairly tough.

          1. Not to continue this too much, but I’m not sure you understood my comment. Your only cooking instruction for this is to “slow cook” it on the stove top. I was saying that is not enough to keep the meat from being tough (and if the chunks of potato are on the larger side, they will not be soft enough either). This definitely feels like a meal that should go into a slow cooker for 4-8 hours depending on if you use high or low heat. Plus it will make your kitchen smell amazing with those spices. Like I said, the flavor of this stew is fantastic. I just thought the method of cooking could be tweaked.

          2. Hi Ian, I share authentic Italian recipes, Italian don’t use and don’t buy slow cookers or instant pots, stews and soups are made on the stove in a big pot, I have never had a problem with the meat being tough and the potatoes or veggies not soft. And I can guarantee you that my house smells pretty darn good. If you want to make it with a slow cooker then great, but that is not what I share. Have a great weekend.

      4. 5 stars
        Really really delicious. The whole family enjoyed this. I used oregano instead of rosemary as I didn’t have any and it was perfect.

        1. Hi Cecelia, I really don’t know what you intend to prep, it really needs to be cooked in the oven. I suppose you could have cook it on the stove and then finish up in the oven, for about 30 minutes or so check and if it needs more time continue cooking. Hope that helps.

        1. Hi Heather, no you can leave it out, but if you have a ripe tomato (finely chopped, seeds removed) or canned diced tomato you could add that. If not it will be ok.

      5. 5 stars
        I’m leaving 5 stars for ingredients which we love. I have a question, can you remove the onion, garlic, pancetta mixture and put on a plate wile you “brown” the beef? Or can you brown the beef first? It just seems the meat might not brown without burning the other ingredients? I’m willing to try it this way, and I don’t mean to question you ( I love your cooking by the way). Just asking. Have a great day

        1. Hi Licia, don’t worry I understand, and sure if you want you can, but it shouldn’t burn if you keep turning it and don’t cook on too high a heat, five minutes is probably plenty of time. Thanks glad you enjoy the recipes. Have a great day you too.

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