Hot, hearty, comforting, and utterly delicious! Beef Stew for a Crowd is best made in advance, which is perfect for entertaining!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Beef Stew for a Crowd is available near the end of this post. OR click on the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredient list:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- ¾ pounds of Bacon
- 5 pounds of Beef Top-Round
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8-10 Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Beef Stock
- Strongly Brewed Coffee
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Ground Thyme
- Dried Rosemary
- Bay Leaves
- Salt and Pepper
- Seasoning Salt
- Garlic Powder
- Frozen Italian Green Beans, or Green Beans
- Frozen Peas
- Jarred Cocktail Onions
- Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- Large Skillet
- Large Slotted Spoon
- Extra-Large Covered Roaster
- Chef's Knife
- Cutting Board
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Vegetable Peeler
- Bench Scraper
- Large Containers for Storage
Beef Stew for a Crowd is easy to make.
Please be aware that it will take extra time to prepare a large amount of stew, but once it's finished the results will be worth every moment spent. I guarantee it!
Why this comfort food recipe works:
Making the beef stew in advance and allowing it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (overnight is best), will give your stew optimal flavor.
If you don't have the luxury of allowing the stew to chill overnight, it will still be delicious, however, the depth of flavor really intensifies if allowed to chill.
The easy instructions:
Make this beef stew recipe a day in advance for the best flavor.
- In a large skillet, brown the bacon until just crispy.
- Place the browned bacon in an extra-large pot with a lid. Set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the bite-sized pieces of beef and brown (in batches). Season with salt and pepper.
- After the beef is browned, add it to the same large pot with the bacon.
- Dice the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and stir them into the pot with the browned beef and bacon.
- Add the beef stock and coffee into the skillet along with the bay leaves, dried herbs, and remaining seasonings. Stir well.
- Peel and dice the parsnips and carrots into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pot along with the seasoned beef broth and coffee mixture.
- Cut the frozen Italian green beans into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pot along with the frozen peas, and the cocktail onions and their liquid.
- Cover the pot and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (recommended, but optional).
- To cook, preheat the oven to 325-degrees and allow the refrigerated stew to sit on the counter for 30 minutes.
- Place the uncovered stew in the oven and cook for 2 hours, uncovered, and two hours covered.
- Before serving, thicken the gravy by stirring cornstarch into hot water and stir it into the pot along with a little Kitchen Bouquet to deepen the color, if desired.
- Simmer on the stovetop (or return to the oven) stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.
- Serves 25-30 very hungry people.
Do I have to make this in advance?
- No, but the flavors will have a chance to marry and improve if allowed to sit in the refrigerator for that extra time.
- Overnight is optimal.
- Plus, if you're entertaining, having it already made will be one last thing you'll have to worry about on the day of the party.
How to reheat this beef stew after it's been chilled overnight in the fridge:
I like to take the stew out of the refrigerator to warm at room temperature for at least 1 hour before adding it to a preheated 325-degree oven.
Add the stew, uncovered, into the oven and cook for 2 hours. Stirring occasionally.
Cover the roaster after 2 hours, and continue to cook for an additional 2 hours for the beef to become fork-tender.
Will this stew freeze well if I have leftovers?
Certainly! I recommend cooking it first and then portioning it out into smaller freezer-safe containers.
Cool the stew completely before adding it to the freezer.
Freeze for up to 3 months.
What if I don't like parsnips and/or carrots? Do I have to use them?
Nope, you can tailor this beef stew to your own tastes and preferences. However, I do recommend (if substituting them) to substitute with other hearty root vegetables that will hold up to the long cooking time, and not fall apart.
Might I recommend celery root, turnips, rutabagas?
Or, leave the root vegetables out entirely and add more potatoes instead.
Do I have to make this stew in such a large quantity?
If you'd like to cut this recipe in half, it's easy enough to do.
That said because this delicious beef stew does freeze so well, making up a big batch and keeping it tucked away in the freezer for hearty winter meals is a great way to go!
How to reheat this beef stew from frozen?
Allow the stew to thaw completely and then heat the stew in a preheated 350-degree oven until heated through.
The time will depend on how much stew you're reheating at the time.
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Below is the printable recipe card for today’s Beef Stew for a Crowd along with the nutritional information.
Beef Stew for a Crowd
- ¾ pound bacon
- 5 pounds beef top round cut into bite-sized pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 medium Yukon gold potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 cups beef stock
- 1 cup strongly brewed coffee
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 3 medium bay leaves
- 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1½ teaspoons dried rosemary
- 6 medium parsnips peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 medium carrots peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 bag frozen Italian green beans
- 1 bag frozen peas
- 3 jars whole cocktail onions
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet optional
- Cut and brown approximately ¾ lbs. bacon in a large, heavy-duty skillet, over high heat. Place the bacon into a very large covered roaster pan.
- Working in batches, season the beef with salt and pepper to taste. Brown the beef in the olive oil and bacon drippings remaining in the skillet.
- Remove the meat with a slotted spoon when browned and add the browned beef to the bacon in the roaster pan.
- Add the prepared diced potatoes to the beef and bacon in the roaster and stir well to combine.
- Add the beef stock, brewed coffee, and Worcestershire sauce to the skillet, and bring to a simmer, making sure to scrape up all the browned bits from the bacon and beef found on the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the dried herbs, garlic powder, and bay leaves.
- Add the chopped parsnips, carrots, green beans, peas, and onions with their liquid to the roaster pan and stir well to combine.
- Season the ingredients in the roaster pan liberally with salt and pepper, remembering there are A LOT of ingredients in there. I'd say at least 1 tablespoon salt and ½ tablespoon pepper.
- Pour the simmering liquid carefully into the roaster pot and stir well to combine. If needed, add more water to cover the ingredients ¾'s way.
- Cover the roaster pan and refrigerate at least 6 hours (recommended).
- Preheat oven to 325-degrees and allow the chilled stew to sit on the counter for 30 minutes.
- Add the roaster pot to the oven and cook, uncovered for 2 hours.
- Remove the lid to the roaster and cook an additional 2 hours in the 325-degree oven.
- Remove the roaster from the oven.
- Stir together the cornstarch and 1 cup warm water. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the pan and stir well. Simmer on the stovetop (or place the roaster back in the oven) and stir occasionally until the gravy thickens.
- Add the Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce if desired.
- Spoon the stew into bowls and serve with crusty bread.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's crowd-pleasing recipe for Beef Stew as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!
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