My Dutch Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew is the epitome of comfort food. With such delicious flavours, it is a one-pot meal, complete on its own, with cubes of beef, simmered until meltingly tender, in a rich tomato sauce with fresh vegetables and herbs. You will love this Gluten-Free Beef Stew.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
My Dutch Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew is made using a less expensive cut of meat which requires long, slow cooking to tenderise the beef and extract the maximum flavour.
Not only are long-simmered stews satisfying to eat, but they also are easy to make.
This Gluten-Free Beef Stew is a family favourite.
You’ll love this Mediterranean Beef Stew because:
- Meat and vegetables are cooked together in the Dutch Oven, their flavours combining harmoniously.
- When it comes to Beef Stew, you will get the best result by using inexpensive cuts of meat. The long, slow cooking will give you meat that is meltingly tender.
- You can make this meal ahead of time. In fact, this is one meal that improves if made a day or two in advance. It gives the flavours time to fully harmonise and develop complexity.
- This is a great dish for meal prep. Make a large batch and store containers in the freezer for days when you need an easy meal. It is pure comfort food that will warm and satisfy you.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
Stewing/braising beef – use a cut of meat that is suited to long, slow cooking, such as chuck steak or boneless shin/shank/gravy beef.
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – for the best result, seasoning your food is vital.
Olive oil – my preference is olive oil as it is an integral ingredient in the much-acclaimed Mediterranean diet.
Brown/yellow onion and garlic – base flavour ingredients.
Crushed tinned tomatoes – use whole tinned tomatoes and crush them yourself if you prefer.
Beef stock – to reinforce the beef flavour. Use homemade or a good quality commercial beef broth.
Fresh rosemary – a fragrant, woody herb. It adds great flavour.
Chilli flakes – to add some spice – optional.
Zucchini/courgette – a member of the squash family.
Red capsicum/bell peppers – Red peppers are sweeter than green, and I like the colour they provide.
Kalamata olives – for easy eating, buy them pitted or pit them yourself.
Fresh parsley – my preference is the flat leaf Italian variety.
How to Make Dutch Oven Beef Stew:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
1 – Prepare the meat:
Cut your meat into 3 ½ cm (1 ¼ ” cubes) or buy pre-cut meat. Pat the cubed meat dry with paper towels. This will help the meat to form a nice brown crust when seared.
Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper.
2 – Brown the meat:
Brown the seasoned, cubed meat in a Dutch Oven or heavy-based saucepan which has a lid. This is important as it caramelises the surface of the meat, giving it an appetising colour and a wonderful depth of flavour. After browning the meat, remove it to a bowl or plate and set it aside.
3 – Cook the onion and garlic:
Add the onion to the same saucepan, cook for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
4 – Combine the meat, tomatoes, stock and aromatics:
Return the meat to the pan. Add the tinned tomatoes, beef stock and rosemary. Stir them together and cook slowly for about 90 minutes.
5 – Add in the vegetables:
When the meat is almost deliciously tender, add the zucchini and capsicum and cook an extra 30 minutes.
6 – Sprinkle with parsley and serve:
Add the olives and parsley, check that the seasoning is to your taste, and your delicious Dutch Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew is ready to enjoy.
Tips for success and FAQs:
This Mediterranean Beef Stew is a very simple dish to prepare, but we have some tips that will help you get the best result.
Firstly, don’t use expensive cuts of meat. Lean cuts of meat will become tough and dry. Choose a cut of meat suited to long, slow cookery, such as chuck/gravy beef or beef shin/shank.
Yes! Browning your meat is the first step toward achieving a full, rich flavour. The caramelisation of the meat is the secret to a flavoursome stew. We do not use any flour in this recipe, making this a Gluten Free Beef Stew.
If you add the vegetables at the same time as the meat, they will be completely mushy by the time the meat becomes tender. So the vegetables retain their texture and colour, add them when the meat is almost perfectly tender.
Yes, you can make this meal in advance. In fact, this is one meal that will improve if made a day or two ahead. It gives the flavours time to fully harmonise and develop complexity. Once cool, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Yes, store it in the freezer for up to three months in an airtight, freezer-safe container, clearly labelled with the name and date. It can be difficult to identify frozen items if they are not labelled.
There are so many ways to enjoy the Dutch Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew. It is a delicious meal on its own, but also works well with:
- Some crusty bread or focaccia for mopping up the deeply flavoured juices.
- Buttered noodles – boil the pasta of your choice until it is al dente, toss in a bowl with some butter, salt, pepper and chopped parsley.
- Creamy polenta or mashed potato.
- Ricotta or Semolina Gnocchi.
This Dutch Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew is a versatile dish, simple enough to be enjoyed by the family on a weeknight. Take to a potluck or serve when entertaining friends. It is a crowd pleaser.
From the inviting aroma to the robust flavour, this hearty Dutch Oven Beef Stew carries the promise of comfort and warmth. It is, simply, wonderful, old-style comfort food. If you like Mediterranean foods as much as I do, I am certain that you will love this easily prepared Beef Stew. This is food that will warm and satisfy you.
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Dutch Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) stewing beef See Note 1
- 1 teaspoon coarse cooking sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper – freshly ground
- 3 tablespoon olive oil See Notes 2 and 3
- 1 large brown/yellow onion – cut into small cubes
- 4 cloves garlic – roughly chopped
- 800 g (28 ounces) crushed tinned tomatoes
- 1 cup (250 ml) beef stock See Note 4
- 3 teaspoon fresh rosemary – finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes – optional
- 2 large zucchini/courgette – cut into slices 1 cm (⅓″) wide
- 2 large red capsicum/bell peppers – cut into 2 ½ cm (1”) squares
- ½ cup Kalamata olives – pitted
- 3 tablespoon fresh parsley – roughly chopped, divided
- sea salt and black pepper – to taste
- pasta, noodles, mashed potato, rice, crusty bread or a green salad. See Note 5
For accuracy, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
- Cut your meat into cut into 3 ½ cm (1 ¼ " cubes) or buy pre-cut meat.
- Pat the cubed meat dry with paper towels. This will help the meat to form a nice brown crust when seared.Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, over high heat, in a large, heavy-based Dutch Oven or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The oil should not smoke. You will notice that the oil is hot and ready to use when it begins to shimmer.
- Add ⅓ of the beef to the pan. Brown the meat for several minutes on all sides. See Note 6.
- Remove the meat to a plate and set it aside. Repeat with the remaining beef, adding more oil if necessary.
- Turn the heat down to low. Add a little extra oil if necessary.Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and cook a further minute and stir again to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Return the cooked beef, including any juices, to the pan.Add the tomatoes, beef stock, rosemary and chilli flakes (if using). Stir well.
- Bring to a simmer, cover the pan, lower the heat so the meat barely bubbles, and cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the meat is almost at perfect tenderness. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the zucchini and capsicum, stir well and cover again. Cook for 30 minutes. Stir halfway through and add a little water if necessary.
- Add the olives and 2 tablespoons of parsley. See Note 7.Check the seasoning, adding additional salt, pepper or chilli flakes to taste.
- Turn into a serving dish or serve, family-style, at the table in the pan in which it was cooked.Add some extra parsley just before serving.Serve with rice, mashed potato, crusty bread or buttered noodles. See Note 8.
- Stewing beef: for long, slow cooking, choose a cut such as chuck steak or boneless shin/shank/gravy beef. Lean meats do not suit this method of cookery; they will become tough and dry.
- Olive oil: start cooking the beef with 2 tablespoons of oil and add extra if you need it to finish cooking the beef or when adding the onion.
- Tablespoon: we use a standard Australian tablespoon which is 20 ml (4 teaspoons).
- Beef stock: you can use homemade or good-quality beef stock. If you don’t have beef stock, you can use chicken stock. The flavour may not be quite as robust, so adjust your seasoning accordingly.
- Seasoning: adjust the seasoning to your liking – we recommend using freshly ground black pepper and sea salt flakes for the best flavour.
- Browning the meat: it is important to not “play” with the meat. If you try to turn it too soon it will stick to the pan. It will turn easily when it has formed a brown crust. This is an exercise that requires patience. If moved too much, the meat will release its juices and steam rather than fry. Browning the beef gives the meat an appetizing colour and adds tremendous depth of flavour.
- Parsley: to obtain maximum flavour and freshness of the parsley, add it at the end of cooking.
- Buttered noodles: boil the pasta of your choice until it is al dente, toss in a bowl with some butter, salt, pepper and chopped parsley.
- Nutritional information: does not include what the dish is served with.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
This post was originally published in March 2019. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.
I made it exactly like you did and it delicious!! Will pass this recipe on to friends 😀
Hi Barbara, thank you so much for your fantastic feedback on the Mediterranean Beef Stew. I am so pleased that you enjoyed it and appreciate that you took the time to let me know. 🙂
This is Mediterranean comfort food at its BEST! I wanted to surprise my family with something warm and comforting with this chilly weather we’ve been having. I used stewing beef and chicken stock since I didn’t have beef stock and it was marvelous. Even my Italian grandmother said the flavors were amazing. We had this again the next day and I swear it tasted even better. Fantastic recipe!
Hi Sofie, thank you for your fantastic feedback on our Mediterranean Beef Stew. I am so pleased that you enjoyed it and thrilled that your grandmother also enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. 🙂
Yum! This was exactly what I was craving this evening. I made it in my brand new dutch oven and will definitely be making it again. I served it with a fresh green salad and bakery fresh bread and it was a hit with the whole family. Thanks.
Hi Kimberly, thank you so much for your comments on the Dutch Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew. Serving it with a green salad and fresh bread sounds perfect. 🙂
Wow Alex : this is a proper winter warmer and can’t wait to try 🤗
Thanks for sharing
Thanks, Kirsty! Hope you’ll enjoy it 🙂
Love to try this recipe but I can’t eat capsicum. Can you please suggest a substitute or should I just leave it out? Thank you
You can definitely just leave it out. Or, you could add in some extra zucchini or even some eggplant 🙂
Hope you’ll enjoy the stew!
Kind regards, Alex
I made this for my Italian grandmother and she loved it and said it reminded her of her own cooking. I made sure to properly brown the meat as the recipe says. It adds so much flavor to the stew and it was worth the wait. I highly recommend this recipe!
Hi Isabella, thank you for your fantastic feedback on the Mediterranean Beef Stew. I feel honoured that your grandmother enjoyed it. 🙂
I can’t wait to try this!! But I really don’t like olives 🙁 i worry it won’t the that good without them. Is there a good olive substitute you can recommend for weirdos like me?
Although I can’t recommend a good substitute, you can absolutely leave the olives out and it will still be delicious.
Let me know if you give it a try 🙂 Thanks, Alex
I made this last week for my family of 7 and it was amazing. If I had of realised how delicious it was going to be I would have made extra – next time I definitely will 🙂
Hi Leigh, thank you so much for your fantastic feedback on the Mediterranean Beef Stew. I am so pleased that you and your family enjoyed it. 🙂
I’m sure this can be done in an instant pot, can you possibly tell me what I would do, as I’m new to the instant pot craze.
It may work, but I am not sure how long it would take, as I have not used an instant pot before.
Sorry I can’t be of more help.
Kind regards, Alex
Can I pressure can this recipe without the zucchini and olives?
Hi Nancy, I can’t advise you as I have not had experience with canning beef. However, the Beef Stew can be frozen for up to three months. I hope this helps. Kind regards, Alex 🙂
These flavors were incredible together! So warming and comforting, just perfect for all the winter weather we’ve been having!
Hello Jessie, thank you for your lovely feedback regarding the Mediterranean Beef Stew. I do appreciate it. 🙂