Beef Stew in a Bread Bowl

Dive into the world of comfort food with this hearty and delightful Beef Stew in a Bread Bowl recipe. It’s a perfect harmony of tender, stewing beef cubes, simmered with a mix of wholesome vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and celery in a rich, flavorful broth.

Enhanced with the robust flavors of Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and rosemary, this stew promises a feast of tastes and textures in every spoonful. The magic happens when this savory stew is served in a hollowed-out, freshly baked bread bowl, transforming a simple meal into an extraordinary culinary experience. The optional step of toasting the bread bowls with a hint of butter adds a subtle crunch and prevents the bread from becoming too soggy.

Garnished with fresh parsley, this Beef Stew in a Bread Bowl is not just a dish, but a heartwarming experience, ideal for those chilly evenings or when you crave something satisfying and comforting.


  1. Beef Stew:
    • 1.5 pounds (680g) stewing beef, cubed
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • Salt and black pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
    • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped
    • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
    • 4 cups beef broth
    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 cup frozen peas
    • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  2. Bread Bowls:
    • 4 round bread loaves (e.g., sourdough, Italian)
    • Butter (optional, for brushing)


Preparing the Beef:

  1. Season and Flour the Beef: Begin by placing the cubed beef into a large mixing bowl. Season generously with salt and black pepper according to your taste. After seasoning, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour over the beef. Toss the beef cubes until they are evenly coated with the flour. This step helps in thickening the stew and gives the beef a nice crust when browned.
  2. Brown the Beef: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the flour-coated beef cubes. Sauté the beef, turning the pieces occasionally, until they develop a rich brown color on all sides. This process may take about 5-7 minutes. Once browned, transfer the beef to a plate and set it aside. Browning the meat adds a depth of flavor to your stew.

Cooking the Vegetables and Beef:

  1. Sauté the Aromatics: In the same pot used for browning the beef, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté these for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent burning and to pick up the browned bits from the beef, which adds flavor.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Return the browned beef to the pot with the onions and garlic. Now add the sliced carrots, diced potatoes, chopped celery, and the entire can of diced tomatoes (including the juice). Pour in the 4 cups of beef broth. Add the Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and the bay leaf. Stir the mixture well to ensure everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Simmer the Stew: Increase the heat to bring the stew to a gentle boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the stew to simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours. During this time, the beef and vegetables will become tender, and the flavors will meld together. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. If the stew seems too thick, you can add a little more broth or water.
  4. Add the Peas and Final Seasoning: About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the cup of frozen peas. These add a lovely pop of color and freshness to the stew. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Remember to remove the bay leaf before serving, as it’s not edible.

Preparing the Bread Bowls:

  1. Preheat Oven and Prepare Bread: While the stew is simmering, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Take your round bread loaves and cut a circular opening on the top of each loaf. Hollow out the loaves, leaving about a 1/2-inch thick shell. This creates your “bowl” for the stew.
  2. Optional Toasting: For added texture and to prevent the bread from becoming too soggy, you can brush the inside of each bread bowl with melted butter. Place the bread bowls on a baking sheet and bake them in the preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes or until the insides are lightly toasted.

Serving the Stew:

  1. Assemble and Serve: Carefully ladle the hot beef stew into the prepared bread bowls. The bread will absorb some of the stew’s juices, making it deliciously flavorful.
  2. Garnish: Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over each serving. This not only adds a fresh burst of flavor but also a vibrant color contrast to the rich stew.
  3. Enjoy: Serve the beef stew in bread bowls immediately. This dish is not only hearty and comforting but also makes for an impressive presentation, perfect for both casual family dinners and special occasions.

Enjoy your delicious and comforting Beef Stew in a Bread Bowl!

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