Turkish Stew with Beef

Beef casserole with potatoes and carrots in a clay pot.

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4.7 from 3 reviews

Beef stew with onion, garlic, potatoes and carrots. It is flavored with a tomato paste sauce and cooked in a clay pot first on the stove top then in the oven. A perfect comfort food.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • A handful of pearl onions, peeled but not chopped (optional)

  • 500g (1.1 pound) diced beef (not lean) (or beef chuck cut into 1-inch pieces)

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • 2 cups hot water, divided

  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks 

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • Parsley for garnish


  1. Sauté onions until translucent.

  2. Add in the beef pieces and give it a stir. Cook it covered over medium low heat until the meat releases juice and then it absorbs almost all of it.

  3. In a small bowl, mix together tomato paste, salt, black pepper, paprika and 1 cup of hot water. Pour it over the beef in the pot and cook it covered over low heat for 1 hour. Check it after 30 minute or so and if there is too little water left, add some extra water (¼ cup) to prevent it from burning.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C in the last 15 minutes of cooking. 

  5. When the 1-hour cooking duration is over, remove it from the heat. Add potatoes, carrots and garlic into the pot. Pour the remaining 1 cup hot water. 

  6. Cover the top of the pot with foil. If the pot you are using is not oven-proof, pour the dish into a baking pan and cover it with foil.

  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

  8. Garnish with chopped parsley when serving. 


  1. This Turkish beef stew is often made in special clay pots called güveç. You can cook with them on the stove and in the oven. But if you don't have one, any pot that can go in the oven, like a Dutch oven, will work.
  2. For the meat, pick beef that's good for slow cooking. The label might help. We like beef chuck cut into small bits. It gets really soft when cooked slowly.
  3. After 30 minutes of cooking, see if there's still water in the pot. If it's almost dry, add a bit more water, about a quarter cup, and keep cooking on the stove for an hour. Stir sometimes so it doesn't burn.
  4. If your pot can't go in the oven, put the stew in a baking dish and cover it with foil before baking. Glass or ceramic dishes are easy to clean.
  5. To store: Let the stew cool completely. You can keep this casserole for 3-4 days in the fridge or for 1-2 months in the freezer. Make sure you transfer it from the clay pot into a baking pan or an airtight container. Clay pots are not recommended for storing food.
  6. To reheat: It is best to reheat this casserole in the oven or on the stove-top with a splash of water. Thawing overnight is better if it is frozen.