Fall-apart beef cooked in the oven or the slow cooker – this Scottish beef stew is my favourite Scottish recipe and perfect for Burns night!Hands around a bowl of Scottish beef stew. A spoonful being taken,

If you’ve never heard of Robert Burns, you’ll no doubt have heard one of his most famous works – Auld Lang Syne. That wonderful tune we (probably slightly drunkenly) sing to say farewell to the previous year as we bring in the new year. Originally created as a poem, it wasn’t turned into a song until after his death in 1796.

Burns night or Burns supper itself first became a thing 5 years after his death, with the gathering of 9 of his friends who got together to celebrate his life and works over a feast of haggis and whisky. Ok, I’m not 100% sure about the haggis and whisky thing – but that’s what I’ve heard anyway! Auld Lang Syne and Burns night are now well known the world over, and to celebrate, I’m bringing you this yummy Scottish beef stew.

I’d love to have done something haggis related, but to be perfectly honest I can’t stand the stuff (sorry to all those die-hard haggis fans).So here we have it, my favourite Scottish recipe – cook it in the oven or even in the slow cooker, and make plenty!

So how to do we make it?

Dust chunks of beef in flour and fry  in oil in a casserole pan until golden brown all over. Add chopped onions and cook for a further 5 minutes, then  stir in the garlic, red currant jelly, and red wine and simmer for 5 minutes

6 image collage showing initial process steps for making scottish beef stew

Add in the carrots, potatoes, swede, stock, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then place a lid on and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours until the beef is lovely and tender.
6 image collage showing final process steps for making scottish beef stew

Serve topped with a little fresh thyme and some freshly cut bread.

Large white pan filled with Scottish beef stew on a light background. Bread and fresh herbs also in scene.

I like to make a huge batch, then serve half up as a stew, and then save the other half as a pie filling 🙂

Can I make it ahead?

Yes! you can make this stew, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Reheat in a pan until piping hot throughout.

Can I freeze it?

Yes, any leftovers of this stew can be cooled, covered and frozen. Then defrosted overnight in the refrigerator and reheated in a pan (stirring often) or microwave until piping hot throughout.

Best type of beef for Scottish Beef Stew:

  • Chuck steak (braising steak) – comes from the forequarter- Consisting of parts of the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm.
    • It’s a tough but very flavorful cut of meat. It has a lot of connective tissue, which needs long slow cooking to break down and become tender. Cut into bite-size chunks, or you can use bigger chunks and shred the beef into strips.
  • Silverside (bottom round) – comes from the hindquarter – just above the back leg
    • It’s a leaner, inexpensive cut of meat with little marbling. The lack of fat means it doesn’t have as much flavour as chuck steak, so make sure you use good quality stock (as well as the wine) to cook it in. It’s good for slow cooking, but must be cooked with moisture/liquid so doesn’t dry out and become tough.

Bowl of Scottish beef stew with a spoon in it. Bread in the background.

What to serve with Scottish Beef Stew:

I like to serve mine with creamy mashed potatoes or crispy roast potatoes and some greens – such as steamed kale or green beans.

More stew or casserole recipes:

 The Scottish Beef Stew Video:

More braising beef recipes:

 The Scottish Beef Stew Recipe:

4.98 from 36 votes

Slow Cooked Scottish Beef Stew

Fall apart beef cooked in the oven or the slow cooker - this Scottish beef stew is perfect for Burns night - or any other night!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Scottish


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) Aberdeen angus braising/stewing beef chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 large onions peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp red currant jelly or cranberry sauce
  • 500 ml (2 cups + 1 tbsp) red wine
  • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
  • ½ small swede peeled and chopped
  • 700 ml (3 cups minus 1 tbsp) beef stock water plus 2 stock cubes is fine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree paste for US
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp crushed black pepper

To serve:

  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • chunks of fresh bread
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  • Preheat the oven to 160C/325F (fan).
  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Dust the chunks of beef in the flour and fry the beef for 7-8 minutes until golden brown all over. Add the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic. Add the red currant jelly, then pour in the red wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
    2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 kg (2.2 lbs) Aberdeen angus braising/stewing beef, 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour, 2 large onions, 3 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp red currant jelly, 500 ml (2 cups + 1 tbsp) red wine
  • Add in the carrots, potatoes, swede, stock, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil then place a lid on and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours – stirring a couple of times during cooking (alternatively you could transfer to a slow cooker and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours).
    2 large carrots, 2 medium potatoes, 1/2 small swede, 700 ml (3 cups minus 1 tbsp) beef stock, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 4 bay leaves, 2 tsp dark brown sugar, ¾ tsp salt, ¾ tsp crushed black pepper
  • Serve topped with a little fresh thyme and some freshly cut bread.
    fresh thyme sprigs, chunks of fresh bread



The nutritional information provided does not include the bread.


Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 639mg | Potassium: 1155mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3425IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 7.7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This recipe was first published in January 2016. Updated in December 2019 with new photos, tips and video.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.


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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Bob says:

    5 stars
    Ive made this several times and it’s always a hit. I add more potatoes and carrots.

  2. Katherine Reeve says:

    5 stars
    Probably the best stew I’ve ever had! Very flavourful.

  3. Janet says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I have made this recipe several times and it is now my go to stew recipe. Instead of current jam or cranberry I used sour cherry jam and it turned out very well. I also added cut of turnips and parsnip.

  4. Karen Jackson says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe, after the first try did not add the sugar, as a little too sweet. Just added the cranberry and made non suet dumplings to go with it. Lovely and tasty, nice recipe for a cold dark night.

  5. Robin says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe. My family and I really enjoyed this. My husband said it’s the best beef stew he’s ever had; even though he said it was alittle too sweet. Next time, I will leave the brown sugar out. I will use the option of cranberry sauce, and not the jelly. I am going to make a chuck blade pot roast like this😋.

  6. Lynn Marie Hightower says:

    I will be trying this recipe for the first time. I need to change it to be gluten free. I will get back to you and let you know how it turns out. It is a great start having your recipe to go by. Thank you.

    Have a wonderful 2024.