Retro Beef Stew

Retro Beef Stew @ NancyC

I found a beef stew recipe in a vintage promotional cookbook that was published in 1961, the Cutco Cook Book. I found the Cutcocookbook at a flea market for $1.00, so I couldn’t pass it up! I love the vintage illustrations in these old cookbooks and it’s always fun to try recipes from them.

I first made this stew about four years ago, and this is actually a repost of the recipe–my original photo was really bad–this one’s a little better! I made a few more tiny changes to the recipe, too–I used light olive oil instead of vegetable oil (you can also use canola oil), used a little less water, and added a little more peas. The new amounts are updated in the recipe below.

Winter is the perfect time to eat a hot bowl of stew and I made this on one of the coldest days we’ve had so far this season! It’s a very chunky stew, so if you’re wanting to make something hearty, you’ll have to try this. The cookbook says the recipe serves four, but I think it’s more like six–it makes a big potful of stew! If you like your food well–seasoned, you’ll probably want to add additional salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning to taste; otherwise you may find this stew a little bland.

I made the stew in my cast iron Dutch Oven, but you can use whatever kind of pot with a lid that you like–just make sure it’s a large one! 🙂

RETRO BEEF STEW by NancyC, adapted from the 1961 Cutco Cook Book

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds stew beef (or chuck or round beef, cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 (1-lb.) bag baby carrots that are peeled and ready to use–slice each baby carrot in thirds OR use 8 medium-size carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ thick slices
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen peas
  • additional salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning) to taste, if desired

If you are cutting your own chunks of meat, trim excess fat from meat first, then cut into chunks.

Combine flour, pepper, and salt in a large ziploc bag; add chunks of meat; shake until pieces are coated.

Add oil to Dutch Oven over medium heat; add meat chunks and brown on all sides.

Add diced onion and garlic, then boiling water, canned tomatoes, and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir well to combine ingredients.

Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 hour. Add potatoes, carrots, and peas, and simmer for another hour or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Season with additional salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning) to taste, if desired.

Stew is just the thing to warm you up on a cold day! Have you made any good stews this winter season? What ingredients do you like to use to add more flavor to them?

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39 thoughts on “Retro Beef Stew

  1. Christy

    Perfect weather right now for beef stew in the Midwest! I’ve been pulling out some of my older church cookbooks lately and finding some vintage recipes, too. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Julie is Hostess At Heart

    This stew looks delicious! It is so cold here that I need comfort food like this to survive! I love these old recipe books too! The illustrations are simple and adorable. I have one from my husbands aunt, and I need to google some of the terms. I think it was from 1951, and no pictures! I have so many posts that need to be redone. Just one more thing right. Hope you have a great weekend. Happy FF!


    1. nancyc Post author

      Yes, stew is great comfort food during the winter, Julie! 🙂 I’m sure there are lots of great recipe in that vintage cookbook of yours! Hope you have a great weekend, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Arl's World

    My son used to work for Cutco …they have wonderful knives …and apparently cookbooks, which that one was the year I was born …telling my age now ..oops! 🙂 Your stew looks delicious, it looks like the kind my mom used to make. A keeper for sure! Happy FF!


    1. nancyc Post author

      LOL! 🙂 That would be pretty interesting to have a cookbook from the year you were born, wouldn’t it? And seeing all the recipes that were popular then! Yes, any recipes like our moms are definitely keepers! 🙂


  4. Mandi

    Beef stew is always really nostalgic for me – we used to eat it a lot when we were young. This retro version is taking me right back!!! Thank you!


  5. Shari

    This looks hearty and comforting and delicious, Nancy! It has been so cold here (at least cold for AZ) that all I can think about is soup. Your stew reminds me of the stew my mom made. I love those old cookbooks, too. I have a few from my grandmother. So fun to look at. Thanks for this recipe!


    1. nancyc Post author

      I have soups and stews a lot on my mind during the cold weather too, Shari! There’s something comforting about a nice hot bowl of either of those on a cold winter day! 🙂


  6. Miz Helen

    Your Retro Beef Stew looks fantastic, so comforting in this cold weather.  Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon!
    Miz Helen


  7. Miz Helen

    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursdays Top Ten this week. Hope you have a great week and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


      1. Carole

        I had this cookbook but unfortunately it has been lost somehow in our many moves. My husband sold Cutco knives in 1965-66 and the cookbook was part of his sales kit. I made many recipes from it and have been looking for this stew recipe. My daughter found this and sent me the link. Thank you for publishing this recipe. I wish I could find the cookbook somewhere so I can make some of the other recipes.


  8. cindy

    I was wondering if you saw my question about chocolate drop cookies from the betty crocker cookbook from 1961. I f you have this recipe I would really appreciate it if you could send it to me.



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