Easy Texas Cowboy Stew – Hearty & Flavorful

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Delicious Texas-inspired Cowboy Stew awaits! This guide will walk you through selecting the best meats and vegetables, seasoning them properly, and cooking them into a scrumptious stew perfect for any Texan occasion. Let’s get started on creating this tasty, nutritious dish.

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What is the best meat for Texas cowboy stew?

Chuck or brisket for their flavor and tenderness.

What is cowboy Texas stew made of?

Crisp bacon, browned ground beef, Kielbasa smoked sausage, robust vegetables, and beans in a tomato-based broth seasoned with chili powder, cumin, and smoky paprika make cowboy stew delicious.

How do I make stew nice and thick?

Flour thickens stews.Make a slurry of a teaspoon of flour in cold water and add it to the stew. Avoid adding dry flour to stew since it may clump. Boil the stew after adding the slurry.

Overview of Ingredients

A classic cowboy stew includes:

  • Ground beef
  • Beans (pinto or kidney)
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots, onions, and garlic
  • Tomatoes (diced or sauced)
  • Spices: chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper

Chef’s Tips for Perfect Texas Cowboy Stew

A highly suitable cut of meat for cowboy stew

Cowboy Stew is best with tougher cuts of beef that boil slowly to tenderize and flavor. Here are some top cuts:

  • Chuck Roast: This cut is a popular choice for stews. It’s from the shoulder area, so it has a good amount of connective tissue and marbling, which breaks down during cooking to create tender, juicy pieces of meat.
  • Brisket: known for its rich flavor, is another excellent choice for stews. It requires a longer cooking time to tenderize, making it perfect for a slow-simmering dish like Cowboy Stew.
  • Round: Cuts from the round (like the bottom round or top round) are leaner but become very tender when cooked slowly in liquid. They are a more budget-friendly option.
  • Short Ribs: You can also use boneless short ribs for a decadently rich stew because the fat and connective tissues provide a lot of flavors and a melt-in-your-mouth texture when cooked slowly.

Layer Your Flavors

  • Saute Your Vegetables: Before adding them to the stew, sauté onions, garlic, and other vegetables. This step enhances their natural sweetness and complexity, providing a richer flavor base.
  • Use Quality Stock: A good-quality beef or vegetable stock can make a significant difference in the depth of flavor in your stew. Homemade stock is best, but a high-quality store-bought version can work well too.
  • Herbs and Spices: Don’t be afraid to experiment with herbs and spices. Bay leaves, thyme, and smoked paprika can add wonderful undertones. Fresh herbs should be added towards the end of cooking to preserve their flavor.

Cooking Technique

  • Low and Slow: The essence of a great cowboy stew lies in its slow cooking process. A low, gentle simmer allows the flavors to meld together and the meat to become fork-tender without falling apart.
  • Skim the Fat: As your stew simmers, fat will rise to the surface. Skimming off this excess fat will result in a cleaner-tasting broth that’s rich but not greasy.
  • Thicken with Care: If you prefer a thicker stew, you can thicken it with a slurry of cornstarch and water or by mashing some of the potatoes and beans directly in the pot. Be sure to introduce these thickeners towards the end of the cooking process to avoid over-thickening.

Presentation and Serving

  • Garnish Wisely: A sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or cilantro just before serving can add a fresh contrast to the rich stew.
  • Serve with the Right Accompaniments: A side of crusty bread, cornbread, or a simple green salad can balance the hearty richness of the stew, making for a well-rounded meal.

Cowboy Stew Side Dishes

This stew pairs wonderfully with:



A simple green salad

Health Benefits of Cowboy Stew

Despite its hearty nature, cowboy stew can be a wellspring of nutrition.

  • Protein and Fiber: Thanks to its meat and beans, the stew is packed with protein and fiber, essential for muscle repair and digestive health.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: The variety of vegetables used not only adds flavor but also provides vitamins and minerals, making it a balanced meal.

Understanding the healthiest beans and legumes to use in your stew can further enhance its nutritional profile.

Check out the Steak Nachos Recipe too.

Texas Cowboy Stew

Use this easy recipe to learn how to make Texas Cowboy Stew. Great for a filling meal that makes your table feel warm and cozy in the South.

  • Author: Gabriela cardenas
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Category: Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Texan
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ lb Kielbasa sausage, sliced
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups pinto or kidney beans, drained
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups beef or vegetable stock


  1. In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, brown the ground beef and sausage. Once browned, remove excess fat.
  3. Add onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until translucent.
  4. Return bacon to the pot along with beans, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  5. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
  6. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve hot.


  • For a thicker stew, mash some of the potatoes right in the pot during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve with cornbread or crusty bread for a complete meal.
  • This stew tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together.
  • Consider adding a bay leaf during the simmering process for additional flavor depth

Keywords: Texas Cowboy Stew.Cowboy Stew, Texas Stew, Hearty Beef Stew

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beef stew / cowboy soup / hearty stew

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