Winter in our family was a time of cozy evenings, snow-covered landscapes, and stories that seemed to come to life as we huddled around the kitchen table. But it was also a season of colds and sniffles, a time when the chill in the air would occasionally find its way into our hearts. It was during those moments that my grandmother would become our steadfast protector and nourisher, using her culinary skills to keep us healthy and warm.

Her most cherished recipe during these times was a traditional Romanian beef stew with carrots and potatoes, known as “Tocăniță de Vită.” This stew was more than just a hearty meal; it was a comforting embrace, a warm, savory remedy to soothe both body and soul.

As the winter winds howled outside, my grandmother would begin her ritual. She’d take pieces of tender beef and brown them lovingly in a pot, the sizzle and aroma signaling the start of something magical. The rich, savory scent would waft through the house, inviting us to gather around and watch as she worked her culinary magic.

In went the onions, gently sautéing until they turned translucent and fragrant. Then came the garlic, its pungent aroma mingling with the onions, a promise of the immune-boosting properties that would soon infuse the stew. The beef rejoined the mix, and it was as if the pot held all the warmth of the world in its embrace.

The carrots and potatoes followed, adding both color and heartiness to the stew. The tomato paste and sweet paprika were the final touches, infusing the dish with depth and complexity. A bay leaf, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a generous cup of beef or vegetable broth brought it all together.

Traditional Romanian Beef Stew - Romanian Delights recipe

Jump to Recipe

As the stew simmered gently, we’d watch the steam rise, carrying with it the comforting aroma of a meal prepared with love. We knew that every spoonful would be a balm for the soul and a boost for our immune systems. It was more than just nourishment; it was a taste of love itself.

The stew would be ready just in time for dinner, a warm and welcoming sight as we gathered around the table. As we savored each bite, we could feel the warmth seeping into our bones, a reminder that, in the face of winter’s chill, my grandmother’s culinary creations could work wonders.

Those winter nights were made all the more magical by her beef stew, a dish that nurtured not only our bodies but also our spirits. It was a testament to her love, her traditions, and her unspoken promise that no matter the weather or the challenges we faced, her kitchen would always be a refuge, and her meals would always be a source of nourishment and comfort.

Traditional Romanian Beef Stew (Tocăniță de Vită)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes




    For the Beef Stew:

    • 500 g beef stew meat cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 large onion finely chopped
    • 2 cloves of garlic minced
    • 2 carrots peeled and sliced into rounds
    • 2-3 medium potatoes peeled and diced
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 1 bay leaf
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
    • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)




    • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef pieces and brown them on all sides. You may need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Once browned, transfer the beef to a plate and set it aside.
    • In the same pot, add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
    • Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional 1 minute, taking care not to burn the garlic.
    • Return the browned beef to the pot and stir to combine with the onions and garlic.
    • Stir in the tomato paste and sweet paprika, coating the meat evenly with the flavors.
    • Add the sliced carrots, diced potatoes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to the pot. Mix everything together to distribute the ingredients evenly.
    • Pour in the beef or vegetable broth, ensuring that the ingredients are mostly submerged. Adjust the amount of broth as needed.
    • Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the beef is tender and the potatoes and carrots are cooked through. Stir occasionally and add more broth if the stew becomes too dry.
    • Once the stew is cooked and the flavors have melded together, remove the bay leaf.
    • Serve the traditional Romanian beef stew hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired. It’s a hearty and comforting dish that’s perfect for a satisfying meal.
    • Enjoy this traditional Romanian beef stew with carrots and potatoes, a comforting and flavorful dish that’s a staple in Romanian cuisine.