This is the beef stew recipe I've been using for years! It tastes lots like my grandma's beef stew, which is amazing considering I never got her recipe. It's comfort food all the way. I've played with this recipe for years and I think I'm finally ready to share my beef stew with the world!
In this instructable I'm going to show you how I make my beef stew (electric pressure cookers are the best!) and also tell you how to make it in a slow cooker and on the stove. I've done it all those ways and it always turns out well. :D
This is a great make ahead dish for dinners and potlucks too - beef stew always tastes better the next day.
This beef stew recipe takes 1-8 hours to cook, depending on how you do it, and can easily feed 6-8 people. YAY LEFTOVERS!
3-6 potatoes (3 if they're large, 6 if they're small)
1/2 - 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
3-4 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup soy sauce
8 cups of liquid (make sure to do at least 2 cups of beef stock!)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1-2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves (if you have them on hand, I didn't!)
flour for coating the beef
freshly ground black pepper
Important things to note:
Soy sauce might seem out of place, but we're using it instead of adding salt! It adds a depth of flavor you can't achieve with salt alone and I prefer it much more than using worcestershire sauce.
Beef stock is definitely needed for flavor. I normally buy low sodium or no salt added beef stock so I can control the salt content. I recommend using a minimum of two cups of beef stock in the liquids. 6-8 cups of beef stock will give the best flavor, but it's more expensive to do, which is why I normally avoid it. :)
Don't spend too much money on the beef for this - we'll be cooking it so long it should get tender and have flavor no matter what. I just buy anything labeled "stew meat" and use that - it's normally under $5.
Swap the veggies as necessary. You could leave the potatoes out and go for another root vegetable, add more carrots, lessen the amount of celery. Do whatever you like, as long as you still have some aromatics. (celery, onion, garlic)
Red wine or a dark, stout beer are also welcome additions to beef stew - I'd say around 1/2 - 1 cup is a good amount to start with