Instructables
Picture of beef stew
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!
 
 
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Step 1: Ingredients:

Picture of ingredients:
  • 1-2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 3-6 potatoes (3 if they're large, 6 if they're small)
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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. :)
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. 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
Mmmm, now I'm hungry, this is very simlar to my standard recipe, although I use Mushroom Ketchup rather than Soy sauce.
Rather than getting sticky flour all over my chopping board I tend to put the meat in a freezer bag and add the flour, pepper and seasoning, tie the bag and shake well to coat the meat evenly. Leaves my chopping board free to chop all the veggies.
One thing I always need to have in my stews are proper steamed dumplings. Either plain ones made with Self-raising flour, suet and water. Or spiced up with cumin, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, curry spices or lemon zest depending if I'm adding a spiced flavour to the meat stew.
jessyratfink (author)  Nemesis2010771 year ago
I never seem to have freezer bags around - I admit that washing the cutting board is quite an adventure. :D

The dumplings sound amazing! Love the idea of spicing them like that. I think I might add dumplings next time - I love them in chicken soup, but I've never done them with this recipe!
I'll see if I can put an instructable up of Beef Stew with Dumplings, maybe spiced up a little.
My dad used to like his dumplings like bullets, whereas I prefer light fluffy ones.
Different countries seem to have different ideas on dumplings, oriental dumplings are very different, even the dumpings from Poland are very different to our UK version.
Here we go Jessy, this is how I make my dumplings for stew. It's currently freezing here so a good excuse to get busy in the kitchen.
http://www.instructables.com/id/English-Dumplings-for-Stew/
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nadialtbr1 year ago
Lovely recipe! your tips are really god as well. Thank you for posting.
looks good, I'll have to try this some time.
tamearls1 year ago
Looks delicious, and the photos are beautiful!!
zurichko1 year ago
There is something about the shot of beautifully cute veg that makes my heart flutter. I love cutting up vegetables, it is so relaxing for me. I'll have to try this recipe!
billbillt1 year ago
Great!!..
t8pboy1 year ago
Awesome winter comfort food! Good job Jesse!
iain_o1 year ago
Try adding some pearl barley and lentils too if you want to give the stew a more 'stodgey' texture. I also like to include button mushrooms, really small ones, they suck up the juice and taste awesome. Then add some fruit crumble (apples or pears or blackberries or all of the above) and custard for desert and you are heading towards cold winter comfort food heaven.
randofo1 year ago
That's a nice main image. I don't like beef stew at all, but that main image makes it look good.
poofrabbit1 year ago
I can almost smells this!! Well done!