I've already posted a beef stew recipe, but since I keep experimenting and changing up the way I make it, I thought I'd post the newest version! I've changed up a few things in the cooking process and I think this beef stew is far superior in flavor. As a bonus, no cornstarch is needed to thicken it. :D
If you're looking for a classic beef stew, give this one a try! It'll take a while, but it's so so worth it.
Step 1: Ingredients + Tools
- 1 pound beef chuck, roast, or stew meat (depending on where you live it can be labelled in a variety of ways)
- 3 14 oz cans chicken stock
- 3-4 carrots
- 3-4 potatoes
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- good pinch of thyme
- few tablespoons of all purpose flour
- salt and pepper
You'll need a large pot to cook this in! I've had this Le Creuset french oven for years and always use it for soups and stews. The Le Creuset cookware is pretty expensive, but Lodge makes some pretty nice enameled cast iron pots for a fraction of the cost. :D
Step 2: Prep Work
The first thing you'll want to do is chop up all the veggies. The celery and onions need to be diced, the garlic should be minced and the carrots and potatoes get chopped into larger pieces. The carrots and potatoes will be added later, so you can wait to chop them, but I like to do it all at once so I can clean up. Cover the potatoes with cool water if you choose to chop them up at the beginning.
You'll want to trim the meat of any fat and connective tissue as well! I tend to cut the stew meat into even smaller pieces so they're more uniform.
Once they're trimmed, season them with a good amount of salt and pepper and then add a few tablespoons of flour over the top. Mix it all together and add more flour if needed until every piece meat of meat is well coated. :)
Step 3: Brown the Beef
Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium/high heat and then add the beef in batches. You want to get it nice and brown on all sides. Once each batch is brown, transfer them to a plate to rest. This is the most tedious part but it's the key to a tasty stew!
See all the lovely crunchy brown bits stuck to the bottom? That's where the majority of the flavor comes from.
If the glaze on the bottom of the pan gets a little too dark, you can deglaze it with a little of the stock and scrape all the bits up with a wooden spoon and pour them over the meat that's already been browned. Then add more oil and keep browning!
Step 4: Cook the Veggies
Once all the meat has been browned, add in the onions and celery. You might need a little more oil!
The moisture in the veggies (adding a pinch of salt will cause them to sweat a bit more!) should help you scrape the glaze off the bottom, but feel free to add a teeny amount of stock if you have problems.
Cook the vegetables until they just start to get translucent and soft. Then add in the minced garlic, bay leaves, a big pinch of thyme, and the tomato paste. Stir this around for a minute until it's nice and fragrant. :)
Once that's done, add back in the meat and also any liquid that's accumulated and stir.
Step 5: Add Stock and Simmer
Pour in the three cans of stock. Bring it up to a simmer and cover.
Let this simmer until the beef is just starting to get tender, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Step 6: Add in the Carrots, Potatoes and Worcestershire
Drain the potatoes and add them in along with the carrots. Dump in the worcestershire. Simmer this mixture uncovered for about an hour.
The stock will reduce and the potatoes will start to break down and thicken the stew. It will also form a fatty skin on the top, which I always skim off because I'm not a fan of the way it looks or feels.
Step 7: Finish and Serve!
Once the veg is soft and the stew is thickened to your liking, you're ready to eat! Taste one last time and add some salt and pepper if needed.