Introduction: Mom's Beef Stew
the stuff of legend ....
Mom’s Beef Stew
This has been a favorite meal on our family camping trips for as long as I can remember.
Making this stew is a "labor of love". You get to labor in the kitchen making it ... then everyone loves getting to eat it.
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Step 1: Assemble Your Ingredients
These ingredients will make enough stew to serve approx 14 people. Scale the recipe up or down to suit your needs.
6 lbs beef stew, cut in 2” pieces
4 Tbsp Olive oil (you may need more)
3 quarts broth or water*
chunked potatoes (12-14 med / lg potatoes)
chunked carrots (1 – 1 ½ lbs carrots)
2 packages baby bella mushrooms (seeing as these are sold under so many different names the scientific name is "Agaricus bisporus" )
2 - 4 onions, sliced to your preference
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
6 – 8 bay leaves
2 Tbsp sugar
2 cups red wine
* If you don't have the time or desire to make a broth to use in the stew you can use water.
Step 2: Making the Broth
I will highly recommend going the extra mile to make the broth for the stew. It really adds a lot to the final flavor of the stew.
To make the broth, I cook several marrow bones (12-16) in 2 - 3 qts water with some onion, celery & carrot for about an hour.
This is a great use for the tops of the celery stalks that most people just cut off and throw away.
Then I strain the solids and save the broth for the stew. (didn't get a picture of the liquid by itself .. but you get the idea)
Step 3: Mushrooms and Onions
I pan-fry (in olive oil) separately the onions and then the mushrooms and set aside.
I fry the onions until they turn translucent.
once the onions are done scoop them out of the pan leaving the oil and butter solution behind to cook the mushrooms in. Add more oil/butter if needed.
The mushrooms I like well done so I fry them longer until they are a rich brown color.
Scoop the mushrooms out and reserve the oil/butter for braising the meat.
Step 4: Brown the Meat
When you are cutting up the meat, any large hunks of fat that you trim off can be added to the broth as it cooks.
Dredge the stew meat in flour that has ground black pepper added to it.
If you are doing a large amount of meat it is better to dredge and cook the meat in manageable batches (a frying pan full at a time), because if you dredge all the meat at once the coating will get pasty as it sits waiting to be cooked.
Brown thoroughly in olive oil.
If you are making your Roux when you are making your stew, you can use the flour that is left over from dredging the meat since it going to be cooked there is no concern about any meat juices that may have gotten into the flour.
Step 5: Begin to Assemble the Stew
transfer the browned meat into a large pot.
Cover with broth.
add Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves & sugar.
If you decide to include the red wine you would add it in here.
Simmer for 45 minutes.
Step 6: Assembly Stage 2
Add the carrots and potatoes
You can coarse chop whole carrots or use the baby carrots that you can buy in the grocery store.
either peel the potatoes or scrub them well (if you are leaving the skin on) then chunk them up into roughly bite size pieces.
(if you prep the potatoes before you are ready to add them, it is a good idea to store them in a pot of cold water so that the potatoes don't turn brown from exposure to the air)
cook for about 30-45 minutes.
Step 7: Stage 3
Stir in the mushrooms and onions that you cooked earlier into the stew.
Step 8: Serve and Enjoy
Serve with a nice crusty bread