I have always wanted to take the famous beef stew and make it my own. I remember the first time I had beef stew I was in college. Poor college students don’t get the luxury of yummy home made stew, so I had it out of a can. Need I say more? Yup. I died a little inside that day.
Enough with the dramatics! Here is what I have learned about a good stew, it is about layering flavors and slowly letting them hang out. So you will notice that we will take some time to brown our meat first. Now I do have to apologize because my biggest pot for some reason just doesn’t do well with browning, things start to get stuck. So when you look at the picture of the browned beef, think of it as having a deeper color, almost like a sear you would get on a steak.
In this recipe I have used a cup of beer to get a deeper flavor but you can substitute with red wine or just plain beef broth. Any alcohol from the beer will long be evaporated and we will be just left with good flavor.
Preparation time – 20 Minutes
Cook time – 2 Hours
Serves – 4
Beef – 2 lbs Cubed to bite sized
Onions – 3 Small Cubed
Celery – 3 Stalks diced
Carrots – 3 Small cubed bite
Potatoes – 2 Medium cubbed
Garlic – 5 finely Chopped
Fresh Parsley – 1/2 cup finely Chopped ( 2 Tablespoons dry)
Fresh Rosemary – 1 Tablespoon finely chopped (if using dry use 1/2 tablespoon)
Dried Thyme – 1/8 Teaspoon
Allspice powder – 1 Teaspoon
Flour – 2 Tablespoons
Garlic powder – 1/2 Tablespoon
Onion powder – 1/2 Tablespoon
Chilli flakes – 1/4 Teaspoon
Tomato Paste – 3 Tablespoons
Worchestchire sauce – 1 Tablespoon
Beer – 1 Cup
Beef Broth – 3 Cups
Vegetable or Olive oil – 4 Tablespoons
Butter – 1 Tablespoon
Salt – 1/4 Teaspoon
Marinate your beef in the garlic powder, onion powder and chilli flakes for about an hour. If you don’t have time for that just marinate it while you chop your ingredients. Do not add salt yet as that would just draw water from the meat.
Once you have prepared your vegetables, take a large pot with a thick bottom and put it on medium heat. Add your oil and also the butter.
We will now take the marinated meat and add the flour and about 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Mix well.
Go ahead and add this to the pot and sear them to get a lovely brown color. You may want to do this in two batches. I didn’t do that because my pot was already crusting from the flour on the meat. Once it has developed some color take the beef out and keep aside.
Add the 1 cup of beer to the pot and scrape the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, this will help give some color and some great flavor from the butter and beef fat.
Once you have scraped up most of the browned bits you can add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Let it wilt a bit and then add the parsley, rosemary, allspice, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and the tomato sauce. Mix well.
Add the meat and the potatoes. Mix well.
Finally add the beef broth and remaining salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium low for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Make sure to stir it in between to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Check to see if it is well seasoned. If you find that it is a little too soupy, turn the heat on high and let some of the liquid evaporate. Here is the finished product! Let it cool a bit before you serve as it will thicken further.
My husband likes this over rice but I think I prefer it with a buttered roll. This is a perfect hearty meal in the winter months, it is balanced and full of different layers of flavor. The meat is tender and the vegetables are perfectly cooked through. You can add mushrooms or switch out potatoes with sweet potatoes too. Get creative! This is relatively easy to prepare and if you want to cut down that cooking time, go with the Instant Pot! I just had a bowl and I am really trying not to go for seconds. Enjoy!