Winter is the perfect time of year to make beef stew – a simple, warm, savory, filling and fulfilling meal to warm you. Everyone has a beef stew recipe and like spaghetti sauce, most think their mother’s version is the best. I don’t make my mother’s stew and I don’t closely follow a recipe but I do make what my nieces label the “World’s Best Stew”. Here I share my method.
Usually I buy a chuck roast (2-3 pounds) and cut it into 1+ inch-size pieces. However, with the price of beef so high right now, I found that buying pre-cut stew meat is cheaper and it is the same meat!
Throw the cut meat in a large bowl and sprinkle it with:
2 t. Herbs – oregano, marjoram, etc
¾ t. Salt
½ t. Pepper
½ C. flour
Toss meat to coat with seasonings and flour.
In a covered pot, brown the meat in vegetable oil. Do this in batches to get a good caramelization on the meat; it will finish cooking in the braising liquids.
In the same pot (meat removed) saute until softened:
1 C. chopped onion
½ C. chopped carrots
½ C. chopped celery
Lots of chopped garlic
Add and saute to mix:
2-3 bay leaves
1 t. of same herbs used on meat
½ t. Salt
½ t pepper
1 T tomato paste
Return beef and drippings to the pot.
1 bottle of beer
Enough chicken stock to cover the meat by an inch.
Bring to a boil, then partially cover and turn heat to a simmer and simmer until the meat is fork tender, 1-2 hours depending on the size of the meat pieces.
Once the meat is tender, add 2-4 C. root and long cooking vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, parsnips, mushrooms, etc. ) cut into 1” chunks. Partially cover and cook until tender, about ½ hour.
This is a good time to add quick cooking vegetables (such as green beans or peas).
Check for salt and pepper and then mix in butter that has been mixed with the same herbs used earlier and 2 T flour. This will thicken and add flavor.
Serve with fresh herbs and dumplings.