There are probably a million ways to make Beef Stew. This is one of my favorite recipes. It's always good to tweak a recipe.. change it up once in a while so it doesn't get boring... this is my basic "go-to" recipe.
This can be made on top of the stove or in a crock pot... or both.
While the quick searing of the meat is not an absolute necessity.. it does have its advantages... in my opinion it adds flavor... the deglazing of the pan with either wine or beef stock or broth adds a simply delicious layer to the stew.... searing the meat also keeps it from falling apart over the long simmer.
Another advantage to dredging the meat in seasoned flour and searing it in a little olive oil.. the flour will automatically thicken the stew while it is simmering... it really does perfectly thicken all by itself.
If it is thicker than to your liking.. don't add more broth/stock until after the vegetables cook.. they will add some moisture to the stew... especially the mushrooms.
You can sear the meat in the stew pot if you are making this on top of the stove... or in a large skillet if you intend to make it in the crock pot.
The red wine adds a wonderful robust flavor. I use a Cabernet Sauvignon ... nothing really expensive.
You can use beef broth or stock instead of the wine if you want I alcohol free... but keep in mind the wine will cook off as it slowly simmers leaving just a hearty flavor.
I say you can use beef broth or stock.... so what's the difference? Broth does not have as robust a flavor... both work well... it just depends on what you want... stock is more expensive... so if that is a consideration.. broth will do this recipe just fine.
I add some carrots and the celery to the pot while the beef slowly simmers ... its flavors will slowly infuse into the stew.... however... I don't care for "soft" veggies" .. so I add the majority of the carrots, potatoes and mushrooms about 25 minutes before I want the stew to be done.... you need to cook them until they are fork tender.
If you are using a crock pot... set the pot on low... and figure total cooking time to be 8 to 10 hours.... keep in mind, you will need to add the additional veggies in about 2 hours before you want it done... the time will vary with how hot your crock pot runs.. my old pot took 2 1/2 hours.. my new one runs hotter so I needed only 2 hours. After adding the veggies.. turn the crock pot on high.
The directions say to add the peas 5 minutes before serving.... I like to finish cooking... and add the peas... stir them in and turn the pot or crock pot off.... the heat already in the pot will "cook" them ... and they won't shrivel up.
This recipe will serve 6.
I serve it with a crusty bread ... a totally wonderful meal!
Recipe: Beef Stew
All you need:
2 lbs. beef for stew, cut into 1” cubes
1 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, cut into thick chunks
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 can beef broth
½ cup red wine (optional)
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, (I use DelMonte diced tomatoes with garlic and onion)
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried crushed thyme
1 stalk celery, cut in half
½ small bag of small fresh Belgian carrots
1 small container fresh mushrooms, quartered
3 medium potatoes, quartered
½ bag frozen peas
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
All you need to do:
Place flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a plastic bag and mix ingredients in the bag, then add the beef chunks to coat. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter. Add the beef in one layer and brown the meat on all sides by cooking on medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes.
When meat is browned on all sides, remove the meat to a plate. Reduce to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to bottom of pot and add onions and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add the beef broth, wine to deglaze the pan.
Then add diced tomatoes, bay leaf,thyme and celery pieces. Return beef to pot and simmer over low heat for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Add carrots,potatoes and mushrooms and simmer for 25 minutes.
Add the frozen peas and bring pot back to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes until peas are cooked but still firm, not mushy.
Discard celery pieces and bay leaf. Ladle into serving bowls. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
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