Finally, as promised, it is time to make beef stew.  This is a variation of a recipe my mother gave me, which itself is quite delicious.  I decided to treat the beef a bit more before cooking to add a little oomph. You are also going to notice this isn’t all that you think.  It really tends to eat more like soup, but it’s still delicious.  Now, here are our ingredients:

  • 1.5 – 2 Lbs chuck roast or bottom round roast, cubed
  • 2 red onions, rough chopped
  • 3-4 carrots, rough chopped
  • 3-4 red potatoes, rough chopped
  • 4 cups reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp dried rosemary 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp flour
  • 1 few good splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 splashes soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This first step you’ll want to do several hours or even a day ahead of time.  If you have a vacuum sealer, that’s even better.  Take the meat and cut it into 1-inch cubes, or maybe slightly larger.  I know at this point, some are asking why I didn’t just but stew meat.  I have two reasons. The first is the meat is cheaper if you buy the whole thing.  The second reason is I find pre-cut stew meat to be too small for my liking. As you’ll see in this recipe, I like a chunky stew. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, parsley, thyme, garlic, and 2 Tsp of rosemary.  Stir until combined.  In either a ziplock bag or a vacuum seal bag, place the beef and marinade in there.  Seal it up real nice and tight.  If using a ziplock, try to get as much air out as possible.  The reason I use the vacuum seal is it helps push the marinade into the beef.  Let this sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and overnight if possible. 

Once your marinating time is up, it’s veggie-cutting time.  I tend to cut my veggies rather large.  I want the veggies to cook and get kind of soft, but I don’t want them to be mushy and disintegrate.  That’s just nasty.  So, rough chop your onions, potatoes, and carrots. Here’s what my onions and carrots ended up looking like size-wise

You are correct; that is a bread loaf pan I’m using for the veggies. Once everything has been chopped, it’s time actually to cook.  Get a large sauce pot or a Dutch oven on medium-high heat.  Let the pan get hot.  Do not add any additional oil to the pan just yet.  The beef has plenty of oil for this operation, and it’s also got some fat that will render out.  Once your pot is hot, dump the beef in and brown. Make sure to season well with salt and pepper. This should take about 3-4 minutes per side, somewhere around 10-12 minutes total. Don’t math at me!  Once browned, remove and place in a bowl. Now add that extra tsp of oil and throw in the vegetables, potatoes, and the rest of that dried rosemary.  Salt and pepper the vegetables as well.  This is how you build flavor. Once you’ve cooked the veg and taters for about 5 minutes, put the beef back in.  Add that flour in.  This is the thickener for the stew.

Cook this for a few minutes until you get the rawness of the flour cooked out. This should take somewhere around 5-6 minutes. Make sure to stir everything well and often during this step so that flour gets incorporated on everything. Now add the Worcestershire sauce (did I just copy/paste this instead of trying to type it out again? You betcha!) and the soy sauce. Sometimes, I will add a few splashes of red wine with the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce if I’m feeling a bit feisty. It’s good either way. Cook only for a minute and then add the beef broth and water.  

As soon as you see it start bubbling, drop the meat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for an hour or so.  You can go longer if you want but remember the longer it cooks the mushier those vegetables and taters will get. If you wish to have a thicker stew, add more flour at the step where the flour goes in, or add a slurry before you cover it to cook.  Once the hour is up, kill the heat, serve, and enjoy!

When all’s said and done, this should give you a solid 6-8 servings, depending on how big of a serving you’re going for. I got about 7 pints worth out of this recipe, I believe.  I decided to freeze a few pints for later because I’m just one person, and that’s way too much stew! 

I hope everyone has a very happy and wonderful holiday!  Take care, and see you in January.