This is a dinner that my mom used to make for us growing up. It is still one of my favorite dishes and I now make it for my family. It’s really easy to put together, it just takes a little time, about 3 1/2 hrs. It will be worth the wait, trust me!
This is all you need for ingredients:
2 lbs of stew beef. The kind that is cut into cubes. You want to look for marbleizing in the meat. This is the fat that renders down and makes this melt in your mouth! I have also used sirloin strips/tips in this. So get whatever is on sale or whatever looks best! 1 large onion. I used vidalia, but yellow is fine, too.
1 – 2 large cloves of garlic,
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Beef stock, just in case you want to add more broth to it when it’s done
Rice pilaf or Egg noodles, prepared
Optional: Portobello Mushrooms
Steps: Place the stew beef in a 4 qt pot. Salt & Pepper liberally Slice onions into fairly thick slices, they do cook down Place on top of the stew beef Slice garlic cloves in half and then into thin slivers Place on top of onions **UPDATE** Before adding the water, do this: Turn the temp up on your burner and add some veggie oil to coat the bottom of your pot. Get the oil nice & hot. Throw in the beef, onion, garlic, salt & pepper liberally. Let the meat brown a little bit. The onions & garlic will soften. The beef will start to release it’s juices. Stir occasionally, but you want to try to get some searing on the beef. It takes about 8 – 10 minutes. Now you can do this: Add just enough water to cover everything Put on the stove over medium – high heat with the lid partially on This helps to get the process going a little quicker, but be close by to make sure it doesn’t bubble over As soon as it foams up a little and starts to bubble, lower the heat and bring it to a slow simmer. At this point I move the lid on a little bit tighter, but not all the way on. You want to cook out the water, but not too fast. If that does happen either add more water or beef broth and continue to simmer. Check on it occasionally to make sure it’s not bubbling too hard or cooking down too fast. The entire cook time is anywhere between 3-3 1/2 hrs When the liquid starts to cook down, after about 2 1/2 – 3 hrs into the cooking time, take a potato masher to it and see if the beef breaks down easily. Don’t go crazy shredding it yet, you just want to see how it’s coming along. If it seems like there is a lot of liquid, open up the lid a bit more so it can cook off. If it seems too dry, add a little bit of beef stock and bring it back up to a simmer. Taste and season with more salt & pepper if needed, maybe even a little garlic salt. I am pretty liberal with the s&p in the beginning and I almost always have to add more! When it’s done, it will look like this… a melt in your mouth, shredded consistency.
For a little more lusciousness… feel free to add a few dabs of butter to melt into the beef. If I’m serving it with egg noodles, I like to leave a little more liquid with the beef. You can certainly make a gravy out of the liquid by making a slurry (A thin paste of water and starch (flour, cornstarch or arrowroot), which is added to hot preparations (such as soups, stews and sauces) as a thickener. After the slurry has been added, the mixture is typically stirred and cooked for a few minutes in order to thicken and lose any raw taste)
I like mushrooms, a lot… So I make them to go on top of the dish. We have some kids that don’t like mushrooms so I always keep them separate but you could certainly mix them right in with the beef before serving. I cook them in a little bit of butter and olive oil and some herb seasoning that I have. I wait to salt them until after they start to brown. The salt will bring out the liquid in the mushrooms. If you salt too early it takes longer for them to brown. I typically pepper them at the same time, it’s just natural for me to s&p together and here it is… a beautiful bowl of shredded beef and mushrooms over buttered egg noodles. Yummm!!! Another favorite way to serve the beef is over a bowl or plate of rice pilaf. Corn is delish with this, too! You could go totally nontraditional and use the shredded beef in tacos or enchiladas or in a sandwich, with au jus of course! If I have left overs, I usually do something crazy like that! 😉 Enjoy!