Beef stew is definitely a favorite around our house! It is just homey and comforting and one of those dishes that everyone had growing up, so it just make you feel good! You have to start it nice and early, so the kitchen is just warm and smells heavenly all day.
I think that this stew is even better the next day. I mean it’s delicious right away, but it thickens up as it sits over night in the fridge. The flavors just meld that much longer. It is just downright comfort food at it’s best!!! Especially when you have fresh hot bread baking away, just in time to serve with it.
Here is what you need & the steps it takes to get a wonderful pot of beef stew!
2 lbs stew beef ( the kind that is pre-cut into cubes )
1 vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
4 stalks of celery, sliced on the bias
2 cups (a couple of handfuls) of baby carrots, cut in half – also on the bias
8 oz pkg sliced baby bella mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb baby red potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
4 cups low sodium beef broth
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme, crush with fingers
3/4 tsp dried rosemary, crush with fingers
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 cup all purpose flour
sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper – needed in a few steps
olive oil, as needed – about 6 Tbsp
Feel free to omit and use any veggies that YOUR family likes!
I’ve added corn to it. I’ve made it with fresh green beans, too. Make it your own!
The measurements on the veggies is very forgiving, too. If you want more, add more! If you want less and make it more of a beef stew, that’s fine, too! It’s so easy to adjust it to the way you want it.
- First step, browning the beef:
*Cut the cubes of stew beef into similar bite sized pieces. You want the same size pieces so they cook evenly. I like to use scissors.
*Put flour in a dish that has a lip, like a pie pan or casserole dish. Season flour with 1 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper.
*Dredge the beef in the seasoned flour mixture, one good handful at a time.
*Using a large dutch oven/pot ( with a lid ) Heat about a tbsp of oil over medium high heat.
*Shake off any excess flour from the beef and add to the heated oil.
*Let the meat brown evenly, but you don’t need to cook it through – just slightly browning in this step. It will only takes a few minutes. Don’t crowd the beef. It usually takes me about 4 batches.
*As each batch of beef is down browning, remove from pot and place in a heat safe dish that will be large enough to hold all of the meat when done.
*Check your oil level, between batches. You may need to add more if the pot is drying out. Make sure that you’re not burning the flour that is sticking to the bottom of the pot. It will stick, but that is okay. Lower the heat if you need to.
*When the last batch of beef has browned, remove from heat and set aside.
- Next step, cooking the veggies:
*Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom of the same pot that you used for the meat and heat up the oil over medium heat.
*Add onion, carrots & celery and a good sprinkle of salt & pepper.
*Sweat the veggies, stirring every few minutes to be sure they don’t stick or start to burn, this takes about 10 to 15 minutes until onions are softened. The carrots & celery should still have some crunch.
*Add the mushrooms & minced garlic and continue to sweat veggies, another 6-8 minutes.
-The mushrooms will release some liquid, so it keeps the garlic from cooking too fast, but it will start to stick to the bottom so be sure to continue stirring, scraping the bottom of the pot.
Last step, making the stew:
*Add the 2 cans of diced tomatoes and give a good stir and simmer for a few minutes.
*Add the 4 cups of beef broth and give it a good stir, scraping the bottom really well.
*Add worcestershire, red wine vinegar, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, garlic powder & onion powder. Give the pot a really good stir.
*Add the cubed potatoes and the browned stew beef, including any juices that is left in the dish with the beef.
*Lower the heat so the stew is slightly simmering & cover the pot partially with lid. Don’t cover it completely.
- It’s going to simmer for a few hours at this point. You’ll need to stir it every so often to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and to be sure it’s not boiling over. It will thicken up and the beef will be nice and tender when it is done. After a couple of hours, try a piece of the beef. If it still has a chewy texture, let it simmer a little longer. It will get to a point where it is soft & easy to chew. It could take up to 3 hours before it’s ready.
- At this time, too. Season with salt & pepper to your liking. I like to wait until it’s almost done. This way you know that the herbs have all cooked into the broth, the veggies & the meat have done their jobs, releasing liquids and absorbing flavors.
- When it’s done, remove the bay leaves. It will be piping hot, so I like to serve up a few bowls and let them sit for a few minutes before we dig in. Serve with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese over the top, if you’d like. You can also add fresh chopped parsley over the top.
- You must have fresh bread with the stew so you can sop up any broth left in the bowl 🙂
- DIG IN & ENJOY