Delight in the heartiness of a classic Beef Stew, a comforting and savory dish that warms the soul with tender chunks of beef, wholesome vegetables, and a flavorful broth. This timeless recipe is a celebration of slow-cooked perfection, providing a satisfying and nourishing meal.
Begin by selecting quality beef chunks, such as stewing beef or chuck roast, and generously season them with salt and pepper. Brown the beef in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, allowing the meat to develop a rich, caramelized exterior that enhances its overall flavor. Once the beef is browned, add aromatic ingredients like diced onions and minced garlic to the pot. Sauté until the onions become translucent, filling the kitchen with a tantalizing fragrance.
Introduce root vegetables like carrots and potatoes to the pot, enhancing the stew with their earthy sweetness. Pour in beef broth and add complementary herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. These herbs infuse the stew with a depth of flavor that evolves during the slow simmering process. Allow the stew to simmer over low heat, giving the ingredients ample time to meld and the beef to become fork-tender. This slow-cooking method ensures that the flavors intensify and create a rich and hearty broth.
Consider adding additional vegetables like peas or green beans towards the end of the cooking time to maintain their vibrant colors and freshness.
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound beef stew meat, visible fat removed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups homemade beef stock or canned unsalted chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 large carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 2 cups)
- 2 celery stalks, sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup stock
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat on one side for 5 minutes without turning over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Turn the meat, add 1 tsp. oil, and brown another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Do not crowd the meat. Brown in two batches if necessary.
- With all the meat browned and in the pan, reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until the onion is browned.
- Add stock, salt, thyme, and bay leaf. Meat should be submerged, so add more stock if needed to cover the meat. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours, checking occasionally.
- After 2 hours, stir in potatoes, carrots, and celery and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are done.
- Combine flour with 1/4 cup stock or water, whisking until there are no lumps. Stir into the stew and cook for 5 more minutes until thickened.
Serve the Beef Stew piping hot, ladling it into bowls and garnishing with fresh chopped parsley for a burst of color and added freshness. Enjoy this soul-warming dish on its own or with a side of crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth.
Whether served on a chilly evening or as a heartwarming centerpiece for family gatherings, Beef Stew is a classic comfort dish that brings people together with its rich flavors and comforting aroma.