A rustic beef stew is a soul-warming dish that conjures images of cozy kitchens and hearty family gatherings. This timeless recipe transforms humble ingredients into a robust and flavorful one-pot wonder, perfect for chilly evenings and comforting meals.
Begin with the star of the show: tender chunks of beef, preferably marbled with fat for added richness. The rustic charm lies in the simplicity of preparation—sear the beef in a pot until golden brown, creating a savory foundation for the stew. This step not only enhances the flavor but also locks in the meat’s succulence.
The vegetable medley, a colorful array of carrots, potatoes, and onions, adds depth and texture. Chop them into hearty chunks to withstand the slow simmering process, releasing their natural sweetness into the broth. Embrace the rustic aesthetic by leaving the skin on the potatoes for a homespun, earthy appeal.
For the broth, marry beef stock, red wine, and a bouquet of aromatic herbs—rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves. This symphony of flavors infuses the stew with a fragrant richness, transforming your kitchen into a haven of enticing scents. As the stew simmers, the beef becomes fork-tender, and the vegetables absorb the savory essence, creating a harmonious and satisfying blend.
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 (14 oz.) can fire-roasted red bell peppers
- 1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Place flour in a large bowl and toss the beef until coated.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Working in batches, brown the beef. Set aside.
- Add diced shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
- Add garlic, stirring frequently for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Mix in fire-roasted bell peppers, tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire, and the browned beef, stirring to pick up additional flavor from the beef bits. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, stir in cream of mushroom soup and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
- Ladle into serving bowls and serve with a side of crusty bread.
The beauty of a rustic beef stew lies in its versatility. Allow it to bubble away on the stove or transfer it to the oven, letting the slow heat work its magic. Serve it in deep bowls, allowing the savory broth to mingle with chunks of beef and vegetables, creating a comforting mosaic of flavors. Whether enjoyed on its own or ladled over a bed of mashed potatoes, this rustic beef stew is a celebration of simplicity and the heartiness of homemade comfort food.