When the days get a little shorter, and the weather gets a little cooler my heart YEARNS for beef stew. There’s just something about a hearty stew that warms the soul, and this recipe is my absolute favorite. Featuring carrots, onions, potatoes, and beef — this stew has an absolutely divine broth that is rich and full of flavor. The best part is that it gets better the longer it sits, and is even more amazing on days 2 & 3. You can honestly just walk away and forget about it since it does most of its stewing (ha) in the oven.
My recipe is slightly adapted from the Hearty Beef Stew recipe in the The New Best Recipe, which was a go-to cookbook for both my grandma and Aunt Kathy. Seriously, buy this cookbook because it is a cooking-bible for me, and it is full of tips and tricks for pretty much everything you can imagine. I absolutely treasure my copy because it is full of annotations and adjustments in the margins — little reminders of the women who inspired this food blog. I like adding my own as well, and one day hope to leave it to a daughter of my own.
Now, I know that every family has their own way of doing stews, and debating the individual merits can get heated! I’m not here to settle that score, but there is one thing I do want to discuss methods-wise with this recipe…..and it is a point of contention for many: Flour. I always thought you were supposed to dredge the stew meat in flour before searing, like you normally do with a pot-roast. However, I found with some stew recipes, while it does help to thicken the broth, it also makes the meat a bit gummy. For this recipe, I sear mine with only salt and pepper, and added the flour to the onions and garlic before adding in the broth. I think it made for a nice broth, and perfectly tender beef. That’s just my two cents.
Also, my grandma always taught me that you never want to go for straight beef stock in beef-based soups or stews. Blending both chicken and beef (or even veggie broth and beef) helps to cut down on the richness, and lightens it up a bit. While we are talking liquids, I should also note that I opt for wine to deglaze in my beef-stews. I like the taste, and it adds a necessary acidity, but it also gives me an excuse to drink more wine. There’s a lot of debate on the best wine to use IN a beef stew, but I think you should just use whatever you have on hand. I used a Chianti. However, a heavy stout would be really a good way to mix it up too! Like I said, you do you….
As always, enjoy! Be sure to let me know what you think.
Eat with: Crunchy bread and butter
Drink with: You want something full-bodied, so an Argentinian Malbec would be divine!
Warm-Your-Soul Beef Stew
This hearty stew features an absolutely divine broth that is rich and full of flavor. Chunks of tender meat and root vegetables are sure to warm your belly and your spirits.
- 3lbs Beef Stew Meat Cut into 1.5inch cubes (chuck roast is best)
- 3 T EVOO, separated
- 2 White Onions, chunked
- 5 Cloves of Garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1 t Salt
- 2 T flour
- 1 1/4 C Red Wine
- 2 C Chicken Stock
- 2 C Beef Stock
- 1 T Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1 t course black pepper
- 1 T fresh thyme OR rosemary
- 1/4 t paprika
- 1 Bayleaf
- 5 medium carrots peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
- 5 red (or yukon) potatoes, peeled and chopped in eighths
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 300°
- Step 2 Chop beef into 1 1/2 inch cubes and pat dry
- Step 3 Season with salt and pepper and 2 T of flour.
- Step 4 Heat 1T EVOO in a large, heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Step 5 Working in batches, brown beef for 2 minutes on each side.
- Step 6 Remove each batch, and add beef along with juices to a separate bowl.
- Step 7 Once the beef is finished browning, add remaining oil to pan and heat over medium heat. Add onions and salt and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions have softened.
- Step 8 Add garlic, and cook for another minute until garlic is fragrant and soft, then stir tomato paste, and cook for 2-3 minutes (stirring constantly to not burn).
- Step 9 Once the flour is golden brown and fragrant, add in the wine + balsamic vinegar and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the liquid has thickened — about two minutes.
- Step 10 Slowly add in broths, while stirring and scraping the bits off the sides and bottom.
- Step 11 Add thyme or rosemary, paprika, and pepper and reduce heat.
- Step 12 Add in meat and bring to a low simmer.
- Step 13 Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
- Step 14 Taste and adjust for spices, and then add in vegetables, cover, and return to oven for another 1.5 – 2 hours, or until the meat and veggies are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork.
- Step 15 Top with parsley or chives (optional) and serve with crunchy bread and butter!