Growing up, I thought I hated beef stew. I avoided it at all costs. Then came the day I was on complete bedrest during my first pregnancy. I had just gotten out of the hospital, and my ex-husband’s grandparents were kind enough to bring over dinner. Not knowing the depths of my loathing for stew, they brought over a large pot, enough for several meals. I certainly was not going to be rude, so I took a small serving. Wonder of wonders, I learned it was not beef stew I hated, but Dinty Moore. (Sorry mom and thank you, Nana!)
Beef Stew Recipe
- 1 lb stew beef cut into 1″ or smaller chunks
- 2 TBSP vegetable or olive oil
- 1/2 cup flour (you can substitute GF all purpose flour mix if you eat gluten free)
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups beef broth or stock (you may substitute wine or dark beer for one cup of broth)
- 2 cloves garlic – minced
- 1 medium onion – diced
- 8 0z mushrooms – button, portobello, baby portobello, etc. Sliced thickly (OPTIONAL)
- a pinch of herbs such as rosemary or thyme (season according to your taste)
- vegetables, like potatoes, turnips, or zucchini cut into chunks (OPTIONAL)
Remove as much fat as possible from the beef.
Toss the beef with the seasoned flour until well coated. Add the beef to the oil and cook until brown, use a spatula to stir and scrape the browning bits of flour from the bottom of the pan. This browned flour will add a lot of flavor to the broth.
Add the diced onion and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, you are looking for the onions to soften and become fragrant. Add one cup of broth (or dark beer or wine) a few splashes at a time to the pan. As you add the liquid, the bits of flour that have been sticking will come loose. Make sure you get all of them before adding the rest of the liquid.
Add your vegetables. I typically add two – three ribs of celery, three largish carrots, and two potatoes. These are all cut into bite-size chunks. Add the garlic and remaining broth. Turn the heat down to low, add any herbs such as rosemary, cover, and simmer, occasionally stirring until the vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If you would like to add tomatoes, add them at the very end.
- If you are looking for a gluten-free version, simply omit the flour and thicken the broth with instant potato flakes or corn starch.
- A handful or two of frozen vegetables, think California blend, are always a nice addition and add variety.
- Russet potatoes maintain a better texture than Idaho.
If you like to cook beef you should check out these recipes: