Friday, February 14, 2014

Beef Stew

Beef Stew. It's so simple and unassuming, but, man, is it good. I've been meaning to make Beef Stew for a while now. Now that I tried it—now that I know how delicious it is—I can't help but wonder, what the heck took me so long? In case you're wavering, let me tell you why you should make Beef Stew post haste.

First, as I mentioned about fourteen times already, Beef Stew is delicious. Tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce create complex flavor and red wine adds richness. And after a couple hours of slow cooking, the beef is tender and falling apart.

Second...leftovers!! If I can cook once and eat twice, I'm all for it. Beef Stew reheats beautifully. And you can even add a twist to your leftovers by turning them into pot pie. Load your leftover Beef Stew into a casserole dish. Top with your favorite mashed potatoes. (Homemade or from a box...I don't judge. Mine were absolutely from a box.) Then let's gild the lily and sprinkle the mashed potatoes with shredded cheddar cheese. Yes, let's do that. Bake at 400 until the stew is bubbly, the cheese is melted, and the potatoes are golden around the edges.

Beef Stew
Adapted from epicurious
Serves 6-8

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
Salt and pepper
2 onions, peeled and chopped fine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground thyme
2 bay leaves
6 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Mashed potatoes or biscuits, for serving

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Generously season beef with salt and pepper. Add half the beef to the pan and cook until all sides are deep brown, turning as needed, 7-10 minutes total. Set browned beef aside on a plate and repeat with an additional 1 tablespoon oil and remaining beef.

Add final 1 tablespoon oil to now empty pan and add chopped onion. Cook onion, stirring regularly, until it's soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in wine and use a spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaves, and reserved browned beef. Bring to a simmer, cover, and place in oven for 1 hour.

Stir in carrots and return stew to the oven to cook for 1 more hour, until carrots and beef are tender. Place the pot on a burner over medium-low heat. Stir in peas and allow the stew to cook until the peas are heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes or biscuits, sprinkled with parsley.

P.S. Here's a cell phone pic of my leftover Beef Stew turned Shepherd's Pie. Tastes better than it looks, but I thought I'd share.


  1. My wife makes a great Beef stew, she also add wine. I have noticed the difference in the taste of the stew depending on the variety of red wine that's used. We bought a bottle of Italian Red Table wine at Aldi's it was too heavy just to drink in the late afternoon, so my wife used it in the stew she made a few days later. Wow that wine gave the stew a deep complex flavor.

    1. Nice job using up that wine, Bob! No sense in letting a bottle of booze go to waste. And I didn't know Aldi sold wine. That's a good tip.