Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beef Stew

The weather is cooling down a lot and I promised a month or so ago to post pictures my friend took of my Beef Stew. Honestly this had completely slipped my mind until last night! SO without further ado...

Beef Stew~
2 lbs beef, cubed
6 large carrots
4 large potatoes
4 celery stalks
1 large onion
2 cloves whole garlic
1/4 cup flour
All spices are divided
1 tbsp cummin
1 tbsp smokey paprika
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1tbsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2-4 Tbsp olive oil
12 cups water
1 sprig fresh rosemary
*1 tbsp corn starch if needed*

Now that is the basic ingredients list. What makes my beef stew so special? The way I cook it!

we cook in layers for this stew. Its the only way to make it taste wonderful.

I start with my onion, chopping it into about 1/2 squares. While you are chopping heat 2 tbsp of oil in the bottom of the stock pot or dutch oven, when onions are chopped add them to the pot and stir them around. Allow them to cook while you chop the Carrots. The onions should be slightly carmalized in color and soft, add the chopped carrots (they should be no bigger then 1/2" as well) Saute these and allow them to cook until they have softened and started to carmalize. While those are cooking chop the celery and add it to the pot. Next the potatoes go in. I always cut my potatoes in half then into cubes except one half of one potato that is chopped into small pieces. I want this one potato to break down a lot during cooking and help thicken the stew naturally. Once all the veggies have been added I allow this to cook for about 10 minutes then I remove all of the veggies from the pot.

They look like this (O my a picture!)

In the pot
Once it has cooked and removed from pot
Next put half of all the spices in a bowl with the flour, mix well. Trim your meat so that there is very little fat on it and place it in the bowl of flour. Stir to coat all of the meat. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in the same pot you used to cook the veggies. Be sure not to over crowd your meat. Cook it in batches if you must but do not try putting it all in the pot at once. Brown the meat, taking it out of the pot as it browns and adding a little more oil if need be. Once all the meat is browned add the remaining meat back to the pot and start deglazing your pan. I most often use water because that is what I have on hand however you can substitute burgundy or white wine for some of the water in this step to make a richer flavored stew.

Here is what that should look like:

During this step you need to add any remaining flour that was left after you browned your meat cooking it slightly and making a rue while you deglaze the pan. I typically use 2 cups of water, or wine to deglaze. (BTW Deglazing is just a fancy word for saying removing the bits from the bottom of the pan.)

Next add all of the veggies, the remaining seasonings that you did not use in the flour, the water and that sprig of rosemary to the pot. Cover and let simmer on low for at least 2 hours. This brings your flavors together and thickens your stew.

After an hour if you happen to have fresh green beans like I did you can add them at this point.
Here is what the stew looks like :
After one hour
With Green Beans added
After two hours your stew will look like this:

If the stew is not as thick as you would like it at this point you can take 1/4 cup warm water and add the 1 tbsp of corn starch to it and whisk  it until it is dissolved. Add that to the stew and bring stew to a boil for 1 minute. This will thicken the stew even more and you will have a nice lovely Stew.

A few substitutions can be made. For example if you don't like green beans but love peas you can add those instead. If they are fresh I would add them 30 minutes before you want to serve the stew. Frozen should only be added after the stew is at its desired thickness and no more then 5 or 10 minutes before you want to serve it. You can completely omit the green veggies if you do not like either, or have either on hand.

I hope that you all enjoy this post and this recipe it is one of our fall favorites. I also make a beef stew with a tomato base. 


  1. Love your tutorial-style recipe. The pictures are great!

  2. Why Thank you hun. I think sometimes recipes are far to plainly written and its easier for people to understand if there are more details then a few lines saying combine all ingredients. :)

    BTW I have done a veggie soup doing it exactly the same way and then just left the meat out. :)

  3. Mmm...thanks for the recipe! We loved the stew! Yours was a lot prettier than mine but mine still tasted good so that's all that matters. :)