Recipe Du Jour: Beef Stew

6903388775_da806bba45_oBeef stew is one of those perfect comforting dishes for wintertime.  While this year has been particularly mild, the past few days have been more like the cold winter I’m used to.  And I’ve finally found a beef stew recipe I love.  I grew up on a very simple sort of stew: beef, potatoes, and carrots in a thick gravy.  Over the years, I’ve tried various recipes or restaurant versions, but nothing worked.  Many had tomatoes, peas, or corn, or they had too much garlic or strong herbs like rosemary.

But this recipe is warm, simple, and fills your belly quickly.  Adapted from the recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used lard)
  • flour mixed with pepper (maybe salt.  I didn’t use salt because I knew my broth was really salty.)
  • 2 cups beef broth (and 2-3 more cups of water or broth for later)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp gr. black pepper
  • 2 large potatoes (or 3-4 little ones), peeled and cubed
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch circles
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp water

Directions:

Heat oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or other large pot.  Coat meat in flour, and cook meat in oil until brown.  Add the broth, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to free any stuck bits.  Stir in parsley and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery.  If necessary, add up to another 3 cups of broth/water to increase the liquid to the desired amount of sauce.  Add the cornstarch mixture, and cover.  Simmer another hour.  Stew is done when the veggies are soft and the sauce is thick.  If it doesn’t thicken over the hour, remove the lid and simmer a little longer.  Serves about 4.

Notes:

This really doesn’t need anything to go with it.  It’s a nice one-pot, one-dish meal.  I’d be curious to see how it fared in the slow-cooker.