How To Make Beef Stew
Ever wonder how to make beef stew? Making beef stew is quite simple–practically anyone can make it and make it well. There are so many variations in making beef stew you can explore with this basic stew recipe. The possibilities are limited only to your own imagination. Beef stew is one of those wonderful foods you can make on a Sunday, eat all week and the flavor will improve over the course of the week. The longer it sits in your fridge, the better your beef stew will taste.
When shopping for stew meat, you can buy the pre-packaged meat labeled “stew meat,” but it’s just as easy to pick out your own meat and cut it into cubes yourself, controlling the size of the cuts and the type of meat you use in your recipe. Beef stew works best with the fattier cuts of meat, such as chuck, rump roast, shoulder roast and brisket. Choose one of these cuts of beef and cut into approximately two inch cubes at home.
To make beef stew, you will need:
- Two lbs. stew meat or roast cut into cubes (two inches each)
- One yellow onion (or try three to for leeks instead)
- Five to six potatoes scrubbed and cubed
- Four to five carrots peeled and thick-sliced
- One can diced tomatoes
- Two cloves of garlic
- Two tsp. thyme
- Two tsp. oregano
- Two tsp. basil
- Two tbsp. olive oil
- One tsp. salt
- Two tsp. pepper
- Three cups of dry red wine, beer, beef stock or water
- One cup V8 juice
- One tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- One or two bay leaves
- Use a cast iron or a non-stick skillet. Heat olive oil on medium heat in the skillet and add Worcestershire sauce, oregano, thyme, basil, salt and pepper to the oil.
- Dry meat with a paper towel then place cubes of meat in the skillet. Only leave the meat in the skillet long enough to brown the outside. This is called braising. The rest of the cooking will be done in the stew.
- Take the meat out of the skillet and set aside. Reduce heat and add garlic and onions to the skillet. Cook until onions are soft. This may take about five minutes.
- In a large stock pot, place garlic and onions over a medium-low heat. Add meat and two tablespoons of juice from the skillet. Add the remainder of the seasonings and the broth (or whichever liquid you choose). Stir the mixture to prevent over-cooking.
- Bring to a boil. Boil for two to three minutes then reduce heat and allow the mixture to simmer on a low heat. Add tomatoes and V8 juice along with the bay leaves. Cover the stock pot.
- Add potatoes after one hour of simmering. The potatoes tend to get mushy if you add them to the stock too soon, so allow the stew to simmer for an hour first and then add the potatoes. Check the flavor of your stock and add seasonings if necessary.
- Allow to cook until meat is tender. Meat should be tender enough to cut with a fork. This will take approximately two hours. Do a taste test to see if it has the flavor you want. If not, add some seasonings.
- Reheat on the stop top as opposed to the microwave. Reheating this stew slowly will re-ignite all the wonderful flavors and not damage the texture of your stew.
- Enjoy! Remember, if you don’t want to try to eat all of your beef stew at once, this is one dish that will freeze really in the freezer for six months.