Stew is so versatile. I use standard winter soup veggies- potatoes, carrots, celery, onions- but it tastes good with green beans, peas, or corn, too. Whatever you decide to add, here are the basic steps: brown the beef, add the “aromatics” or items to flavor the broth, cook, add the other veggies, cook. Easy!
There are many ways to make beef stew. It’s a classic comfort food eaten around the world. Here’s how I make it for my family (well, I double this recipe. I double every recipe!) It’s a frugal way to stretch a cut of meat and is naturally gluten free.
It’s also crazy hard to take an appetizing picture of stew. Especially when you are an amateur photgrapher, who doesn’t even notice her red shirt is reflected in the silverware (I hope you come for the recipes, not the pictures.)
I fed this to Baby Juli and she loved it. She gave me her “squishy face of happiness” in between each bite. The beef has been simmered long enough to fall apart, just right for babies with a few teeth!
American Beef Stew
Serves: 8 Time: 2 hours+, mostly simmering.
1 1/2# boneless beef, cut into cubes (I cut up a roast, it’s cheaper)
1 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes, or 1 can 15 oz. can diced, or 3 oz. tomato paste
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (who am I kidding, I add 4)
3 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
salt and pepper
8 c. water or beef broth, or a mix of both.
1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
Chop all your veggies into stew sized chunks, and cut up the beef into 1″ cubes.
Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper, and brown the meat on all sides in a heavy bottomed stock pot DO NOT skip this step! Get some color on it.
Toss in the onions, tomato, and garlic. Cook for about 5 more minutes until onions are fragrant.
Add beef broth and worcestershire sauce. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Some people add bay leaf at this point; I don’t because I always forget to fish it out at the end. Add any herbs if this is your preference.
Simmer for at least an hour, covered. Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery. Taste it, adjust the seasoning if needed. Simmer for 45 minutes, until all veggies are tender and the celery is translucent.
If you like your stew with a thicker gravy, make a cornstarch slurry with water or some of the cooled broth. Mix 1/4 c. cornstarch per 1 c. cool liquid, stirring to remove lumps. Poor it back into the stew and bring the stew back up to a simmer for a minute or so.