Who doesn’t love to come home to dinner just minutes from the table? Say hello to beef stew.
This recipe is my favorite and I love that it can be made in as little as 2 hours or started earlier in the day with a slow cooker.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2, 4 or 8 hours
- 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 lbs. beef chuck, cut into chunks
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2-4 cups beef broth
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 4 large carrots, cut into rounds
- 3 parsnips, cut into rounds
- 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into chunks
- 2 sprigs fresh parsley or thyme
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
In a Dutch oven or large frying pan, heat the olive oil. Brown beef in 2-3 batches, so the meat isn’t crowded. After each batch is browned, take the meat out and set it aside (try to keep the oil in the pan). When the meat is done, add a little more oil and sauté the onions. When they’re soft, sprinkle the flour over them and stir. Once the flour is mixed in with the onions, add the tomato paste, soy sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire and 1 cup of the broth. Stir and scrape up all those bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil.
2 hours: Add the celery, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and parsley sprigs to the onions and broth mixture in the Dutch oven. Stir in the meat and all the juices. You’ll need to add more broth (about 2 cups) so the meat and vegetables are about half covered. Cover and put in a 250° oven. Check and stir after an hour. You may need to add more broth.
Fifteen minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove from the oven and taste. You’ll want to add freshly ground pepper, but you probably won’t need any salt. Remove the parsley or thyme sprigs and add the peas. You can either put the stew back in the oven or just simmer it on the stove top. Either way, keep it uncovered to thicken.
4 or 8 hours: Put the celery, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and parsley sprigs into your slow cooker. Top with the meat and then the onions and broth mixture. Add 1 more cup of beef broth. Cover and heat on low for up to 8 hours or high for about 4 hours.
Fifteen minutes before you’re ready to serve, taste. You’ll want to add freshly ground pepper, but you probably won’t need any salt. Remove the parsley or thyme sprigs, stir, then add the peas and turn to high.
Complete the meal: Beef stew defines one-pot cooking. You can add a salad or bread, but no one will complain if you don’t. Serve with a full-bodied red wine, like Guigal Cotes du Rhone, which is about $14.
Cook’s note: You can use a 1-pound bag of baby carrots instead of the carrots and parsnips
2-lb beef chuck, some supermarkets already have “stew meat” pre-cut
4 large carrots
1 celery rib (about ¼ cup from the salad bar)
1 bunch parsley or thyme
10-oz box frozen peas
6 Yukon Gold potatoes (or any other thin skinned potato)
Red wine vinegar