Some might call this beef stew the real deal. I’m not so sure there is any such thing. There are beef stews, and there are stews cooked with pieces of lamb meat. Often, potatoes are included, and carrots are almost a constant, as is either a hearty red wine or in some cases, the chocolate notes of a rustic Guinness draught. I like them both equally.
The constant in a stew of any worthwhile quality is time. The longer the liquids have to tenderize and braise the meat, the more flavorful the result. As a stew simmers, fat in the meat melts away, marrying with alliums — a class of vegetable we know as onions, garlic, leeks, and more. Onions melt into liquid, thickening and intensifying the flavor.
Stew is, at its best, a marriage of ingredients, each lending its personality to create the whole. In that, a stew is a very democratic sort of meal, one we can learn from and take note.
Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes Recipe
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 pounds boneless beef chuck or boneless country ribs, cut into 1″ pieces
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or other hearty red wine
- 10 cups low-salt beef stock
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 8-9 carrots, depending on size, sliced, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 5 large Russet potatoes, peeled, rinsed, and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 12 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1 tablespoon dried leaves
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
Cook the recipe:
Combine flour with salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spoon in beef and toss to coat.
Warm oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown beef pieces on each side in batches, taking care to avoid overcrowding so meat browns and doesn’t steam. Add oil if needed so pot doesn’t burn. Remove browned beef to clean bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons oil to pot and brown onions until softened and lightly golden. Pour in balsamic vinegar and wine. Bring to boil and scrape pot to loosen browned pieces on bottom.
Pour beef stock into pot and add tomato paste, thyme, and rosemary. Stir and bring to low boil. Return beef to pot, bring to simmer, cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.
Add potatoes and carrots to pot, stirring well and then replace cover. Cook on low for another 30 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Stir to loosen any stew on the bottom of pot.
Remove lid and increase heat so liquid is on a medium boil. Cook for 30 minutes. Replace lid so it rests with 1/2 inch open and lower heat to simmer. Continue cooking until liquid thickens, about 15 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve in bowls or mugs.
Food for the soul.
Made beef stew in the crockpot today! Yum
I recall some of your yummy crockpot stews. Very tasty!