Easy Beef Stew Recipe
A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in a liquid and served in gravy. Ingredients in a stew include beef, a combination of vegetables, liquid such as wine, beer, stock or water. Stews are cooked by simmering at low temperatures, never boiled, seasonings and flavors may be added.
Beef from different parts of the cow can be used. Cuts from the hip(round) are lean but can be chewy but will make a decent stew. Cuts from the loin or rib are tender and have good flavor but definitely not cheap.
Meat from the chuck or shoulder are the least tender starting off, but when cooked with a slow simmering moist heat, chuck meat will have the most flavor, tenderness and juiciness for making the heartiest thick beef stew.
Buying stew already cut at your local meat department is an option but often it may come from the hip and not the chuck. Your best choice for beef stew recipes is to purchase a steak or roast cut form the chuck, such as blade, cross rib or shoulder arm and cut it yourself into 1-1½ inch cubes.
Adding vegetables at the start we found they tend to lose their flavor and become mushy. Adding vegetables at the end the flavors of the beef and vegetables don’t really blend or melt together that well.
Adding the vegetables the last 2.5-3 hours they don’t become mushy and the flavors of the beef and vegetables compliment each other nicely.
How To Make Beef Stew
1. Season beef with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high in a dutch oven or stock pot for 3-4 minutes until hot.
Add the meat and sear each side about 2 minutes per side until well browned. Make sure each cube of meat is not touching; you may have to brown the beef in 2 batches adding another tablespoon of oil for the second batch. Transfer beef to a plate.
2. Reduce to medium heat, add the remaining oil and stir scraping bottom of pot. Add onions and a pinch of salt and continue to stir scraping the bottom to loosen the browned bits. Stir onions 3-4 minutes.
3. Add garlic and stir 1 minute, stir in flour for another minute. Add red wine, chicken broth, bay leaves and thyme, continue stirring and scraping bottom and bring to a simmer but do not boil.
4. Add the beef, bring back to a simmer. Cover pot with lid and place pot into a 300 degree pre-heated oven for 1 hour.
5. Remove pot from oven, add carrots and potatoes, cover and return to the oven for 2.5-3 hours. Remove from oven, add peas if desired and let stand covered 5-10 minutes and serve.