I know, I know everyone knows how to make beef stew but does everyone know how to make mouth-watering, company beef stew? This is a beef stew that would be great to serve at a casual dinner party, family dinner or to drop off to a friend who’s having a bad week. It’s even better the second day. Double it and put one batch in the freezer to pull out on a busy night.
Non-negotiable rules for making beef stew…
- Use boneless beef chuck with some fat (fat=flavor)
Sear the cubes of beef (be patient and get a good sear on all sides)
Add carrots, celery and potatoes after an hour to prevent them from getting mushy.
Cook low and slow for at least two hours.
I did take some liberties with this stew. It’s more of a soup than a stew. The broth is not super thick but it is so flavorful. If you would prefer a thicker stew then add small diced carrots, onions and celery right after searing the beef. This will make a thicker broth. I chose to add bigger 2 inch vegetables one hour into cooking and it changed the entire make up of the
stew soup. Sorry I can’t decide what to call it!
Now that we have those pesky old rules out of the way the rest is pretty simple. I have added an extra step by using small pearl onions. They are delicious and add a special fancy touch. To prepare these you first blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds. Put them in a strainer and run cold water over them. Then slice off the root end and you can push the pearl onion out of it’s skin. It pops right out! Or you can watch the expert Martha Stewart do it here. You can substitute chopped onions if you prefer. Enjoy a new take on the average beef stew.
Not Your Average Beef Stew
- 2-3 lbs of beef chuck with some good fat cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp good butter gold Kerrygold
- 3 tbsp flour
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 10 pearl onions see note above, skins removed
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups red wine I used Pinot Noir
- 1 32 oz box beef stock I like Kitchen Basics
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 carrots cut into 2 inch pieces
- 3 celery stalks cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 lb small white or red boiling potatoes
- Italian parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in large dutch oven. Brown the beef in batches. Do not overcrowd. Add a bit more oil and butter with each batch. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add a bit more olive oil, then add the garlic and onions. Cook until well browned about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute.
- Add the beef back to the pot and sprinkle with the flour. Cook until you don't see any white flour.
- Add vinegar, beef broth, wine, bay leaves, and thyme. Don't forget to add all the juices from the beef. Bring to a simmer, cover and put in oven for about 2 hours. You can check along the way to see that the beef is getting tender.
- About an hour into cooking, add the carrots and potatoes.
This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.