There has been a chill in the air, so I have been way more into making soups and stews than anything else in my recipe repertoire. When the Mr and I were on “stay-cation” at The Country House last week, I made my mom’s recipe for homemade beef stew. It absolutely hit the spot. When I was a kid, I remember my mom would often make beef stew on Halloween. It is the kind of recipe you can start early in the afternoon, and let it cook low and slow for many hours. This recipe is easy-peasy. In fact, the preparation is not that dissimilar from the root vegetable stew recipe I recently shared with you. What you’ll need from the market:
A lean roast (a rump cut works) and cube it, or buy 2.5-3lbs of cubed stew meat. When we eat red meat, I prefer to purchase organic grass fed natural beef.
You’ll also need 6 carrots, 1 large onion, 1 package of new potatoes –you can also peel baking potatoes if you prefer– use 3-4 depending upon their size. You’ll want equal parts potato to carrot ratio.
Lastly, you’ll want either 2 cups of water -or- beef broth. (I like to use Pacific Foods beef broth.)
Seasoning: 2 Tablespoons of minced Garlic, some flour, salt and pepper from the pantry. My mom always used a package of McCormick Hearty Beef Stew Seasoning – but – if you prefer, you can season it to taste before adding water/beef broth. Start with 1 Tablespoon Oregano, 1 Tablespoon Basil, and a pinch of Red Pepper Flakes and go from there.Method:
Put the beef in a large plastic zip lock bag. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Dust the beef with enough flour to coat the beef. Close the zip lock and shake it, ensuring each cube is dusted with flour. If they are not, add more flour until they are covered. Brown the beef in a large stew pot.
Peel carrots and cut them into bite size pieces. Clean the potatoes and cut into a similar size. (If you’re using baking potatoes, peel the potatoes before you use them.) Chop the onion into large pieces – like the potatoes and carrots.
Once the beef is browned, add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. When the onions become translucent, add in the carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle in more salt. This will help the vegetables release some water and aid in the cooking process. Add the minced garlic, and stir again.
Once the vegetables look like they’re starting to cook, season the stew. Sprinkle in either the packet of McCormicks or your own mixture of herbs and spices. Then, add 2 cups of water, or the beef broth. Bring to a boil. Place in an 275 degree oven and cook it low and slow for 2-3 hours or until the meat and the vegetables are fork tender.