Yesterday I made this beef stew recipe that is easy but so flavorful and hearty! The weather is getting colder and we had our first snow that didn’t melt as soon as it hit the ground. It was the perfect day for a pot of stew. It’s one of those meals that is both comforting and satisfying. This stew not only feeds your stomach, it feeds the soul and taste buds too.
Winter is coming
Here it comes. Okay so maybe we don’t have to worry about the White Walkers invading us, but we do have to contend with the cold and gloomy days that accompany winter in the north east. Honestly I have a love hate relationship with winter. I love the first snow that blankets everything. It is fresh and clean and glistens like a jewel. Right up until New Years day. Then I am done. The days are short and gloomy and roads are slippery and dirty. Of course that is where good, comforting foods can give us something to look forward to. There is something to be said for heating up the kitchen when the temperature drops outside.
Beef stew is definitely a typical winter time meal. There are all kinds of stew variations all over the world. My mother used to make a “brodo” with beef. She would cook a large piece of bone in beef, with onions and potatoes. It was delicious, hearty and warmed you from the inside. When I got married my husband’s grandmother gave me a cookbook, that I still have to this day. It introduced me to a different version of beef stew. After 32 years of marriage I have created my own version of stew that my family has come to look forward to.
Making a tasty beef stew
Did you know that if you cook any two ingredients in a liquid it is considered a stew! I just learned that recently. I make mine by browning cubes of beef and then cooking it with carrots, onions and potatoes. Well there is a little more to it then that, but not much. Here are a few things that will help you make a tasty and hearty stew:
- Make sure that the beef is cut into similar size pieces.
- Season the meat generously with salt and pepper.
- Dust the meat with flour or pan searing flour. This will help to thicken the broth a bit.
- Brown the meat in batches so that the meat is not overcrowded in your pan. If there is not enough room around the meat it will steam and you won’t get a nice crisp crust on the beef. This crust helps to give your stew a robust beefy flavor.
- Cut the vegetables to approximately the same size so they cook at the same rate.
- Be patient and let the stew cook for 1 1/2 hours and you will be rewarded with fork tender beef
- I like to serve this with a loaf of crusty bread and a side salad.
Other hearty recipes to try:
Easy but Hearty Beef Stew
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs. beef for stew cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 cups carrots cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 onion cut into chunks
- 2 large potatoes cut into 2 inch chunks
- 2 cloves garlic rough chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 5 cups water
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 1/2 cup flour or pan searing flour
- Pat the beef dry with paper towels. sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the meat generously with flour.
- Heat the oil in a heavy sauce pan.
- Add the meat to the oil when it starts to glisten. Brown the meat on all sides. Work in small batches and transfer the meat to a plate when is browned.
- Add the carrots, onion and garlic to the oil in the pan and cook until the onions start to become tender. Stir with a wooden spoon and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the beef, water, potatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and beef bouillon to the onions. Stir and bring to a boil.
- Salt and Pepper to taste. Depending on the saltiness of the bouillon you may not need and further salt.
- Cover the pan and lower the heat to low. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.