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blue dutch oven with beef stew in it, looking from the top down, sitting on a cutting board

Old Fashioned Beef Stew


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Classic beef stew made with chuck roast, potatoes, onions, carrots, and spices. This dish simmers away on the stove for a few hours so that it's perfectly tender when it's time for dinner. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless chuck roast
  • 2-5 tablespoons light oil (such as avocado or vegetable), divided
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup red wine or white grape juice
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leave
  • 6 medium (or 3 large) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large 1.5 inch pieces
  • 3 large carrots, cut into large 1-2 inch pieces
  • chopped parsley, optional for a garnish

Instructions

  1. Add your salt and pepper to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut your beef roast into chubby 2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over all of the roast, taking care to get it on lots of sides of the pieces of cubed meat.
  3. In a large Dutch oven add the oil and heat over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned beef and cook on one side until well seared. Use tongs to rotate the beef so that it sears on multiple sides. Don't crowd the pan at this step, you'll probably need to work in 2-3 batches so that the beef isn't touching in the bottom of the pot. Remove the seared beef to a plate, add more oil, and sear the next batch, repeating as needed until all of the beef is nicely browned. It will not be cooked through at this point, only on the outside. 
  4. Remove all of the seared beef to a plate and the onions and celery to the same pot that you seared the beef in. If it need a little more oil, go ahead and add a few teaspoons. Cook the vegetables until they are just tender, about 3 minutes. The pan should be nice and brown on the bottom but turn down the heat a bit if it's looking too black or smokey.
  5. Add the garlic and the tomato pasta and stir to combine. Let cook for an additional 1 minute or so or until fragrant.
  6. Add the red wine or grape juice to the hot pan. It will sizzle and any bits of meat and veggies that were stuck there will come off. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen up those crusted on bits. Simmer this mixture for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the beef broth, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf to the pot. Add the seared beef and any juices that collected on the plate. Stir to combine.
  8. Bring the pot to a gentle simmer, cover with the lid, and let cook at a very low simmer for 1-2 hours.
  9. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot and simmer for another 40 minutes to 1 hour or until the vegetables are tender. 
  10. Adjust the salt and pepper in the dish to taste, garnish if desired with chopped parsley, and serve hot. It's excellent with hot bread such as baguettes, my moms jumbo dinner rolls, or fresh sourdough bread.

Notes

  • This recipe has a lot of flexibility when it comes to the cooking time. The shortest amount of time it takes me is about 2 hours (20 minutes to get everything ready/seared, 1 hour cooking the beef, and 40 minutes for the vegetables), I like it better if I take 3 or more hours to make it though and I'll often start it midafternoon and let it simmer away. I think the beef is best when cooked for 1.5 to 2 hours as it makes it more tender, and I like the vegetables very soft and will often cook them a full hour. The potatoes start to break down a bit and thicken the sauce a bit. It's wonderful.
  • If you are in more of a hurry, cut your potatoes and carrots into smaller pieces so that they cook faster. You can also add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to 1/2 cup of cold water (mix well to combine) and add that to your stew at the end to thicken it up a little (let it cook in the stew for 3-4 minutes) if the liquid isn't as thick as you like. I'll do that sometimes too if I didn't let the potatoes cook down as much as I might other times. 
  • I love to add a cup or two of frozen peas to this recipe 5 minutes before I serve it. It might be less traditional but I think it's delicious. 
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American

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