nice stew!

Traditional Beef Stew Recipe

Today we’re going to learn how to make a classic. A traditional beef stew. This takes a little while to prepare, but you’ll have loads of leftovers and be able to enjoy it for days.

Beef Stew Ingredients

The best option for meat is boneless chuck roast. You’re going to want about three pounds of the stuff.

Beef stew. Lots of potatoes!
Image by Chapendra via Flickr

For veggies you’ll need:

  • Two large onions
  • Two or three each for carrots and celery stalks
  • And three or four large potatoes

You’re also going to need:

  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • And a bay leaf

I’m not entirely sure what bay leaves are for, but I’ve never skipped one where I’ve been told they go. Sounds risky.

We’re not done yet, though. You also need some:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Flour
  • Beef broth
  • And optionally, some red wine. The wine is fairly important for flavour, and most of the alcohol cooks off during preparation.

How to Cook a Traditional Beef Stew

Cut your beef into cubes between one and two inches in size. Cut your onions into large chunks as well, about one inch in size. Peel the potatoes and do the same to them.

I’d recommend peeling the carrots as well, and then chopping them into slightly smaller pieces than the potatoes and onions. Keep the celery about the same size as the carrots.

And last but not least, finely chop up three or four cloves of garlic.

On medium to high heat add your vegetable oil to a large pot. Once the oil is well heated, add the beef and cook until it is brown. Feel free to add salt and pepper while the beef cooks. This process may require using separate batches, but it’s easier to do it in the pot than in a separate pan. And you won’t waste any of that delicious beef fat.

Remove the beef from the pot and sauté your onions in the oil/beef fat combo for four or five minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add a quarter cup of flour to the delicious greasy oniony solution. Cook for two to three minutes stirring frequently.

Add your chopped garlic, and either one cup of wine and three cups of broth, or four cups of broth. Continue stirring. The flour should thicken up the solution as you stir.

traditional beef stew
A stew!

Add a teaspoon of thyme, a teaspoon of rosemary and a bay leaf and stir some more. Simmer for about five minutes.

Re-add your browned beef, bring the heat down to very low, cover the pot, and continue cooking for sixty to seventy minutes.

Add all your chopped veggies and continue cooking for thirty to forty minutes.

Remove the bay leaf, for some reason or another, and let cool a bit before eating.

Tips for Making a Beef Stew

Once again, all these seasonings are more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. It’s never too bad of an idea to experiment with the vegetables you add.

You can use chick peas and additional broth to get more bang for your buck, but many people find with the low cost of chuck beef it’s worth just making more of the same.

Homemade bread makes the absolute best side for a big bowl of homemade stew. Make some bread.

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