Yum Peaceful Cooking: Simply Beef Stew

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Simply Beef Stew

I think this is one of my favorite comfort foods.

And one of the few "soups" that Sir Sportsalot likes to eat.  He's not a soup person. I am. So when I find one that he enjoys I get really excited.

This is a basic recipe. One that I found some 20+ years ago in my Betty Crocker Cookbook (I really use this cookbook a whooooole heck of a lot). I don't do anything fancy schmancy with it.

Just beef and veggies.

I'm sure most of you have your own beef stew recipe that you enjoy. I'd love to hear about your version. What do you do differently? What do we do that's the same?

I start off with same the basic ingredients. Sometimes the veggies vary, but not by much. Maybe instead of broccoli I use green beans. I may have put zucchini in it a time or two. Whatever you like will work.

One thing that I do is add more beef than the recipe calls for. I like it thick and I like it beefy. This time instead of stew meat, I used boneless chuck. It was on sale and was cheaper per pound than ground beef. You can't beat that!!

1 1/2 lbs stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon shortening
3 cups hot water
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 potato, peeled and cut into pieces
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into pieces
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
1 medium bell pepper cut into chunks
1 medium stalk of celery, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp brown bouquet sauce (I never measure....just pour a bit in)
1 beef bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons flour

In a heavy pot, melt the shortening and brown the meat. If you want a better browning, do what Julia Child suggests....dry the meat first with a paper towel.

Add the 3 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the beef is almost tender. Depending on what kind of meat you use, this takes about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. With the chuck, it was more like 1 1/2  - 2 hrs.

Stir in all the veggies, bouquet sauce, more salt to taste, the bouillon cube and bay leaf. You may need to add a bit more water. I think I ended up adding another 1/2 cup or so. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender. They say about 30 minutes but for my liking, it usually takes a bit longer.

In a container with a secure lid, combine 1/2 cup cold water and the flour and shake to combine. Don't bother trying to just stir it together, it doesn't work (trust me...I've tried). You end up with lumps. Save yourself the stress and just shake it baby....shake it.

Gradually stir it into your stew. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute.

And you're done!

It might look like I added too much liquid but it thickens as it sits. And the next day (when the leftovers are devoured) there's hardly any liquid left. Besides...don't you wanna sop it up with a nice chunck of bread?

Now I know most of you are familiar with Debs Souper Sundays over at Kahakai Kitchen. I keep forgetting to join in all the fun! But not this time!! So if you like soup and salads and sandwiches....check out her blog on Sundays and see what everyone has cooked up! You're sure to find something or most likely, many things that will catch your fancy.


  1. Very comforting beef stew you've made. My husband also loves beef stew, but truthfully so do I.

  2. mmmmm one of my all time favorites!

  3. Never thought of beef stew as soup but call it what you will it looks delicious! I totally agree with dipping bread in the sauce!!! YUMMY! In fact, I always mash up my potatoes and carrots with the juice and put it on the bread. So tasty.

  4. Awesome, beef stew is the bomb. I've never had it with broccoli, I bet that's wicked good.

  5. Perfect fare for these chilly days. I am with you, I like my stew thick enough to stand a fork in! Great tip about using the shaker.

  6. That's the same recipe that I use...got mine out of my old Betty Crocker Cookbook too. I changed it a little for my family...my mom and brother didn't like all the vegetables so I just used the potatoes (added extra), carrots and celery. I also served it with fresh bread....yum! I haven't made this in years but I think, after the holidays, it will make a return appearance.

  7. Beef stew is so comforting. I use beef stock instead of water and after browning the beef I deglaze the pan with a little red wine. yum!

  8. Mmmm. So hearty, delicious and comforting! I like it thick and creamy too!

  9. That is very similar to what we do. I like to add a glass of red wine to mine.

  10. This is NOT a simple beef stew. This is a delicous and unusual beef stew! Look at all those veggies! Great dish for a cold or rainy (which we are having at the moment) day.

  11. I love beef stew! That is my kind of food :)

  12. Mmmm I love beef stew, looks yummy!

  13. Nothing better than a simple beef stew! It looks delicious. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays--the round-up is now posted.

  14. This is perfect for the cold rainy weather that's made its way to SoCal.


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