Main Dish Meat

Best Beef Stew

Well, I made this BEFORE it hit 81 degrees here in St. Louis in the middle of November.  The recipe could also be altered to throw into the slow cooker – throw it all in the pot except for the cornstarch and leave it on low all day (just add the cornstarch later).  I love and dislike my slow cooker.  Sometimes it seems to cook things to death like carrots and potatoes in a beef stew.  But, it is handy to have dinner ready without all the prep work.  This was my first time using Costco’s beef stew meat and it was really, really good.  The everyday price there was the same as the sale price at our local grocery stores – and maybe a better cut of meat.

I like this recipe the best because:

1.  I didn’t need beef broth.  I usually don’t have any on hand and the flavor was so good that you could use it (and some red wine!), but wouldn’t need it.
2.  Seriously, you don’t need beef broth.
3.  This was the best we have ever tasted and the least fussy.  America’s Test Kitchen’s was yummy and probably more flavorful, but more fussy in the slow cooker.
4.  Easy easy easy recipe.

Beef Stew
yield 6 servings

2 lbs beef stew meat (the grocery stores even label it “beef stew meat” or “stew beef”)
2 Tb. oil (vegetable or canola or some flavor neutral oil)
2 cups water
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 bay leaves
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 dash of ground allspice or cloves
3 russet or 5 red potatoes, 1″ cubes
3 large carrots, sliced (the hubby hates carrots especially cooked in stews, so left them out)
3 ribs of celery, chopped
2 Tb. cornstarch

1.  In a large dutch oven or 5 qt. pot, brown the stew meat in the oil on medium to medium high heat.
2.  Add in the water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika and allspice (or cloves).
3.  Cover and simmer 75 minutes.
4.  Add in the potatoes.
5.  Cover and simmer another 15 minutes.  Take out the bay leaves.  Add in the carrots and celery.
6.  Cover and simmer 30-40 minutes.
7.  Remove 2 cups of the water/hot liquid.  Mix the cornstarch with a little water (about 1/4 cup) then add to the pot.  Heat thoroughly and allow to bubble and thicken slightly.

Yum!  I used the removed liquid to cover the beef and bread.

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen


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