The Most Amazing Beef Stew
Stew is the perfect make-ahead meal! Serve up a warming bowl of this flavour-packed stew on Sunday and save the rest for an easy night of leftovers on a busy weeknight.
It took 8 years for me to get my stew game up to the point where my little ones would eat it. I could never understand WHY they wouldn't eat it before...after all, it's basically roast beef + potatoes in soup form. What could be better? But stew can be a chewy, lacklustre "throw it all in and walk away" hodgepodge, or it can be this:
I've pored over recipes and stolen a few hacks from Serious Eats' column on the perfect stew (which, by the way, no mama has time to follow to the letter, so I've picked out only the essential tips). I've tested it on children, suspecting partners, and a so-called "stew hater." I've eaten it leftover and fresh. I've tried the slow cooker and the pot. Then the pot on the stove and the pot in the oven.
This is the winner. And it's so delicious and simple, you can just throw a huge batch on to enjoy leftovers later in the week. It actually tastes even better the next day, and can easily be perked up with a handful of frozen peas and chopped parsley for a fresh feeling.
Beef is rich with iron, B vitamins and protein -- super important elements of prenatal & postnatal nutrition. Don't be afraid of it. Those are calories that pack a punch. And when a bowl of beef + veggies fills you up as this does, you won't even care about dessert.
The Most Amazing Beef Stew
Perfect warming comfort food that packs a protein & veggie punch.
- 3 lbs beef chuck roast (boneless), chopped into 2" pieces, or high-quality boneless beef stew meat
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 medium parsnips, chopped
- 4-5 medium potatoes, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 cup red wine or vermouth
- 1 box no-sodium chicken or beef broth
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 can tomato paste
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3-4 anchovies, finely chopped (or 1 tbsp fish sauce)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper
- coconut or canola oil for searing beef
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.*
- Heat oil in a heavy, large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Season beef very well and sear in batches until deeply browned.** Do not overcrowd the pot. Remove from pot in batches and place on large plate.
- Toss flour with browned beef.
- Add carrots, onions, and celery to pot and saute, stirring up browned bits from bottom, until lightly browned (about 6-8 minutes).
- Add wine and deglaze bottom, scraping up browned bit. Reduce over medium heat until only a bit of liquid remains and strong alcohol smell is gone.
- Add garlic, potatoes, parsnip, and herbs. Stir to combine.
- Combine soy, worcestershire, anchovies, tomato paste, and broth in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Add to pot and stir to combine.
- Add enough additional broth, if required, to ensure meat is just submerged.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat on stove, then move to oven. Cover partially with lid so some reduction will occur, and bake 2.5 hours, stirring and checking simmer regularly (see note below).
- Stir in frozen peas while still hot and serve!
*Ovens vary. Check stew regularly to find a temperature at which you have a slow simmer, not a boil.
**For chuck roast, sear in steak form and cube after. For beef stew, sear but only worry about searing off the 2 largest sides so as not to steam the beef and make it chewy.