The weather is finally starting to feel like autumn around my neck of the woods. With the cooler weather and a little bit of rain in the forecast for today, I immediately think of yummy comfort food. There is nothing more soothing than the aroma of a big pot of homemade beef stew slowly simmering away on the stove.
It’s Saturday today, which is my busy day to run errands and do the household cleaning and laundry. Oh such a glamorous life I lead. On top of my usual Saturday chores, I have the added joy of helping my youngest, Mia, construct a 3-D model of an animal cell and I have to try to find something nice to wear for a rare evening out with my husband and some friends tonight! Preferably something that doesn’t make me look like a potato. I’m not normally too critical of myself and my looks, but when I have to go out of my comfort zone and dress up, it makes me break out into hives! Maybe it’s just me, but when I try clothes on, I immediately notice all of my flaws and I feel like cancelling any plans I made and staying home in my pajamas.
So anyway, since I have a lot on my plate today, I figured this beef stew would be a great dinner for the family on this cold and rainy fall day. Plus if we have any leftovers I can use the stew for a delicious beef pot pie filling later in the week! I love when I can stretch out my grocery budget and my time and make two meals from one.
This beef stew is simple to make but it does require a few hours of time to simmer on the stove, so make sure to plan accordingly. You will notice that I don’t coat the beef in flour when I sear it. I add the flour when I saute the onions, celery, and garlic. This is just basically a time saver on my part. I find it much quicker and easier to add the flour this way, and the quality of the stew doesn’t suffer, so it’s a win-win in my book. Another thing I like to add into almost any soup or stew I make is, Better Than Bouillon seasoned vegetable base. I find it really pumps up the flavor and adds a richness to the stew that can’t be beat.
I like my stew to be a little on the thick side, almost a thin gravy consistency. I love a thick rich flavorful stew studded with tender morsels of beef and with lots of chunks of potatoes and carrots. So good! And I really love using a nice piece of crusty bread to sop up the stew with. Comfort food at its finest!!
So if you are looking for a simple delicious meal that will warm your family’s belly on a cool autumn evening, give my homemade beef stew a try. The heavenly smells coming from your kitchen while this stew is cooking will have everyone running to the dinner table when it’s time to eat!
Classic Beef Stew Recipe
2 1/2 pounds of beef stew meat
3 Tbs olive oil
1 onion peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4 carrots, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 Tbs flour
4 Cups beef stock or broth
3 Tbs tomato paste
1/4 C Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs Better than Bouillon seasoned vegetable
2 Bay leaves
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
8-10 red new potatoes halved and quartered
Salt and pepper
Generously salt and pepper beef stew meat
In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven heat oil over medium-high heat and in small batches, brown the beef stew meat on all sides and set aside on a plate.
Lower heat to medium and add a bit more oil and sauté onion, celery until softened and then add garlic.
Sprinkle in flour and stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute or two until you can smell the tomato paste.
Slowly add in beef stock and stir until all the flour is dissolved. Add in the Better than Bouillon seasoned vegetable base and stir until dissolved.
Return the browned stew meat back to the pot along with any juices. Add in the bay leaves, the sprigs of thyme, and the Worcestershire sauce.
Bring to a simmer and lower heat so that the stew is gently bubbling and cover.
Cook for about 3 hours stirring occasionally.
Add in the carrots and potatoes and cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour until potatoes and carrots are tender and beef is falling apart.
If you want a thicker stew, whisk a tablespoon of cornstarch with a few tablespoons of the broth and slowly add to simmering stew. Let cook for another 25 minutes with the lid off until sauce has reduced and thickened.
Remove the bay leaves and the thyme. Salt and pepper if needed and serve.