3 Key Tips for Perfect Homemade Beef Stew

Beef stew is a staple. It’s cozy and warm, stores well, and is easy to adjust for a huge crowd or just a few folks. You probably have your own excellent beef stew recipe already (if you don’t, there’s a great one here too), so here are just a few ways to make it even better!

Beef Stew with Carrots & Potatoes

Photo from Once Upon a Chef

Tips and Tricks

  1. Batch sear your meat.
    Give your beef a true sear on all sides prior to stewing. To do this, you can’t overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan can potentially become  boiling the beef in its own juices. Searing the beef in batches so that it’s truly dark brown will create a glaze at the bottom of the pan filled with all kinds of potent, delicious beef flavor that will make your beef stew taste much richer and fuller.
  2. Time the addition of your veggies properly.
    It might seem obvious, but different vegetables require different amounts of time to cook. You want to add your “delicate” veggies like peas,  fresh herbs, and whatever else you may want to throw in toward the end of the cooking process, and your hardier vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and turnips toward the middle of the cooking process.
  3. Don’t rush the process.
    Depending on what kind of meat you’re using — tougher, inexpensive cuts of meat like Chuck are most common — it may take several hours for your meat to become the  fall-apart deliciousness you want. That’s okay! Low heat and lots of time are essential to creating the ideal textures and flavors. Raising the heat doesn’t cook your stew faster, it just makes for tougher meat.
Hearty Beef Stew

Photo by America's Test Kitchen Feed

Excellent Homemade Beef Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 tsps vegetable oil
  • 1 lb stew beef (lean, meat)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms (sliced)
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 ozs tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef (or chicken) broth
  • 12 ozs beer (or wine)
  • 4 cups carrot (sliced)
  • 2 potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. In sections, sear your beef cubes until quite browned on all sides. Remove from the pot.
  3. Add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic to the pot, and cook stirring constantly until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until it's all dissolved.
  4. Raise the heat to medium high. Add the beer and stir the pot so that all the sticky residue at the bottom of the pan becomes part of the thickened sauce.
  5. Return the meat back to the pot and add your beef (or chicken) broth. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes.
  6. Add potatoes and carrots, cover, and continue simmering over low heat for 45 minutes more. Allow it to stew for more time if needed.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
 3 Key Tips for Perfect Homemade Beef Stew Recipes

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