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Rustic Beef Stew

Hearty Beef Stew Recipe: A Comforting Classic

Introduction

There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of hearty beef stew to comfort your soul and warm you up on a chilly day. This classic recipe combines tender chunks of beef with wholesome vegetables and flavorful broth for a dish that’s both satisfying and delicious. Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a gathering with friends, this beef stew is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Follow along for a step-by-step guide to making this comforting meal that will leave everyone coming back for more.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 cups beef broth or canned beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch peeled carrots
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat the oil: In a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add the beef and sauté until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add aromatics: Add the chopped garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Combine broth and seasonings: Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, sugar, dried thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Mix well to combine.
  4. Simmer the stew: Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Prepare the vegetables: While the stew is simmering, prepare the vegetables. In another large pot or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped potatoes, onions, and carrots. Cook the vegetables until softened, about 20 minutes.
  6. Combine and cook: Add the cooked vegetables to the beef stew. Continue to simmer the soup until the vegetables and beef are tender, about 40 minutes.
  7. Remove bay leaves: Discard the bay leaves from the stew. Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the soup.
  8. Serve: Ladle the beef stew into serving bowls. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Tips for Success

  • Choose the Right Cut of Beef: For the most tender and flavorful stew, use stewing beef or chuck roast. These cuts are well-suited for long, slow cooking.
  • Don’t Skip Browning the Meat: Searing the beef before simmering it in the broth adds depth of flavor to the stew.
  • Adjust Seasonings to Taste: Feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your personal preference. Add more salt, pepper, or herbs as desired.
  • Make Ahead: This beef stew can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Simply reheat it before serving for a quick and convenient meal.
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can I use chicken broth instead of beef broth?
  • While beef broth provides the richest flavor, you can substitute chicken broth if desired. The stew will have a slightly different taste, but it will still be delicious.
  1. Can I freeze leftover stew?
  • Yes, you can freeze any leftover stew in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  1. What can I serve with beef stew?
  • Beef stew pairs well with crusty bread, dinner rolls, or a simple green salad. You can also serve it over cooked rice or mashed potatoes for a heartier meal.
  1. Can I add other vegetables to the stew?
  • Absolutely! Feel free to customize the stew with your favorite vegetables, such as celery, peas, or mushrooms. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time as needed for different vegetables.
  1. How do I thicken the stew if it’s too thin?
  • If you prefer a thicker stew, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water and stir it into the stew. Simmer the stew for a few minutes until it thickens to your desired consistency.

By following these tips and answering these frequently asked questions, you’ll be well-equipped to make a delicious batch of hearty beef stew that’s sure to warm your soul and satisfy your appetite. Enjoy every comforting spoonful of this classic dish!