Beef Stew Recipe

(recipe by TheSalmons)


First, sear the meat. I recently realized that to sear the meat properly you need to leave it alone in the pan for a few minutes on each side and not keep stirring it around. Get your pan fairly hot with a thin film of oil on the bottom. Add cubes of meat in small batches. For 3 pounds this typically means searing 4 batches.

Let the cubes of beef cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes, until the undersides develop a dark brown crust and come away easily from the pan. Continue searing for a few minutes on the other sides, and then transfer the seared meat to the stewing pot or set it aside on a clean clean plate if you will use the searing pan as the stew pot. I sear the beef in a heavy bottomed skillet, and prepare the rest of the stew in a crock pot. Alternatively, you could use a dutch oven.

Continue searing the remaining meat in batches. Add another teaspoon of oil between batches if the pan looks dry. A sticky dark glaze will develop on the bottom of the pan. This is the yummy source of of deep, caramelized flavor in the stew. If your heat is just right, you should be able to sear all 4 batches before deglazing the pan. But, if it starts to smoke or appears to be burning, do an intermittent deglazing.

After removing the last batch of meat. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of stock. I use chicken stock because I typically have that on hand. If you have made beef stock, that should be fine, too. Transfer, the stock and all the yummy dark stuff from the searing pan into the crock pot with the beef.

While beef is searing, chop the onion and garlic.

Put the skillet back on the stove and reduce the heat to medium. Melt butter and saute the onion for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute.

Add flour and thyme to the vegetable mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add enough flour to soak into all the fat. Start with a 1/4 cup of flour and then add a bit more if necessary. You will have a very thick paste with chunks of onion and garlic. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Gradually stir in approximately 3 cups of chicken broth, stirring frequently. Add beef bouillon cubes (these "beef" up the flavor and add salt/pepper). Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. The sauce should be thick and bubbly. Transfer this sauce into the larger stewing pot with the beef.

After beef has been simmering for a while, peel and dice the potatoes.

If using a crock pot. Cook on high for approximately 2 hours, add diced potatoes and continue cooking on high for another 2 hours or until beef if very tender. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve. Alternatively, cook on stove top at a low simmer for 2-3 hours or until done.

I realize beef stew traditionally has carrots. While, I love raw carrots, I've never cared for cooked carrots, so I don't add any to my stew.

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Lynn Salmon <>{

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